August 10, 2010

Baby Play Mat

A few weeks ago I made this baby play mat for SYTYC.  Do you ever envision something great in your head?  You think it will be the most brilliant thing you've ever made?  Then you start it and realize it's going to be a lot more work than you'd ever imagined?  Yup.  That's what this beast was like for me.  I was happy with how it turned out, but I won't be making another one anytime soon.

When I started brainstorming about the theme "baby gifts" I wanted to think of something I would truly want to receive for a baby.  My babies have always hated tummy time and we have lots of hardwood flooring in our home.  So?  I made a giant baby play mat.  (Nevermind that it's in the grass, it's meant for inside play.  I just needed a bright place to photograph it.)


This mat is guranteed to keep a baby happy and entertained.  It's loaded with not only color, but lots of texture......fringe, satin edging, tangible animals secured by ribbon, textured stitching, beads protected from reach under clear vinyl.  It's also super comfortable, with a couple layers of batting and thick fleece on top and bottom.  What?  You're afraid it will slip around?  I sewed grippers on to the bottom so the mat will remain in place at all times.


Want to add your own toys?  Just link them into the grass loops by the rocks.  This way you can interchange some of the toys to keep your baby interested.


But, the best part is....it's machine washable.  (Hang to dry.)  Let's face it.  Babies are cute, but oh so messy.

Want a brief run down of how it was made?  Here's a quick and genereal step by step.

1) I cut both the green and blue fleece to be 4' by 4'.  Then I cut both layers in a big wavy line, like a rolling hill.  I sewed them together overlapping them by an inch and a half.  Then I cut that extra flap to look like grass - fringing it.


2) I sewed on all the goods....flowers, rocks, the sun, a branch.  I tried to use a variety of colors and textures.  I also purchased a mobile from Ikea and used the animals/bugs on it.  They were sewn onto a ribbon, which I sewed onto the flowers and branches.  The center of one of the flowers was made by sewing clear vinyl over several beads.  I also sewed circular grippers to the back of the mat.  I got them at the dollar store.  They're made for opening jars.  (You can't really sew around them because they are to grippy, but you can sew back and forth in a few spots to attach them.)


3) I used two layers of batting and "quilted" it in a few different ways.  Getting this beast under my machine was pretty much a wrestling match.  I have a new respect for quilters.  Whew!  Anyhow, in the grass I sewed grass lines.  In the clouds I sewed zigzags.  I sewed the edges of thee flower stems.  I wanted to make sure the layers would stay together.  Then I added a little more decorative details by outlining the clouds and flowers with embroidery floss.


4) I trimmed the edges to be even and sewed on the satin baby blanket edging.  Then I went to bed chanting never again.

That's basically the run-down.  I'm not sure how I made that look like it was only four steps, but this puppy took me quite a while.  However, I'm really excited to have somthing like this when I have another baby.  It's huge and comfortable.  The store bought ones are usually kind of lame and super pricey. 

Thank you for reading my blog.  Thank you for your kind and encouraging comments.  It makes doing this even more fun.  I like you :)

25 comments:

  1. Hello ...

    I'm glad to have found ur wonderful blog .... OMG the Little Man tea party is super cute ... Theree cheers for the wonderful idea !!!

    - Smita
    www.littlefoodjunction.blogspot.com/
    ( Food ideas to feed picky eaters )

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  2. What a great idea! I love how you incorporated different textures! I'm finding that my eight month old LOVES different textures! And of course the bright colors are beautiful too!

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  3. This is AMAZING! Any momma would be lucky to have this great play-mat! Nicely done as always!

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  4. That looks great. After all that work maybe you should frame it!

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  5. Um, wow.
    Impressive!
    My sewing machine hates me, but I would have LOVED to have this for my babies.

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  6. Very cute. I totally understand why this would be a one time project, but if your like me , you'll be making another one as someone you love asks for one. I swore up and down I'd never make another quiet book, and now I'm on my fourth....Why???

    I love the grips on the back. Smart thinking.

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  7. This is SUCH a great project. I loved it when I saw it on SYTYC. It's so fun to check in each week and see what all of you creative people have made. I can usually spot your project after reading your blog for the past few months.

    I love the play mat. That is truly something any mother (and baby) would be happy to get. If (when?) I have another baby I'm totally going to make one. These things are ridiculously expensive.

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  8. Goodness, that is darling!!! So creative! I love it. You did a fantastic job!

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  9. Oh that is so awesome and very adorable! I would love to receive that if I were having a baby :)

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  10. Very, very cute!

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  11. It really is amazing. When I saw it before I thought "Wow, now that is awesome...but look at all those details." That is a treasure. Babies will love it.

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  12. I LOVE this! You are so creative and I love trying your ideas! And I totally get the "never making this again" thinking! I say that a lot and then wind up making the same thing again!

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  13. very creative cheri! I want to lay down and play on there :)

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  14. That is awesome! Any mom would love one of those! I have a similar store bought one, but it slides around so the grips are definitely a plus!

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  15. oh soooo cute... I love making projects as well and it is a bit frustrating to realize how much more work it is then you envisioned though. I will tell you how proud of myself I feel to actually finish something I didn't think I could. I have been voting on SYTYC and voting honestly (but secretly trying to figure out what project you made) and I voted for yours! Thank you for sending out your creating juices to inspire me!

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  16. It was well worth the effort! Such a nice playmat

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  17. Wow!! Just a couple weeks ago I was wanting to make one of these but didn't even know where to begin to search for instructions! Now, the real question...am I ambitious enough to try this, and would I finish it in time for my two month old to use it?! :) Thanks for sharing this-it looks super cute!!

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  18. I love what you said about quilting this blanket. I am making a blanket as a gift for a friend's son's birthday and it is sitting there waiting for me to do some kind of quilting on it, but getting under my machine? uhm yeah, a beast for sure. I have no idea how people do it!
    this is great though.

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  19. hi cheri. thanks for sharing this idea. my sister recently had a baby and requested that i make one for her so i did. you can check it out on my blog tomorrow (if you want, of course). but regardless, thanks for sharing your talent!

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  20. Oh my goodness, this is fabulous! I love it. Might have make one when I have another little one! :)

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  21. Be still my crafty heart!! I love this! I was just wondering what to make my friend for her new baby - I wanted to do a quilt...but takes too long...This is just perfect! Love it! I'll post a pic on my blog and link back when (ummm, realistically, IF) I get it done! You are inspiring!

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  22. That is awesome! What a clever idea. I can believe that it was time consuming! I'm not sure I am ready to tackle that project at this time, even though I have a little one that would enjoy, maybe someday I will be crazy enough to try one too :)....like when I get a sewing machine that I think could handle a beast :)

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  23. This is just the project to lure me back into my craft room! I haven't done anything since my 10week old was born. I know he'd love this though and something to encourage tummy time would be great. Thanks for sharing!

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  24. I love, love, love it. It is amazing that you thought of all the perfect details like a grippy on the other side. So adorable and cute. I also love the textile. So thoughtful and nice. You will love it and no one else will have it.

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