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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Jesse’s handmade gifts

Those who know me know I am partial to a hand made item. Being a crafter myself I know how much work, time and effort, is put into creating something unique for someone – and this makes it more special to receive.

When Jesse was born, and even now, a few months on, we have receive so many gorgeous hand made gifts, it would be rude of me not to share …(and give a shout out to those so generous).

Appliqué vests and softie from Laura F (who is currently due her baby – I’ll have to come up with something good in return!)

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Audrey (mum and ‘commissionee‘ of my friend Laura D) – who is probably one of the world’s greatest and fastest knitter, who can turn her needles to anything including this cosy teal sleeping bag with wooden buttons.

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Gorgeous patchwork blanket from Linda, whose quilting talent I can only aspire to.

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Oh so beautiful and intricate knitted shawl from my Aunty Shirley – can you believe this was made by hand…just wow!

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Mini knitted baseball boots…cuuuuttttee! (again thank you Aunty S).

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Appliqué elephant card from new mum and fellow crafter Lou. This is getting framed and mounted on Jesse’s bedroom wall.

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Winnie the Pooh quote print personalised with Jesse’s name and date of birth, created by Jane, another piece of wall candy.

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More gorgeous knitted goodies – a mountain of cardies and jumpers (and hats and booties) from my Aunty Maureen. So beautiful and with a quality no shop could match. And, a range of sizes to last him many months…yeay – he’s certainly going to be the smartest boy in town!

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Colourful taggie from Helen – LOVE this fabric and super colourful which Jesse finds extremely attractive. This has some many different and interesting tags – satin ribbons, canvas tags, buttons and jumbo ric rac – for Jesse to feel (and chew on!).

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A big thank you from myself and Jesse for these gorgeous gifts; they’ve also given me inspiration for gifts I’m sure to be making in the future!

 

Baby Bunting

So my stats show that the most searched for word on my blog is ‘bunting’. While it seams bunting has been top of the popularity scale for a few years now, there is no sign of it dropping.

And rightly so! It’s cute; adds instant glam and colour to any room or party; it can be decorated or personalised in so many ways; makes a great personal (and affordable!) gift; can be customised for the season, holiday, event or person, can be reused (and so has the ‘green’ factor)…in fact, there are not many reasons to dislike the good ‘ol bunting banners.

My wedding bunting has certainly been well used by friends, family, and friends of friends for various occasions!

Personalised baby bunting is what I make most of; I make it bespoke to colour or theme of baby’s nursery and often get asked to add special details such as weight and date of birth.

Here are just a couple I’ve made recently…

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This bunting was to match with some jungle stickers from JoJo Maman Bebe that had been used to decorate baby Stanley’s nursery. So the fabrics are relatively simple (spots, stripes etc) but all tie in with the colour theme, plus with the addition of a couple of felt appliqué monkeys…

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Jungle themes seem to be pretty popular; Mahli’s bunting was also to be jungle themed and fitting with a pink, green, yellow colour theme, and include some polka dots; I found this Urban Zoologie range of Robert Kaufman from Plush Addict that fitted the brief perfectly.

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Thalia’s bunting was to be similar (but not the same) to Lucia’s bunting; Thalia’s older sister who was born in 2012.

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I think I can say with confidence that my baby will get some bunting!

Toby’s Picture Book

I made this little picture book for my friend Sam’s little boy Toby, for his first birthday. I always think it’s nice to give something special for a first birthday and this project was certainly a labour of love.

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Initially, I thought this project, whilst a nice gift, would be relatively simple and straight forward, which in practice it could have been! But oh no, I seem to get these ideas popping up in my head as I’m going along and as soon as I’ve thought of them, I have to do it otherwise I feel like I’m cheating or cutting corners! So what could have been a quick project, turned out to be quite a task…but totally worth it! I love how it turned out and feel pretty proud of the end result. Toby and his mum and dad loved it too.

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To start, like most of my more detailed projects, I like to draw them out to make sure the layout and design looks right (and the keep referring to so I don’t forget what I’m doing along the way!)

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I chose six different printed fabrics, all in nice bright colours but with subtle prints, nothing to detailed to loose the picture amongst.

Each fabric was to make up in total ten pages in the book plus the front and back cover.

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I wanted each page to be pretty, with a fun picture for Toby to look at and use for learning objects, but I also wanted to put a little bit of meaning behind the pictures so I decided to use some nice quotes and phrases that were relevant.

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Some quotes I choose after the object e.g. To my sailing boat, I found a nice lyric from a Van Morrison song ‘Into the Mystic’ which fitted well: ‘Smell the sea and feel the sky, let your soul and spirit fly. Plus Anth (Toby’s dad) is a big music fan so that added something else a little special.

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Other quotes I choose before I’d decided on a picture, so then came up with an image that worked; so I wanted to use that old familiar rhyme for little boys: ‘Frogs, snails and puppy dog tails’ to which I added an appliqué dog.

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To make the book more interesting for Toby to look at and touch, I used a mixture of fabric, felt; both regular appliqué and also free-hand machine appliqué, hand-embroidered letters, and buttons.

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Once all the pages were designed, the putting together part was easy! Each page has a piece of wadding between the layers to make it nice and padded.

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I finished the book by adding a ‘Happy 1st Birthday’ to the back cover, edged the covers with a running stitch and added a button and ribbon for the closing.

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I currently have another on the go for a little lady’s first birthday in December and, the way time is flying, I best get cracking…