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Posts Tagged ‘crafts’

Newborn Cap for Mama-to-Mama Charity

I’m not a great seamstress, but I’m very excited about the new charity project Soule Mama has started: Mama to Mama.

This effort provides an opportunity for crafters to create with love and intention in order to make a small, positive change in another person’s life. Mama to Mama‘s first project is to send handmade newborn caps to Haiti to be distributed in Safe Birthing Kits. Here are some stats about Haiti from the Mama to Mama site:

In northern Haiti:

  • Just 1 in 5 women receives skilled medical care during childbirth.
  • Haiti has the highest maternal mortality ratio in the Western Hemisphere.
  • 1 in 40 women will die as a result of pregnancy complications, unsafe abortion, or obstetrical emergency.
  • Twelve percent of children die before the age of 5.

capbutton_3You are invited to dust off your sewing machine, dig up a few gently-used T-shirts, and join this beautiful effort to share with women and newborns in Haiti. A simple pattern, instructions, and a mailing address for your finished caps are available at Mama to Mama‘s web site. The deadline for the initial care package send-off is December 10, 2008.

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I love French memo boards. I think they look nicer than plain cork board, and as a bonus, you don’t have to worry about push pins tragically becoming cat toys. Not that it’s ever happened, but you never know with those fuzzy-headed members of our household–specifically, this one:

this fuzzy cat

and this one:

this other fuzzy one

I’ve also discovered that I love making French memo boards. Have you made any? They’re super easy and quick to make. I was a bit under the weather today, but I rallied and made this one:

French memo board

Materials:

  • an old art canvas
  • fabric
  • ribbon
  • sewing pins
  • backing fabric or board +fabric tacks (or alternately, buttons + thread)
  • a hammer
  • a staple gun

Instructions:

1.¬† Cut your fabric so that it’s large enough to wrap around to the back of the canvas.

2. With the fabric placed face-down on a smooth surface and the canvas situated face-down on the fabric, staple the fabric to the back edge of the canvas. Make sure the fabric is taut. You’ll want to staple along one edge first then pull the fabric taut (but not so tight as to stretch it out of shape) and staple the opposite edge. Repeat on the remaining two edges.

3. Cut the ribbon. You’ll need two pieces that are long enough to reach diagonally across the board from one corner to the other. You’ll also need four shorter pieces that are long enough to reach diagonally from the center of the top edge to the center of the side edge. All of these ribbon pieces should be long enough to wrap around to the back of the canvas.

4. Starting with the longer pieces, position the ribbons and pin them in place.

5. Staple the ribbons on the back of the board. Start by stapling one end of a ribbon in place. Remove the pins holding that ribbon in place, stretch the ribbon tightly across the front of the board, and staple it in place. Repeat with the remaining ribbons.

6. If you’re using fabric tacks, you’ll now nail through the spots where the ribbons cross. Turn the board over and hammer the tacks to the side so that they’ll hold in place and won’t pose any risk of injury. If you’re using buttons, sew them into place where the ribbons cross, making sure to catch the ribbons with your thread.

7. If you’re using fabric tacks, you’ll cut a piece of backing fabric or board that is slightly smaller than the canvas itself. It should be large enough to be attached to the back of the canvas frame but small enough that it will not be visible from the front of the board. If you’re using buttons, this step is optional. Staple or nail the backing piece to the back of the canvas frame.

8. Trim any excess fabric or ribbon, especially if you are not using a backing piece.

9. To be able to hang your French memo board for display, you may want to attach a ribbon to the back of the board. Simply staple a piece of ribbon to the left and right edges of the frame on the back. Position it about 1/3 from the top.

You’re done!

Gift Ideas 

French memo boards have endless potential for customization. Experiment with colors and background pattens. Try a friend’s favorite color combination for a birthday gift, pink or blue gingham and a lacy ribbon for a baby shower, or shades of ivory and white for a wedding gift. To further personalize these gifts, add photos and thematic quotes or poems.

There are a couple more photos of my memo boards on Flickr, if you want to see.

Have a blissful weekend, everyone!

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