Any new mother will tell you that a great burp cloth is essential, and that you need a whole drawer full of them! The secret to making a super-absorbent (and easy) burp cloth is the combination of chenille and flannel. A couple of years ago, when my favorite nephew, Joel, and his wife Jenny were expecting their son, I went just a little overboard making these. I searched fabric stores up and down the West Coast for a variety of different shades of chenille. It’s not always easy to find, but it’s out there. Two of my favorite color finds were cocoa brown and sage green. Then I selected just the right flannel prints to coordinate with each color of chenille. Even though I knew they were expecting a boy, I made girl-themed ones as well – I couldn’t resist a plush, soft pink chenille and the adorable “girlie” flannels. Who knows? Maybe they’ll have a girl some day.
Not only are these burp cloths quick and fun to make, but with all the wonderful flannel prints available today, they can be works of art! A half yard each of chenille and flannel will yield three burp cloths. Here’s how to make them:
Cut one rectangle (12½” x 17″) each of chenille and flannel (I couldn’t resist this beautiful print flannel from the Freshcut line by Heather Bailey for Free Spirit). Layer and pin the two rectangles wrong sides together.
Cut out a heart (or any shape you choose) from freezer paper and iron it (shiny-side towards the fabric) to the center of either side of the rectangle “sandwich.” Stitch around (not on) the outside edge of the freezer paper; this is all you need to “quilt” the two pieces together. Remove the freezer-paper heart (it can be re-used many times). If you want to make it really simple, skip the freezer-paper heart and just stitch a square or rectangle (but then you forfeit the designer touch).
Finish the burp cloth by stitching around the edges. Serging is ideal, but if you don’t have a serger, just use a decorative (or zigzag) stitch.
I think these burp clothes are a useful gift that will make the life of a new mother just a bit easier. If you’ve made a baby quilt from flannel, why not add a couple of coordinating or matching burp cloths. Won’t your gift just be the envy at the baby shower!