Thursday, 29 September 2016

Groovy Movers for Oliver

I have finished another baby quilt!
This time a commission one for Oliver born on 12th September.

My friend wanted the baby's name on the front and as it was a last minute request I made a fairly simple design using some already-made crumb blocks alternately arranged with 4" squares of various coordinating fabrics.

A few weeks ago one of the Quilt shops which emails me had a sale of some children-type fabrics and I bought 3 metres of several of them to use mostly as backing fabrics. One was a lovely robot fabric, depicting some great funky robots with amusing expressions.

Here's the finished quilt:

As you can see I used the robot fabric for the borders and the backing.

The quilt measures 32" x 38".
The title "Groovy Movers" was an idea suggested by my Patchwork Group.  One of member's son's removal business is called "Groovy Movers' and the dancing robots reminded them of this name.

A close up of some of the blocks:
I mostly machine quilted this quilt, hand blanket stitched the appliqued letters and stars and hand quilted around them.
This quilt was really fun to make, quick to put together and I am pleased with the  result.  The robots really make me want to smile.

Monday, 26 September 2016

Look what I found

This afternoon I decided to sort out the cupboard where I keep Finished and Unfinished projects plus yarn, some batting etc.  Only way to do this is to get everything out and spread out on the floor.

Here are the quilts ready to gift for the next few babies (as yet unknown!)
1.  Finished Fairy Lights Quilt completed in October 2014.
2.  Two latest Baby Girl finished quilts:
3. Applique Overall Bill and Fish quilt from September 2006 entitled "Little Boy Fishing".
4. Crochet baby rug made in December 2014
5. Two knitted Premature baby hats:
There was the lovely lap sized quilt that I won in a Raffle at a Quilt Show in New Zealand back in January:

I am going to keep this on hand in the room that my granddaughter has at our house. She loves wrapping herself in a quilt to read and watch TV so it will be nice for her to have a choice of quilts for her "down time".

Then an unfinished Sampler Quilt which I am ashamed to say goes back to the very first project I started back in September 1997 when I began my Quilting Journey.  The Group I joined  (and still VERY happily a member of) was learning how to make a Sampler Quilt.  So I joined in too, making the demonstrated block each week.  They were made as QAYG blocks.  I managed the blocks very well but found it very difficult to join them together.  By then I had fallen out of love with my colour choices, they looked fairly uninspiring to me by this stage and the project was hidden away in a bag in the cupboard.  In fact over the past 19 years it has lived in several cupboards in my house!  It probably wouldn't take me too long to finish this quilt but I still can't summon up much enthusiasm.
It would probably be a good one to finish for Siblings Together.  We'll see. For the moment it has been put back in the cupboard.  Poor quilt!

Here are some of the strips:

There were also several packs of completed blocks which really should be sewn up into quilts  .....  again for Siblings Together?  Another "We'll see"!

And then, a most exciting find! A partly completed Spider web Quilt:

My Patchwork Group decided to make a quilt for Sarah, one of our members. Several people had not seen this style of quilt before so I made some blocks showing various stages to talk people through how to make them.  Once the demonstration was over those blocks got put away and eventually out they came again ( following another of my Sort Outs, I guess) back in November 2015 when I decided to participate in Jo's Country Junction UFO Challenge. 
Well the quilt got to the stage shown in the photograph above: several of the blocks already hand quilted in Perle thread and then somehow got forgotten about.
I was really thrilled to find this quilt - I had completely forgotten about it - and my intention is to finish it once the two baby boy quilts I am currently working on are finished.  Then I will put it on our granddaughter's bed at our house.
There's also an unfinished tote bag which again wouldn't take me long to complete and could perhaps be a Christmas gift.
I have enjoyed finding these UFOs and hope to show you some finishes in the not too distant future.  Of course there are other UFOs lurking in other drawers in my Sewing Room but I don't think I'll investigate those today!!


Saturday, 24 September 2016

Pink Penguin bag

A couple of years ago my quilting friend Sarah introduced our Patchwork Group to a lovely reversible drawstring bag. It measures 8.5" tall by 7.5" wide and is really useful for carrying sewing threads, needle cases, scissors etc to class.  Sarah has made each member of our group one of these bags as birthday gifts. It's quite amusing to look  around the room at our Patchwork meetings and see everyone's pretty bag being used. Because they are made from scraps each one is different.

I have made several - including one each for my husband and me to keep our various battery chargers safe in one place. So handy when we are packing for travelling, just pick up the bag of battery chargers and pop into the luggage.  No more hunting around the house for chargers!

With this in mind I decided to make one for my good friend Judy.  It's her birthday next week and as she is forever dashing around the country looking after various members of the family I thought a Battery charger bag might be useful. 
You can find the excellent Tutorial on Pink Penguin"s blog: Click on the Tutorials button and then on Reversible Drawstring bag.

Everything came from stash, the buttons from my button box.  I was very pleased to find the pair of small yellow flower buttons which I sewed on the ends of the drawstrings.  The lining is made from one of the FQs in a pack which was a gift from another Patchwork friend Ruth. Funnily enough a few days previously I cut some patches from another FQ in this pack, for another commission Baby Boy quilt I am currently working on.

Here's the bag:



I used 32 x 2.5" squares from my scrap stash and next day added another 12 back into stash.
On Thursday I was gifted a bag of scraps, mostly strips which went immediately into my Scrap Strips Stash bags and other odd shaped scraps were cut into various sizes of squares and strips and the small odd shaped leftovers went into my Crumb blocks stash.  Nothing ever goes to waste here!!

Wednesday, 21 September 2016

Ticker Tape quilt

I have been having fun making a Doll Quilt using the "Ticker Tape Quilt" idea which I found a few years ago on Amanda Jean's Crazy mom quilts blog.

I made three of these little quilts back in 2010 and 2011 and decided it was time to revisit this quilt design. In about a month's time our next door neighbours will have a new grandchild. I will gift a quilt to the new baby but I also thought I would make a Doll Quilt for Big Sister Eadie.

Here it is:

The background is a lovely piece of white Egyptian cotton.  The last couple of years I have bought bundles of these offcuts at The Festival of Quilts.  Very good value as the bundles contain lots of useful strips as well as larger pieces of high quality fabric. I imagine they are offcuts from making bed linens.  This year they also had cream bundles so I now have one of those tucked away in my stash. Very useful for sashing and backgrounds for applique blocks such as the Sunbonnet Sues I use in Baby Quilts.
I have used a variety of patches, some novelty fabrics and a few spots, flowers and so on.

Another larger piece of fabric I have had in my stash for years made a pretty backing:

The binding was already made, a piece left over from a recent Baby Quilt finish.
The finished quilt measures 15" x 20".
I am really pleased with it. Like the last Ticker Tape quilt I made I used a zigzag stitch to attach the patches.  Amanda Jean's tutorial uses a straight stitch near the edges of the patches but I think the zigzag stitch makes a better finish.

Friday, 16 September 2016

Adding to my stash

Over the last couple of weeks I have been hand quilting a Bonnie Hunter 'Wonky Wishes' style quilt. 
I made a very similar one last year which was gifted to my step granddaughter's baby girl Ella. 
It was so well received - many photos of Ella show her lying on the quilt, gazing at the colours and trying to touch the different patches - and I so enjoyed making it that I decided to make another.
I finally finished it the day I discovered the new baby( mentioned in yesterday's post) had been born and was a boy. So this quilt would not be suitable for Tommy and into my Finished baby quilts stash it will go!

When I first discovered this particular Bonnie Hunter design it was a Free Pattern on her website.
Now, however, it is a pattern you buy through her Shop, just click on the tab at the top of her blog page ( It currently costs $10 US.
I have called the quilt "Girly Stars" but I expect it will get another name when it is finally gifted.
As you can see there are 4 stars to every block.
Using 12 blocks plus sashing and borders as I have done makes a large quilt, 40" x 54", so it can be used for years: initially as a playmat/for cuddling the baby and then is large enough to be used as a topper on baby's first bed.
However, when I make it again (I already have some Baby Boy stars made up) I think I will just use 9 blocks which will make a Baby Quilt more the size I normally make.

The pink sashing and border is a Kona solids fabric, cut at 2.5" and cornerstones are from scraps of  a Riley Blake Owl fabric.  The original large piece has been used in a lot of projects over the last 2 or 3 years and I literally only have scraps left. These cornerstones were already cut to size, stashed in my 2.5" squares box.  In fact, all the squares used in this quilt came from that box - the only fabric cutting required was for the sashing and borders. This is a tip I picked up from Bonnie Hunter's Scrap busting System.
Lots of hand quilting with Perle cotton in this quilt.  My choice as I like hand quilting and I think the double row of stitches around each star make them stand out from the background. Bonnie Hunter machine quilts most of her quilts on a long arm so her finished Wonky Wishes is a little different from my finished look.

Linking up to Mrs Sew & Sow's Scraptastic Tuesday Link Up.

I am now working on another Commission quilt. The baby was born this week so  know I am making another Boy Quilt.  Such fun!

Thursday, 15 September 2016

Another quilt for New Zealand

I was delighted to hear that Libby Rose's quilt arrived safely in New Zealand.  Everyone loves it and I hope Libby Rose uses it a lot.

Another New Zealand neighbour emailed us on Sunday to tell us that their 7th grandchild had been born. Last year I made a quilt for the elder brother Max and now I needed another boy quilt for new baby Tommy.  The last two quilts I have made are definitely "girly" quilts but I already have two Boy Quilts in the cupboard which I made last year. It always pays to have a stash of completed baby quilts.

Last night I finished the hand embroidered label and so now I am going to parcel it up and take it to the Post Office and send it on its way to NZ.  Tommy and his family actually live in South Africa but as Granny is flying from NZ to South Africa in a month's time I am sending the quilt to her and she will take it out for me.  We have decided that's a better way than sending directly to SA - I don't think the post is always reliable.

So here is the quilt which I called "Elephants on Parade":

And in an hour or so it will be on its very long journey:  UK to NZ to SA!
Travel well little elephants!

Saturday, 3 September 2016

Another finish!

I have been working on 4 baby quilts in order to have a stash ready for the 3 babies that are due in the next couple of months.

At the beginning of the week we received the news that New Zealand friends Anna and Tony became grandparents on 14th August when Libby Rose made her way into the world.  Always lovely news to receive!

Initially we didn't know whether the baby was going to be a boy or girl but one of the 4 quilts I was making was very pink and girly and I had earmarked it for this NZ baby should she be a girl.  I had already quilted it up to the space I had left at the top for the appliqued name.  So this week I have added both names - Libby Rose - and also another border of the candy striped border fabric.  I realised once the letters were in place that it needed another border to look balanced.  Fortunately I had plenty of fabric left and more than enough batting and backing at the top for another border to be added. Phew!!!

The quilt is loosely based on a quilt called "Flowery Applique Quilt", a Lynne Edwards' design from her book called 'Making Scrap Quilts to Use it Up!".  However I have substituted my favourite Sun Bonnet Sues for the flower clusters and also put a simplified flower in some of the appliqued blocks, alternating with Nine Patch blocks.

I think this quilt will be well received by baby's Mum and Dad as it's a very traditional design and Shelley and Anthony appear to be a traditional couple.  We had an emailed photo of the baby all dressed in knitted garments made by Nana Anna. Gorgeous!

Now it is bound and finished and I have embroidered the label for the back of the quilt.
On Monday I will take it to the Post Office and send it on its way to NZ.  I could have posted it today but didn't fancy the idea of it being held in some Sorting Office waiting for Monday. I am always nervous until I know my quilts have arrived safely.

In view of the candy striped border fabrics I have called this quilt "Sugar Candy", just right for a sweet little baby girl.

And a couple of close-ups:

Everything used in this quilt came from stash including the pretty backing fabric which has been in my backings drawer for years. Every time I have tried to use it the fabric just didn't seem quite right but this time it was.  :

I love the cute little red cat faces dotted around the fabric:

And I have a small piece left to include in patches in future girly baby quilts.
Happy sewing!