Twin Cushions

I was recently asked to make two matching cushions for newborn baby twin girls as their Christening presents. The brief was something quite girly and colourful, decorated with their names.

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The two floral fabrics I used were from Dunelm Mill and, as a medium weight cotton, it was perfect for cushions. The two florals were from the same range so, although different patterns, complimented each other – I used one for the front (called ‘Rosetta’) and the other, the striped floral (called ‘Chloe’) for the back.

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The other request for the cushions were for them to be decorated with something like little baby booties. I thought my attempts at baby booties might end up just looking like wellies so I decided to do little girl-style shoes instead – a much clearer and more obvious (and cute) shape me thinks!

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I used regular machine appliqué for the shoes in a zig zag stitch and straight stitch for the names, hand-sewing a running stitch using embroidery thread around each letter to make them stand out.

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Finishing, I added a little pink button to each shoe for the ‘fastening’ and used coconut shell buttons for the back closing of the cushion.

I really enjoyed making these cushions as, while cushions themselves are pretty easy to make it’s the decorating that’s fun!

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I’ve got another cushion on my ‘to do’ list and this time it’s for a baby boy so I’m looking forward to thinking of ways to decorate this next one.

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Annabelle’s Quilt.

Remember my post in January about learning new skills? Well, here is the first skill (i.e. free hand machine embroidery) in action for real (as opposed to the cute, but quite simple, little cards!)

This is a quilt I made for my friend Jane who had her baby Annabelle in December.

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I wanted to incorporate something that was personal to Jane and her husband Marcus which is where the birds come in. Jane and Marcus were married in September 2011 and they had a bird and heart theme to their wedding day (complete with heart and bird shaped cookies as favours that Jane – also a crafty one – made herself!). It’s the birds I am most pleased with on this quilt…

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I think it’s pretty safe to say that there is not an ounce on masculinity in this quilt! Jane is a  pretty girly person so I used subtle pastel pink and green floral and spotty fabrics for the colours, and edged the whole thing in super pretty lace binding (which is a very exciting new discovery for me!).

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However, knowing he is an enthusiast, just for Marcus I added the little scooter (sorry it wasn’t bright red Marcus like your actual scooter, but that wouldn’t have matched my colour scheme!)

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The layout of the patchwork is very similar to Ava’s quilt that I made around the same time as this, but with more subtle and fewer colours, and the centre panel is different, being personalised to the new mum and dad and their baby.

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I also, as I mentioned, wanted to try out my skills in free hand machine embroidery! It was a bit risky and, at first, I thought it was looking a bit messy but now I’m so pleased I did, as I think (if I say so myself!) it looks fab! I’m sure I will be featuring free hand a lot more in my work (hopefully seeing some improvements)…it is, after all, the ‘crack cocaine of the sewing world‘ according to Kirstie Allsopp!

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Ava’s Quilt

I was very pleased to be asked to make a baby quilt as a gift for Dominique Bader, the lovely and talented lady who photographed my wedding.

Baby Ava was due in January and, with Samuel – Dominique’s husband – contacting me about the quilt in November, I knew I had enough time to plan and source some lovely fabrics, ready for Samuel to give to Dominique when the little lady arrived in hospital.

I got a bit of an idea about colours and a little list of the couple’s ‘likes’ from Samuel, but apart from that, the only request he made was to have Ava’s name, as well as Samuel and Dominique’s names included.

I’ve always wanted to buy some Heather Ross fabrics as I think they are so beautiful – the design and colours are very subtle and have a fairytale, whimsical feel: the range is appropriately named ‘Far Far Away’. So I used this quilt as a perfect excuse to treat and allow myself to buy some!

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On holiday!

On holiday!

With the 1st December, came the arrival of the Christmas orders, craft workshops with my other business ‘Love Me Sew‘ as well as my long-awaited holiday to Berlin. So, with the quilt not needed until January, I decided to leave this on the ‘to do’ list until I came back from holiday…well, that is if you don’t count the sketches of how I wanted it to look, and workings-out of sizes, that I did on the plane home!

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Unfortunately for me, babies don’t like to stick to scheduled times and Ava arrived two week’s earlier than expected! Fortunately for me, however, because Samuel is a very lovely customer (and I think was pretty much swept up with how gorgeous his new little baby girl was) didn’t mind that the quilt wasn’t ready in time.

But, a week later, after pretty much sticking to my sketches and the pictures in my head, the quilt was done and posted!

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Two of Samuel and Dominique’s ‘likes’ included cycling and dogs (plus the camera for obvious reasons!)…

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Samuel was happy, Dominique loved it and I think Ava found it pretty comfy too…

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As for me, I think to date, this is one of my favourites and crafty items I am most proud of.

P.S. How gorgeous is Ava! The photo of Ava are taken by Dominique (obviously as they are way better than mine!)

Ethan’s Quilt

Bunting is pretty and all but when you have to do such large amounts like 45m, 48m and even 75m, it starts to get a little same-ey.

Which is why, when I get asked to make a one off, something a little bit different, I really enjoy it, especially when I get to be a little creative – within limits of the brief of course!

Remember Emily’s quilt? Well, little Emily’s mum asked if I would make another baby quilt for her friend who had a little boy a couple of weeks ago. Since Emily’s quilt turned out a bit on the large size, we thought smaller – more cot-sized – would be better and the colour scheme was orange, red, yellow and greens to fit with a range the new parents had decorated their nursery in.

I based the size and layout of the quilt on a cute pattern in Cath Kidson’s Sew book – this was to make sure the size of the finished quilt was just right.

On each of the large square patches, I sewed a mixture of pictures including animals, a kite, and a hot air balloon – I drew this out first so I knew where to position them in a way I thought they would tie in together.

I sewed the shapes on using a range of hand sewing, machine zig zag and straight stitch applique, and running stitch by hand using embroidery thread.

In the alternate diamond shapes I used a mixture of lovely boyish printed fabrics, in the same colour pallet, including a yellow train fabric from Riley Blake‘s Scoot range and also ‘Making paper hats’ and ‘On the Go’ designed by Sarah Jane.

All of the fabrics I used on this quilt I will be selling via my partnership business, on my online shop, Love Me Sew, which is due to go live in the next week or two (exciting!) – there are some super gorgeous fabrics…currently stocked up in my sewing room…it is almost the same as holding a plate of chocolate brownies infront of me and saying I can’t eat them!

Anywho, the finishing touch was obviously little baby’s name: Ethan, date of birth and weight.

Like I said I really enjoyed making this quilt as, other than the colour pallet, I was left to just get on and make it how I wanted…which is always nice.

And here is little Ethan…obviously loving his quilt!

Pinocchio and Robot.

There is always going to be new babies and, like my previous post, it’s lovely to give a gift that is personalised making it a little bit special.

Because I like to make items for people that are tailored to what they ask for but also made to suit the little person, I like them all to be a little different. While I’ve made a number of similar pandas and bibs before (they seem to be pretty popular), I am always asked to pop their name, date of birth and/or weight on their somewhere.

For a recent baby gift set that I made, there was the said popular panda and bib (still mega cute though), there was also a little laundry bag for baby’s little mits, booties and baby grows. As far as laundry bags go, they’re nothing special, so I thought I would jazz it up with of felt applique.

This [always my favourite] Japanese printed fabric, which I got from Etsy,  has little robots printed (as well as Pinocchio…cute!) so I decided to pick out the robot and use this as my applique shape. I used felt which I find really nice to work with, also adding a bit of a different texture to the fabric item. I finished off my robot by added some buttons for buttons.

Emily’s Quilt

Not me Emily! This was a quilt from one Emily to another; usually I am making things at the request of others but this was a project I wanted to do as a gift from me.

I wanted to make a quilt for my friend’s, Ellie and Mark, who were due to have a baby in January. I’d already previously made the baby quilt that is featured in the Cath Kidston ‘Sew’ book for my niece, Emma, which is lovely but wanted to do something a bit different.

Using bits from both the Cath Kidston ‘Sew’ book as well as ‘Material Obsession: Contemporary Quilt Design’ by Kathy Doughty and Sarah Fielke (my new favourite book!) I decided to combine the pattens and draw up my own…which took quite a lot of workings out!

One of my other reasons for not doing the Cath Kidston baby quilt was that it has little birds and elephants that need to be sew on by hand which I didn’t fancy as it is quite time consuming…so, instead, I decided to design a quilt which had way more hand sewing! (Go figure!) But, as I said in my previous post, once I set my mind on something I have to complete it!

My quilt had over 20 hearts and 48 mini hearts that all needed to be hand sewn! If this wasn’t enough, I wanted to use a quilting stitch (by hand!) around each of the hearts, as well as some embroidery in the centre part of the quilt.

Baby Emily arrived on 16th January 2012. Whilst I wanted to make the quilt girly using hearts and flowers, I tried to stay away from too much pink. I combined lots of lovely floral fabric in a whole range of colours and the result was perhaps a little crazier than I thought it would turn out!

I embroidered the very centre panel with Emily’s name, birth weight and birth date.

I’m happy with the finished product (I like crazy colours!) and I think this will suit little Emily as a baby, a little girl and even as a young teen. A lot of hard work, hours and love went into this little project and it is totally a pleasure; I met baby Emily just over a week ago and she is absolutely precious.

Unfortunately, I didn’t actually get the quilt finished for when I planned on visiting. I couldn’t go empty handed! So, as a temporary pressy, I quickly whipped up a little owl taggie, and posted the quilt a week later.