Tag Archives: baby Bag

Branching Out With Butterflies.

20 Jan

I have repurposed one of my quilt kits to give it a new focus.

I have taken my mixture of butterflies and fossil ferns and transformed it from this single bed quilt.

Butterfly quilts

To these combinations of cot quilt and baby bag.



IMG_0152 (3)


The fabrics are still amongst the prettiest I have seen in the years I have been quilting and this way there is no need to lose out just because you don’t need a single bed quilt. There seems to be a steadily growing if  imported trend for baby showers. What better than a set for travelling. You won’t get one of those at Mothercare and there is little chance of anyone giving the identical gift.

The only problem might be actually giving it away.


Jeremy Fisher and Friends and Another Vanquished UFO.

21 Jul

This week I have been finishing a quilt based on frog fabric. I actually bought the fabric in  a shop in Trinidad. There’s a bit of name dropping for you. Before you go  green with envy, we went at Easter and it was closed. The only highlight was the revolving restaurant at the top of the hotel. It was a good job we went as there were not too many other people there.

As I finished it I realised that it wasn’t the only frog related item I had made over the years. I once made a quilt and matching bag based on the Peter Rabbit stories. As it wasn’t needed after all I still have it so I took a picture of the Jeremy Fisher alphabet block in faux cross stitch.

Also on the matching bag in normal stitching.

I also, at some time made a couple of frog characters when my Daughters were small. I don’t think anybody actually used them for anything but I haven’t got as far as the charity shop with them yet.

With the quilt as background.

Relaxing on the day bed.

He looks a bit miserable.

This one looks startled.



I also did some embroideries for a ‘Rainforest’ quilt that  I never somehow got round to. He is particularly fine.

Now for the purpose of the blog – the quilt.

As you can see it is a very easy pattern. Each small square is 2″ (2.5″ before seams) making 10″ finished and each frog square is also 10″ . The border of each square is either 2″ (2.5″) strips or 2″ (2.5″) squares. Add  2″, 1″ and 4″ borders and bind. How much easier could it be. As long as you watch your seam widths and match the seams it cannot fail to look good.

I think I may be getting the hang of the quilting frame. The size  of quiltable quilt on the frame at any one time is still frustrating but at least I can do a good job as long as I plan it. There are times though when I would love to do a really big design. Not,I fear something that will happen in the absence of a win on some game of chance. I don’t think I’ll hold my breath blue in the face not being an attractive look.

See this tip on one of my other posts for the ‘how to’ on seams.

I had occasion to make a wedding  anniversary card this week. If you are interested the embroidery comes from Emblibrary.com. under ‘Tweets’. There are lots of different ones. You need to scroll down about 5 designs then you will find all the different tweets. There are patriotic ones, boy scout ones, golf ones, birthday ones etc etc etc. As usual the digitising is faultless.

I decided to change all 15 needles on my embroidery machine yesterday. They didn’t appear to be a problem but some of them had been in rather a long time so I didn’t think it could harm. I was quite impressed with myself. They are usually a pain but once I had loosened the screws I managed to get them all in without a hassle. The reason they are a pain is that the shanks are round so could go in any way except that they can’t or they don’t work. The difference between front and back is obvious if you can see the thing but bionic sight would be an advantage. The screws were the problem. I had been working on the basis ‘if it ain’t broke don’t fix it’ but the tightness of some of the screws made it obvious they should have been changed before. Still, hopefully they should be fine for a while now. After all who needs a working wrist.

Year of the Dragon

24 Jan

Technically my Year of the Dragon was last year. If you read my blog you will know that a part of 2011 was taken up with the making of two dragon quilts. I used the applique one as a tutorial. and also    and also.  I also did an embroidered one in this post.

As you can see that could qualify 2011 as my dragon year. However, I am presently binding both these quilts and one of them is a present for a new baby to be born this year. I did not know that 2012 was to be the year of the dragon but how appropriate is that. I also made a matching bag for baby katundu.

I have been struggling with my Grace frame to do the quilting but this one turned out quite well.I decided not to get too ambitious so I did a bit of random meandering round each dragon and then finished off with stitch in the ditch as it looked a bit unfinished. If I don’t look too hard it looks a bit like flames surrounding the dragons.

A few closeups.

To finish it all off I made a label using one of the dragons I hadn’t used on the quilt.

Also a card to match.

If you have a Grace frame I have a few pictures to show you how it’s done. First Load the backing on to the top rail right side down.

Then roll the top onto the third rail right side up.

The wadding comes up between the rails and lies on top of the backing. The top is then pulled up and pinned on to the wadding to be rolled on to the top rail.

You now have a flat sandwich to work on.

Each layer is moved on ratcheted poles.

The other quilt was appliqued using a pattern from the same place as the embroideries. The Quiltery.

So I have finally finished the dragon quilts. Now the UFOs. they depend on the frame and the stitch controller went haywire just before I finished for the day today. Tomorrow I have to try and sort it out. Happy days. Don’t you just love technology.

Just When You Think It’s Safe…..

4 Dec

I do believe it’s those darned dragons again. Just a quick post to show completion of a project.

If you have read my previous posts  and also you will remember I made two quilts with dragons – one embroidered and one appliqued.

The finished top

Having  made the quilts I decided to make a bag to match. Here are all the various bits ready to assemble. I quilted the front and back panels with the embroideries and chose two different coloured fabrics to match the embroideries too.

Front – or is it back.

Back or is it front.

I have found that this style of bag is ideal for all sorts of activities. Both Daughters use them for dance shoes and sundries. I use one when I venture out to the shops. As this one matches the quilt it will probably be a bag for baby acoutrements. I have been known to embroider a bale of towels to match a bag for Daughters to take on dance weekenders. This makes a very impressive present whilst not costing the earth.

Now to decide which quilt to put with this one.

The Seas Were Made of Ink

5 Nov

I’ve given up on the printing. I finished yesterday with black fingers and a dirty desk. Something to do with breaking the habit of a lifetime , buying compatible cartridges and expecting them to behave like proper ones. Hey ho, that’s life. I have sent them back as instructed so if you’re in the pub/cafe and you see someone with inky fingers astound him/her by asking if he/she is a postman/woman. (Political correctness can play havoc with the typing fingers.)

Having finished my appliqué dragon quilt top – yes I know I still have to quilt it – I have embarked on an embroidered version. I was very impressed with the quality of the embroideries and so I have decided to make a quilt  and lots of accessories. I will keep you posted with the progress.

Here are the embroideries.  I am making a baby quilted mat  and, I thought a matching bag for all the katundu babies need on their travels. I am going with gold, mauve and purple as a cross section from the embroideries.

This is the fabric I will use for sashing.

I did one of these sets using Beatrix Potter characters and was pleased to find that some of my fabric collection matched the embroidery threads perfectly. Having matching  colours pulls it all together.

As with appliqué I started with the fabric a couple of inches bigger than I wanted it finished thus allowing the fabric area to shrink a little during embroidering.This is particularly likely to happen with an embroidery with a large amount of stitches per inch. There is nothing worse than doing a perfect embroidery and then finding the fabric is now too small or distorted and needs straightening up but there is not enough fabric.

Digitising is another thing I would like to do but meanwhile I just admire the beautifully competent embroideries that some  companies and individuals produce. It has also to be said that there are also some who are perhaps not so good. Most online sites supply free trial embroideries so that you can see the quality of their digitising. That way you at least get an idea of the standard.

Always use a reasonable thickness of stabiliser on the back. I was taught to use two pieces on top of each other, twisting one at rightangles to the other so that the grain goes in two directions. Makes it more stable I guess although I was told to do it by someone who knows so I do it. Experimentation is good for the soul but I work on the principle of ‘He who dares often comes a cropper’ so sometimes I go the tried and tested route.

As with applique I use a bobbin thread unless I am doing freestanding lace in which case I have been known to wind the same thread top and bottom. I am experimenting with coloured bobbin threads for applique and I have a feeling I might start to use those for FSL in time. However, with most embroideries I use white bobbin thread.

Everybody’s embroidery machine will be different so you need to read the manual and experiment. If you are using a machine that  also does other stitches you may need to drop the top tension  as in satin stitch appliqué described on my other blogs – this one  and this one . If it is a dedicated embroidery machine then you will probably know it’s habits. It may still need some adjustment though. Like people, just when you think you know them they do something totally unexpected an ruin your day.

Preferably try out the embroidery on something other than the piece you are planning to give as a present or enter into a competition.  That way, if it needs adjusting it can be done without spoiling anything important. Have you ever tried to unpick a digitised embroidery. I have and take it from me it is a pain. No point in having a nervous breakdown when a bit of patience would have prevented it.

The sashing is attached.

Next stage the borders. These are a bit easier as the fabric I used for the embroideries is thicker than the sashing so it wasn’t as easy to attach especially as I use an overlocker whuch is not as easy to control as a standard machine and once it has chopped off the seam edge your personal dictionary suddenly has more words than you realised so care is the order of the day. The borders, being the same as the sashing are easier to deal with.

The finished Top.

Now I just have to quilt it.