Sunday, January 23, 2011

Watch them grow!

My sister-in-law's sister (that's a mouthful!) and her hubby are due to have their first baby sometime in the next two weeks.  I decided a while ago  I wanted to make handmade gift for the baby, but since I have no knitting or crocheting skills, I was at a bit of a loss as to what a new little babe might need.  

That's when the grand idea of making a wall hanging or art for the nursery came to me!  The only obstacle was how the heck would I be able to make anything that resembled art?  Realizing this was not a likely possibility, I begin to think of things I could make out of cloth.  Finally, I settled on making a growth chart for the nursery!  

Aren't yall just dying to see what it looks like!  Well...just hold your horses cause here it is!
(Disclaimer: I apologize for the crummy pictures, the low light conditions paired with a not-so awesome camera and a mediocre photographer yields not-so-good results!)

This is made out of cotton canvas fabric.  I hand-stitched the name using a stem-stitch (again, the crummy light means seeing the name in the picture is not so easy...I promise it looks better in person!).  The numbers are made of fabric and heat-bonded to the canvas.

Along the side of the chart, I hand stitched inch-markers using embroidery thread. 

I made each of the flowers out of material and sewed them on the the canvas.  The cute little bees were an awesome find at the Scrap Exchange.  They are pewter and I added the black beads for little heads.  Then I hand-stitched their "flight-patterns".  
The chart is hung using a dowel rod and some pretty purple ribbon.
 To mark the height on the growth chart, the parents will either use tags pinned on to the canvas, or write the date/height/age with a permanent fabric pen. 

Much inspiration and excitement over how Baby Bella's gift turned out, I just couldn't stop there!  So prompted by a commitment to make homemade gifts for 5 of my friends, I decided to make a growth chart for another good friend.  

Her little girl just turned one at the end of last year.  So I set out to make another growth chart using a similar pattern but a different theme.  Here is what I made for little Riley!
 I used the same fabric for this one, cotton canvas.  

I stitched the name again, using a stem-stitch.  This time I filled in the entire name, which took a lot longer than expected, but well worth it!
The clouds are cut from fabric and heat-bonded to the canvas.  

I made each of the birds from fabric and stuffed them with cotton batting so they are slightly plush and 3-dimensional.

The owls are by far my favorite.  I made these the same way as I did the birds with the exception of heat-bonding fabric to make their "masks".  
Each of the branches as well as the numbers are hand-stitched.  I also hand-stitched the inch-markers along the side of the chart. 

I am so excited about the outcome of this chart as well.  I have to say that I have surprised myself with both of these projects.  I do not claim to have any noteable crafting skills but I am happy with what I would call a successful accident!  

I would have to say that the very best part of working on these growth charts was the constant reminder of the wonderful folks who would be receiving these gifts.  And that my friends makes it all worth while. 


  1. Melissa - those are adorable. Very well done.
    Sara B

  2. Wow! Those are beauiful! You should look into selling them!

  3. These are really beautiful Melissa. Your stitching is so even and uniform. Love the designs; you really should consider marketing these. Great job Sweetie, Mom.

  4. These are darling! I love the owls, too, and the bird on the branch.

    Are you interested in learning how to knit? I'd offer to teach you, but I've already had one totally unsuccessful venture in teaching a friend to knit and I'm scared to try again! However, Cozy, over on the corner of 9th Street and Markham, often has classes and they're super-nice over there.

    But maybe you just want to stick with stitching, in which case, you're all set!


    p.s. thanks for your prayers for David.

  5. Aww, thanks ladies! I've thought about selling them, but not sure I am ready for that! Frances, I have never been in Cozy but have thought about stopping by sometime, now I must check it out! I am teaching myself to crochet but not sure about knitting yet!

  6. Those are really, really cute!! You could TOTALLY sell those! I would buy two for my boys. :)

  7. Hi! I found your blog through the left-handed housewife. The growth chart is so cute! You did a really good job on it. I've enjoyed reading your blog and invite you to come see mine!

  8. Just as beautiful as I'd imagined. I love the bees with their trails and the owls are gorgeous!


  9. Your blog is really neat! Now I have an idea how much work and love went into Bella's gift :D We are so lucky to have such a caring and creative friend. It is indeed a Beautiful work of art. Thank you!

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