Lois’s Quilt

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On reflection (as it’s almost the end of the year…9 Friday’s left until Christmas folks!) I have been pretty terrible at updating the blog this year. It’s not that I haven’t made anything I should add! It’s just that many of the things I’ve made are duplicates of that which I’ve already posted about (cushions mainly)…and you don’t want pictures of the same things. However, I do endeavor to post more useful content next year; content that other crafters may actually find useful – can I get a big ‘woop woop!’ for tutorials! (note: must add this to the New Year’s resolution’s already long list, below ‘learn French’ and above ‘learn how to make kids clothes before my son is 21’).

Whilst this post is about baby patchwork quilts – an item I’ve posted about many times before, these, however, don’t fall into the above ‘same-old’ category as they are ALWAYS different fabrics, ALWAYS different colour themes, and ALWAYS hand-decorated with different designs. This was my latest (that I made back in March!) – a quilt for Lois.

The fabric I used was from the beautiful Heather Ross fabric ranges – pretty subtle colours with whimsical fairy-tale designs.

My central patch with Lois’s name appliqued in felt, with flowers and bees, I surrounded by four different designs: bunny and teacup, little girl splashing in puddles, and swallows and bunting (which I’ve used many times but still a favourite!). As with most of my quilts I used a mixture of both typical machine applique (which has a neat look) and free-hand machine applique, which gives more of a hand-sketched look…which I love but also find quite intimidating when actually doing!

Finally, I’d like to apologise for the shoddy photography! It’s hard to catch a nice sunny day in chilly, but beautiful, Yorksire, and when you have one assistant who’s only 3 ft tall and one with paws – both of whom have their own agenda – professionalism goes right out the window…

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Patchwork Memory Quilt

You may have seen the memory quilt a did last year for my friend who asked me to make a quilt out of her late father’s shirts, swim shorts and ties…

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Not only did I think this was such a lovely way to hold on to a little piece of someone you love, I received such positive comments about the quilt and, most importantly, my friend who I made it for was overwhelmed with bittersweet feelings.

I have since been asked to make another memory quilt – no less lovely but with less sorrow associated with it. I made this quilt for a little girl, Alice, from all her baby clothes – such a great way of up-cycling old baby clothes (and saving space in your attic!) without the wrench of actually having to get rid of them, and the memories!

Patchwork memory quilt

Whilst it is a simple square patchwork pattern, it was quite a lengthy project. A lot of my time was spent ironing the teeny tiny dresses, romper suits, skirts to determine which pieces of clothes were large enough to get even once patch. I made an effort to cut out patches of the fabric that featured an interesting element of the item i.e. a pocket, embroidery etc.

After calculating the size of blanket and cutting the number of patches to fit the right amount of rows and columns etc, I laid it all out to establish a nice patchwork pattern – mixing denim and pastels for contrast, and set to work with the sewing machine.

I used a really pretty print fabricfabric for the back that coordinated well with the colours on the front.

It’s difficult to imagine how these are quilts are going to turn out, especially as I have no control over the patterns or colours of the fabrics. However, as I laid it out on my son’s bed to photograph it, I think it’s fair to say it looked so good, I could have kept it (and that’s even without the sentimental value to me!). I hope Alice loves it even more!

The most wonderful time of the year…

So here it is…the 1st of December! Whilst I am, as every year, like ‘woahhh how did that get here?’, this year I’m embracing it and have, in fact been Christmassing it up for the past few weeks.

My attic room has turned into santa’s workshop, the dog is covered in red and green thread, and there are a herd of reindeer and choir of angels in the form of Christmas stockings dispatched and making their way across the country.

I have been making stockings now for the past few years and seem to get more popular every year! However, in addition to the stockings I’ve made an extra Christmassy item this year which I’m pretty pleased with so I thought I’d share, and to decorate my not-very-festive blog.

And, what is more fitting for the 1st of December than an advent calendar…

All that’s needed now are the choccies!

Nicholas’s Quilt

G’day! Oooh how I wish I was in Australia right now with this blustery weather we’re having! Well just let this cheery brightness add some sunshine to your day instead…

My latest baby quilt is for Nicholas, son of my friend’s Laura and Frenchie (aka Richard) who turned the special age of 1 year old in October. Laura and Frenchie, originally from Birmingham, now live all the way across the other side of the world in Australia so this quilt has gone across sea and land to reach them.

I love the colours – quite different to what I normally use, but with Birch Organic’s prints of camping, guitars, trees, birds, I think is gorgeous, and the orange-brightness I felt fit with the ‘sunny-ness’ people tend to associate with Australia.

I used both traditional applique as well as free-hand machine applique, and felt and fabric to decorate the four outer patches: the rocket, the hot air balloon, the teepee, and the boat. I’m currently loving quotes from Dr Seuss so included ‘Oh, the places you’ll go’ with the hot air balloon.

Central, as per is the norm on my baby quilts, is Nicholas’ name. And…I had to squeeze something Aussie in there…hence the cheeky felt koala.

Mary’s Duffle Bag

About four years ago I was selling some crafts at a charity fair in Otley. One customer, Tricia, bought a kid’s duffle bag for her grandson Thomas; she recently contacted me again – this time to ask if I could make her another one for her granddaughter Mary. It had come in very useful for nursery apparently, with the little pocket on the front the perfect size for an exercise book.

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Tricia was happy for me to choose the fabric, colours and design on the front. I’ve said it before, I’ll say it again…I find sewing for girls so much easier than for boys!

The fabric I selected was a cream cotton canvas (hard-wearing!) featuring a cute red-riding hood style print, that I purchased from Etsy, and a contrasting red and white ditsy floral print for the lining and pocket (from my local fabric shop B&M Fabric in Leeds).

I decorated the pocket with Mary’s name, a couple of cute flowers and buzy bee using felt and hand embroidery.

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A little feedback on receiving the bag…‘Thank you for sending the lovely bag – the colours are great! I waited for Kate [Mary’s mummy] to visit us this week so that she could open it – she was thrilled with it!’

 

 

Eve’s Quilt

This one has been long overdue! Why is it family get put to the bottom of the list? Well, I’m sorry to say, this has been the case for my sister’s little ones. Whilst many of my good friends have received baby quilts for their babies, be it as a first birthday gift or [time allowing] a newborn gift, they’ve still received one before my own blood!

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My niece Eve has just turned one and in the run up to her birthday, I was determined to get this one made. My sister is a big fan of Belle and Boo and has various items to decorate Eve’s nursery with. As a surprise for her birthday (well, I guess mainly for my sister…pretty boring pressies for a baby!) from my parents, Eve’s grandparents, I was asked to make curtains, bunting and a cushion using the Belle and Boo fabric.

And to add to this was my quilt made up of the Belle and Boo fabric and a range of matching others. Picking colours of fabrics that matched was the tricky part! I choose a range of Riley Blake fabrics from my local fabric shop in Leeds that matched various colours in the main fabric: pinks, teals and orange/red.

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On seeing a previous quilt (Annabelle’s I think), I remember Alex, my sister, said she really liked the birds so I wanted to include these.
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I wanted to feature bunnies and a little girl to tie in with the Belle and Boo print. The bunnies I’ve sewn similar before but the little girl and the tree were a new design. Her face is a little more serious than I would have liked though.
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The middle square’s feature is obviously Eve’s name and that’s how I wanted it – to stand out, but alone, it would have looked a little lonely so I’ve framed ‘Eve’ with pretty flowers and cute little bumble bees. The majority of the designs I’ve created with free-hand machine applique which I think, especially for the girl and bees, would have been the only sewing style that would have worked.

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So that’s it, it’s finally made. Now I just have my Nephew’s to do – Jacob has waited almost four years for his so sure he won’t mind waiting a little longer!

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Tiana’s Quilt

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My most recent quilt was for Tiana, my friend Kal’s little girl, who was one year old this week. Tia and Jesse have been the cutest little friends in their first year together whilst Kal and myself hung out lots on our maternity leave, taking walks, attending baby classes, sharing baby worries and funnies and, most of all, eating a lot of cake!

The colours I chose for this quilt – pink, turquoise, orange and red, I think are perfect for Tia: girly, gorgeous and bright. They are all by Riley Blake, that I got from my local, and favourite, place to get fabrics: B&M fabrics, who are located in Leeds Market but have also just opened a second shop on the outside of the market selling designer prints…I’m a regular visitor!

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I used a pinwheel pattern for the patchwork around the edge, Tia’s name in the middle, surrounded by some appliqué lotus flowers: a symbol for prosperity, fertility, eternity, and eternal youth.

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Unlike the quilts I’ve made previously, where I’ve sewn the designs using either regular appliqué or free-hand machine appliqué, for Tia’s I couldn’t quite decide which; so I used both!

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As well as machine quilting the pinwheel patches, I hand stitched a running stitch around each of the nine centre patches using embroidery thread of alternating colours. I love doing this stitch as I think it really adds an extra bit of detail.

The orange floral fabric that surrounds the centre panel also backs the entire quilt and I’ve edged it in cream lace binding (which I love using on girly quilts).

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Brogues for Baby Barney

I haven’t made much new to shout (or post) about lately as before Christmas I was really busy with Christmas stockings and Santa sacks…those that I made last year were even more popular this year! I didn’t want to post about them, however, as pictures and descriptions of these are already on this blog, my Instagram and Pinterest (ahhh Pinterest, how I love you so, but…note to self: be more prepared for the influx of your own enquiries this year, it’s not just you that uses it!).

This time last year was all new with the arrival of my baby, but it’s all change and new routines again this year with returning to work and Jesse starting nursery. So, after having a little bit of a break after the stocking making, for the first ‘make’ of the year, I eased myself in gently with a gift for another new arrival.

Remember my Twin cushions? No, well, as I little reminder I made another of these just before Christmas as a Christening gift.

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I adapted this cushion for baby Barney who arrived at the beginning of January. For the cushion cover I used a blue medium weight Japanese cotton/linen fabric printed with mini robots, bought a little while back from an Etsy shop. The lemon spot is also an Etsy purchase. Etsy is brilliant for finding fabric when you have a specific design, style or colour in mind, there is a great range to choose from.

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Picking out the colours of the robot fabric, a matched fabrics to make up the letters of his name, first machine appliqueing these, then hand sewing a running stitch around each letter with embroidery thread.

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I change little Mary Jane shoes with a button detail, that I’d sewn for the girl’s cushions, to mini brogues to suit a little boy. I hand drew the brogues, using roughly the same outline as the Mary Janes, to get a similar shape and size, adding the parts of the shoe by layering up the tan and blue coloured felt pieces, and machine and hand sewing the stitching detail, finishing them off with embroidery thread laces.

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There is alway got to be something I’m never fully happy with; on this cushion it’s the right shoe, but I think this is just me being picky! Overall, I think it’s cute and I think will become a regular on the list of gifts for baby boys (hopefully perfecting the shape of the right shoe!).

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Lucy’s Quilt

It’s been exactly one year since I made a baby patchwork quilt. Last September I made a quilt for my university friend Rachael’s new baby Stanley (see Stanley’s Quilt). This September, I made another for my other university friends Elena and Ozzy (real name Mark) who had their second daughter Lucy in August. Lucy is baby number four of five to add to the next generation of Team Hull Uni!

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The main mix of fabric was a bundle I bought at last year’s Knitting and Stitching Show in Harrogate. Unfortunately, I can’t remember the name of the shop I bought it from but it was a bundle of cream, teal and yellow fabric printed with various designs of sheep, chicks, bees and flowers. This fabric was just waiting for a baby girl to come along!

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As has become standard with my last few quilts, I decorate the centre panel with various designs that I think are fitting for baby. So, this time there were: bunnies (everyone loves bunnies); I wanted to add another bit of colour so I included a flower with colourful petals; [what has seem to have become my signature…just because I think they look pretty] swallows; and a colourful kite flown by a little hand-embroidered girl on the centre square, also displaying Lucy’s name, birth weight and date.

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Whilst I used almost the same patchwork design as Stanley’s quilt, what differed (other than the fabric) was instead of machine appliquéd designs with a uniform zig zag stitch, this time I used free-hand machine appliqué (similar to that in Annabelle’s quilt)…which I’m always a little scared of. I LOVE the look of this type of stitching – it’s like drawing with your sewing machine – but only if it goes well! If it doesn’t, it can end up a right old mess! Lucky for me, this time, I think I got away with it!

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