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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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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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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Little Lavender Bags

Lavender bags are quite simple little gifts to make, but everyone seams to love them!

I made a few before Christmas to give as gifts, but instead of just two pieces of fabric sewed together and stuffed with some dried lavender, I decided to jazz them up a bit with some decoration.

My 90 year old nan is so hard to buy a present for as she just tells us she doesn’t want anything…not even chocolates (because she is ‘trying to be good’! If you can’t be naughty at 90, when can you be?). Really, I know she appreciates anything we give her, and I like to try to make as many things as possible so knew she would appreciate a these little hand-made gifts…

I got this cute cross stitch pattern (plus threads) free in one of my issues of Mollie Makes magazine. It took me about three hours to do (in a one’er) whilst I was watching Children in Need back in November, which I then trimmed with cream crochet trim, and stitched onto some lovely pale pink and white spot cotton linen fabric (Seasonal Supplies shop via Etsy). I edged the design with a hand-sewn running stitch and embroidery thread. After sewing the little bag together as normal, filling with dried lavender, I finished it off with a ribbon loop and cute button.

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I also made a matching bookmark with my nan’s (Mary) initial.

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As this was such a hit with my mum, I thought I would make her (and my Aunty) some lavender bags as little additions to their presents. Only I couldn’t decide on a design so I made many and thought the extras would make handy little gifts ready for friends and family birthdays throughout the year…

The entire collection (times four of each)…errr yeah I got a bit carried away with my free-hand machine appliqué!

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Aunty Shirley got the little pink houses (far right), whilst Aunty Elaine got the cherries…

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My mum got the brollies (only she saw a ‘J’ for Joyce…err yeah mum, that’s what it’s supposed to be!)

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The blue flowers are my favourite (may keep these for myself to hang in my wardrobe)…

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These make great little inexpensive gifts as you can make them as big or small as your fabric allows; you can even use up fabric left-overs for both the bags and decoration.

Annabelle’s Book

You may have seen the post I published a few weeks back featuring Toby’s picture book – well this is similar; another picture book only this time for a little girl.

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Annabelle, my friend Jane’s little baby, was 1 year old at the beginning of December (how time flies…it only seems like five minutes ago since I made her quilt for when she was born!). I actually started this picture book at the same time as Toby’s (back in September) but it got put on hold for a few weeks due to my Christmas stocking demand!

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I used a combination of pink and yellow fabrics for the pages and, again, like Toby’s I wanted to include a mixture of pictures and quotes, made up of different textures: hand-sewn embroidery, free-hand machine appliqué, regular appliqué, and with both fabric, felt and buttons.

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I decorated the front with Annabelle’s name and a little appliqué pic of a girl in a strawberry outfit (as Annabelle had one of these a few months back!).

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One to come out on her 18th birthday…

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