Cutting and Stitching the Bumper Pads

Bumper pads are intended to protect a tiny baby's head from hitting against the hard slats of the crib. They are not intended to protect against the dangers of slats that are too far apart (slats should be no more than 2⅜″ apart). Nor are they intended to make up for a mattress that doesn't fit the crib; you shouldn't be able to fit two adult fingers between the mattress and the side of the crib. Bumper pads aren't even necessary, but they make us feel so much better about leaving the little one alone in the crib.

Cutting the Main Pieces

You will need to cut eight pieces 41″ by 12″. If you are making bumpers for a crib that's not standard in size, consider the difference between its dimensions and the 52″ by 27½″ standard mattress. Take one half the sum of the width plus the length, and add 1″ for seam allowances to get the length of one panel. The width should probably stay at 12″.

You will also need eight pieces of quilt batting the same size. Pin a batting piece to the wrong side of each of the pieces. Machine baste ½″ from the edge all around the pieces. This simply means sewing the batting on with your machine's longest stitches.

Measure just over 13¼″ inward from the end stitches and mark a stitching line from top to bottom. This will divide the panel into thirds. Baste the batting to the panel along these lines. Do this to all eight panels.

Sew four of the panels together, end to end, right sides together. Cut the batting close to the seam line, and press the seams open. Do the same with the other four panels.

Remove bumper pads from a child's bed as soon as he is able to pull himself up to stand. The bumper pads become a step that might make it possible for the child to go over the top of the rail. He won't need them anymore, anyway.

Ruffle

Cut the ruffle fabric into 6″ strips. Cut away the selvages, and sew the strips together into one long strip. When the bumper pad is installed, the ends of the ruffle will stick up above the bumper pad where the two ends of the pad meet. To finish these ruffle ends, fold one end of the ruffle strip in half, right sides together, and stitch with a ¼″ seam. Clip the corners, turn, and press. Do the same with the other end. Press the ruffle in half with wrong sides together. Stitch the raw edge for gathering as you did the ruffle for the comforter.

Next, gather the ruffle onto the right side of one of the bumper-pad panels. To do this, divide the ruffle into eight equal parts, and match these to the seams and the centers of each piece on the panel. While the raw edges of the ruffle and pad line up, the ends of the ruffle will line up with the stitching line rather than the raw edge at the sides of the panel. Gather the ruffle, and stitch ½″ from the edge.

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