Wednesday, September 1, 2021

The Best Baby Gift: A Handmade Rainbow Modular Star Stuffie


I am very possibly enjoying making gifts for my baby niece more than I have ever enjoyed making gifts for my own two children--and I enjoy making them gifts, a lot!

But making gifts for someone else's baby is, like, grandparent-level handmaking. I don't have to worry about how practical my gift will be, or if my baby niece "needs" it. I don't have to work hard to find the leisure time to sew for a baby, because I'm not actively caring for a baby. I don't have to give a flip if the kid already has too many stuffies or balls or whatever, because I'm not the one who's going to have to find space for one more.

All I have to care about is what delightful object I would like to sew for a delightful baby. And then all I have to do is sew it!

And then admire it myself, hold it out for everyone around me to admire, and take four hundred photos of how adorable it is. When I was making my niece's rainbow Sierpinski's Triangle quilt, I pulled pics of it up on my phone for the clerk at the Joann's cutting counter to coo over. During a recent get-together that my kids had, I put this unfinished rainbow modular star stuffie into the hands of every adult who came to collect their child and basically required them to be delighted by it.

With all the fun I've been having with it, I actually managed to mail the thing, finished weeks ago, late--oops! Good thing babies don't actually know which day their birthday is!

When I cut the triangles for that Sierpinski's Triangle quilt, I cut SO many extra, thinking that I'd make a couple of copies--one for myself, for sure, and perhaps one to sell in my Pumpkin+Bear shop. I still plan to do exactly that, but meanwhile my attention has flitted away to a billion new projects and those triangles remain on my cutting table, unused and EXACTLY THE RIGHT SIZE TO MAKE THIS STUFFIE.

It was a project that was meant to be!

I followed this tutorial for a while, but then wandered off into the weeds a bit. The star was surprisingly difficult to sew, even on my heavy-duty machine, and I got my needle off-kilter so many times that I nicked the snot out of my throat plate and ended up having to buy a new one after spending a week's worth of sewing frustrated that I couldn't figure out why my thread kept fraying and breaking.

But I prevailed!

I'd actually like to try this star again, specifically to figure out the exact point in the process at which it's better to just switch completely to hand-sewing. 

If you've got any tips for machine- or hand-sewing lots of fiddly points and odd angles and ten pieces of fabric coming together at one corner, please send them my way!

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