Milly, Molly, Mandy and Mo

28 Sep

As I said in my last blog on my ‘little girls’ I progressed from doing one quilt with dark skinned girls and one with light skinned girls to one with both.  It was obvious but it took me a lot of extra work to get to that point. It’s not that I don’t like making quilts. It must be patently obvious just from those on the blog – and they are only the tip of the iceberg, that either I enjoy making quilts or I am a serious masochist. I love the applique and finishing the quilt top. What I am not keen on is the actual quilting.

I have never progressed beyond ‘stitch in the ditch’ except during a brief foray into the world of the ‘Little Gracie’ quilt frame. On that I never progresssed beyond the twiddly twirly pattern, as shown in my original  Sunbonnet Blog, and got bored. I am however about to make a change there. I have booked onto a course on how to use the frame to its full potential. ( I think I was first in the queue) I am not sure that its potential is as high as I thought when I bought it but I am open to being converted. I think the fatal flaw is that unless you have a proper longarm machine as you progress the rolled quilt takes up too much of the throat space to allow a large area to work on. I am hoping for great things though and then maybe I will be able to be a bit more adventurous. Having said that a lot of my quilts lend themselves to stitch in the ditch so that the appliques can be seen better. Anyway, I’ll keep you posted. Maybe I can do as much for sales of Grace frames as I must have done for the Sunbonnet Sue books in my two modern interpretation of Sunbonnet Sue. (Here) and (here) in case you didn’t read them.

Enough of the chat. You are here to meet Milly, Molly, Mandy and Mo.

The first installment is called ”Toys at Bedtime’.

This is the rocking horse themed applique. A rather nice touch would be to use yarn for the horses tail. This would only be possible if making a wall hanging as it is better not to have too many loose bits for little fingers. A wall hanging would be very easy using one applique finished to the full framing stage or maybe even two or three up to the spotted stage with a plaid border round the whole lot for  a larger version. Fix a pocket on the back to take a piece of dowel and ‘hey presto’ one wall hanging. You could have a little group of them to match the quilt.

Rocking the Day Away

These figures are quite large ( I design on an A3 sheet.) so the scraps of fabric you would normally be able to use translate into at least a 10″ square for the dress fabric. The rest can be done with small pieces but it’s a good excuse to crack out the stash and use new fat quarters. I did that with the Sunbonnet patterns and found it quite liberating. Too long had I been rooting through my huge box of offcuts and scraps. I needed inspiration. Fat quarters are meant to be used. It is also quite refreshing to have bigger areas to work on especially if doing satin stitch applique as I do. There is of course no reason why these cannot be done using any hand applique stitch. Whatever you would normally use will translate in this pattern

Next I present the Jack-in-a-Box. On this one yarn could be used to enhance the pigtails and give them texture. Again, only if on a wall hanging which is why I didn’t use it on this quilt.

Jack-in-a- Box

The idea with this one was that she would look a bit scared as the Jack jumped out of the box. It depends on interpretaion and to some she may look scared and to some just a bored  teenager.  Anyway, the point is that you can change the expression by changing the angle of eye, eyebrow, mouth and body.  Also another chance to use some pretty material.

The next two are ready for bed. the first one has a hot water bottle and pyjamas and a rather large bear. I used my stretch stitch to draw ridges on the hot water bottle to make it a bit more realistic. Again, yarn could give texture to the hair. When I was experimenting I found some black knobbly wool which looked particularly good.

Time For Bed.

Last but not least is another pyjama clad little girl, this time with a teddy and blanket. That bear is really posing for his photo.The blanket round the hand is made up of two pieces to make it look as if it goes round the hand and is held. On this one I added eyelids to alter the expression. So much can be done just by altering the eyes. The direction of the pupils is especially effective as is adding eyelashes. If you are really into embroidery which I am not, you could embroider different shaped mouths too.

A Blue Blanket and a Pink Bear.

A picture of the full quilt. Hairstyles can be varied. As you can see just changing the placing of the pigtails changes the style quite a bit. You can now see what I mean about the wall hangings. If you were to make each picture sparately up to and including the plaid border, you would have very fetching wall hangings and all four would make a rather decorative set. they are quite an impressive size.

Toys Before Bedtime

When I saw this collection of fabric I had to have it. It goes together so well.

Some close up swatches.

Green Spot on Black

Blue Plaid

Yellow /Orange Swirl

That was Milly, Molly Mandy and Mo. I hope you enjoyed meeting them.

If you would like to have a go for yourself the pattern for the quilt can be bought from my website as can the fabrics featured and different colours of the same.


2 Responses to “Milly, Molly, Mandy and Mo”

  1. Anna September 30, 2011 at 1:10 pm #

    I’d love to know where your course is on using your quilting frame. I am struggling with mine and would like to find a course too to help me use it to its full potential.

    Thanks a lot

    Beautiful applique by the way.


  2. quiltaholic September 30, 2011 at 2:19 pm #

    For anyone interested the Grace Frame courses are at the Cotton Patch in Hall Green Birmingham. Look under ‘classes’ on the home page.
    The courses are new and the first couple are booked up but they have added two more in November. It is a whole day course and the fee seems reasonable.

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