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Craft Hope:: Project 20

April 3, 2013

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Back in February after hearing about Craft Hopes efforts to collect bibs for an orphanage in China (Project 20), I decided to organize a small group of sewers and see what we could accomplish in an evening or two.  I have always been impressed with what Craft Hope is able to accomplish, simply by asking crafters to work together for a cause.  We really do band together for good causes.   And when one person puts out the call, we all manage to find something we can contribute.  Crafters donated bits of flannel, quilted cotton, seersucker, cotton batting, gingham, vintage cottons … more fabric that we could use.   It was fabulous!

Over the years I’ve done a handful of projects like this one where different sewers having purchased fabrics over different decades, bring their supplies together and the miraculously they combine to make something effortlessly beautiful.

Craft Hope _ Project 20: Bibs for China

Pieced Baby Bib | TinyStitches

Back when the preschooler was a baby and my favorite bibs were starting to fall apart – apparently this happens to the 5th child, repeatedly.  I didn’t like the stuff at the store, they were too small, too big, too thin, too cumbersome, or so stinking expensive, and for what?!  Really?  So I drafted a pattern from my favorite, very loved bib, and I have used that pattern over and over again.  It’s quick to make doesn’t take tons of materials, it’s absorbent, grows with the baby, and holds up beautiful!

Over the space of two evenings four of us (one evening for cutting and one evening for sewing) knocked out 24 beautiful bibs, in less than 4 hours.  These ladies were really quick sewers, and I so appreciated their help and companionship in completing this project.

Each has a cotton or flannel front and back with either a cotton or fleece batting middle layer.  I’ve found that the cotton or fleece batting makes the sewing process much simpler and helps keep the bib from being too puffy.  A puffy bib isn’t fun to wear and honestly, bibs aren’t fun to wear in the first place (necessary, yes. fun, no.)

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When making bibs, don’t be afraid to piece together scraps and truly use up odds and ends.  You can piece together scraps in a very purposeful way, like the pink quilted bib the preschooler is wearing or the orange one below, but you can also do a more subtle piecing of the same fabric to create a piece large enough for your bib.  We had to do this for quite a few of the bibs pictured, and you can hardly tell!  One trick when piecing, placing the seam near the shoulders helps make the piecing seem intentional.

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A friend has a snap press for cloth diapering and she let me borrow it for this project.  Ahhh!  What a dream that little hand held press was to use!  I am totally sold.  They are genius … so much faster and easier to use than Velcro, and nearly impossible for a kid to yank off!  Yes, I am totally sold.    

The last count I’d heard was that Craft Hope had collected about 1600 bibs!  1600, and they were still coming in.  Amazing.  There is still good in this world people, there is still a whole lot of good, and for that reminder, I am very, very grateful!  

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