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Baby Crib Sheets
by Ree Babich,  The Quilter's Shop  


I have been invited to quite a few baby showers lately. I like to make crib sheets and matching receiving blankets for the new baby. Crib sheets are extremely easy and using the serger takes about 15 minutes each, but can be done on your usual sewing machine just as well! I like to use really good fabrics that hold up through many washings, Hoffman, P&B, South Seas and Northcott are good examples. The Kaufman Solids make very nice crib sheets

For regular cottons, cut a piece of fabric 68 inches. If you are using flannels cut a piece 69 to 70 inches to allow for shrinkage. I don't like to wash the fabric first. I want it to have a very crisp look when I give the gift and the new Mom will probably pre-wash all the baby clothes anyway. There is one exception however, and that is if I am using very bright/bold fabrics. I will treat these fabrics in Retayne and then follow them up with a regular wash. I want these fabrics to hold their color through many washings. 

Fold your fabric piece lengthwise matching the selvage edges. Straighten both ends of the fabric making sure you are not cutting off more than 68 inches. I do not remove the selvages. These are already finished and add width to the sheet so that it tucks under the mattress better especially if a mattress pad is thicker. Cut an eight inch square from the selvage side at both ends. (see illustration below) With right sides together bring both ends of the cut out square together and serge or sew to form a pocket. Do this on all four corners

Cut four 9" pieces of 1/4 inch elastic, fold in half to find centers of each piece. Using a rolled hem, sew or serge off the raw edges on the 2 short sides of the sheet. Using the seam of each pocket as a center, pin the center of the elastic to the sheet, stretch it out and pin again. You can either serge the stretched elastic into place or use a stretch stitch on your sewing machine. Finish off the serge threads by whatever method you like. The sheet is done!

When making a receiving blanket, I use a 1 yard cut and a rolled hem foot on my serger. I also make matching "burp" cloths. Try to find fabrics that come in cottons as well as flannels. Sweet Dreams by P&B or Rachel's Bears by P&B come in both flats and flannels. Flannel sheets are great for crib sheets for babies and toddlers. FYI, I washed a 2 yard piece of Sweet Dreams Flannel in Retayne and then in a regular wash. After machine drying, I found that it shrunk 1.5 inches and I am not sure if it was shrinking or fraying, probably both!

Remember too, the toddler beds are crib mattresses and the toddlers love the bug prints, truck prints, novelty prints and Christmas Prints like Kitty Cucumber. By the way, the toddler now uses a top sheet. I cut these 2.25 yards and use a serged rolled hem all around the sheet. I then make a small 3 inch hem at both the top and bottom of the sheet. And of course a pillowcase to match!

Don't forget to save those nice big squares and cut them down to an equal size. You can leave them whole or make half square triangles and turn them into a small quilt! Quilt it up using colorful variegated thread or a simple stitch in a ditch



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