Tag Archives: Baby quilt

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.

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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.

If You Go Down In The Woods Today

14 Jun

I am back with further admiration for Sue Box Designs.

I refuse to go through the hassle of stitching badly digitised embroideries and so I tend to stay with the designers I know never come into this category and she never seems to sell a bad design.

I bought some of her Timeless Teddy designs when there was a not to be missed deal on some months ago.  When I was looking to make a baby quilt they were the obvious ones to use.

I had never made a triple Irish Chain design quilt so I thought I would have a go. Unfortunately my first attempt ended up with a rather long, thin quilt but I solved this problem by making it into two square quilts, eminently suitable for protecting both floor and baby. I think floor quilts for babies are a very sensible idea. We never wear shoes in our house yet the carpets still need cleaning from time to time and as for houses with dogs, well what can I say?

Obviously serendipity.

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The thing that always strikes me with her designs is that the original artwork is superb. However, the detail in the artwork must make for a lot of work in the digitising.

If you want to try out her designs there are lots of free ones on this link.   If  you want to try out a particular collection before buying each collection has a free sample.  The one for the teddies is the last one I posted above.

If you fancy making a triple irish chain google it. There are lots out there but this one is easy to understand.

 

 

Sunbonnet Sue Strikes Again.

7 Jun

For someone who purports not to like Sunbonnet Sue I am again showing signs of inadvertent addiction. I once made two bags using free Sue and Sam patterns from The Quiltery. Later I joined their pattern club when it was a very reasonable price and two of the downloads were the same Sue and Sam but more of them. (see this link).

So far I have appliqued ten blocks to make two quilts. They are fun and easy to do and I think they turned out well.

See what you think.

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Anyway I am working on the rest of the top in my dungeon so pop back another day if you would like to see the results. I’m on a roll so it shouldn’t take too long. After all housework is not good for the soul, only the conscience.

I used the fabric I dyed myself and put into a blog last year.   I find it much easier to get variations whilst tying colours together using a fabric with lots of shades and patterns in different densities.

 

They also do matching embroideries. (see this link.)

Here is one I did earlier.

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Dyeing to Show You

15 Feb

If you read my last blog you will have seen my first attempts at dyeing fabric. Since then I can’t stop myself. I have dyed a fabric in every colour I bought and some in more than one. Behold.

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I have also started using them in my applique.

This one makes for rather a busy background but you can’t deny it’s colourful.

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You may remember I used some similar fabric in a quilt I made featuring dragons. In fact it was this fabric that started the interest in dyeing my own.

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close up of fabrics.

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In case you were wondering about the clowns, they are from my new quilt pattern. It will be published as soon as I get the time to sort out the printing.

Here’s a preview.

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Sock It To The Baby

12 Oct

As promised in my last blog , herewith pictures of the quilt with the girl sock monkeys. Both quilts come from appliques demonstrated in the blog before that. I divided them into two quilts. These links have links to the original digitising pages.

I decided to keep this one simple too. The appliques have enough character and a design that was too complicated might take away from them. I stayed with plain 2.5″ strips and used the leftover bits for the second border and binding. ‘Waste not, want not’ as my Mother never used to say. It is also nice and bright as only parents like pastels. Babies like bright, stimulating colours. For those that hate matching seams there are a lot less of those to contend with too.

To finish it off –  the label for the girl’s quilt from another Designs by Juju design.

The label for the boy’s quilt.

If you compare the boy’s quilt you will see that it is possible to get two entirely different quilts from the same basic designs.

 

Monkeys From The Emerald Isle.

6 Oct

I decided to divide the monkeys from my last blog into two sets, boys and girls. Conveniently there are six of each. With the first one I decided to do a variation on an Irish Chain.  If you want to do a traditional tried and tested one see this link for methods .

The link above shows you how to do three different Irish Chains – single,

Double,

Triple.

Mine used 10″ monkey blocks (cut 10.5″) and 2″” squares (cut 2.5″).

Note if you are changing the size to suit your blocks – you need to start and finish with the same row. e.g the blue one above starts with two plain and three nine patch on the first row and the last row is the same. If you don’t do that the pattern will not be complete. The same goes for the patterns across. Symmetry is the key to success. As I had 6 boy and 6 girl appliques I had to do another one as I needed 7. Rows 1, 3 and 5  – 1 applique, rows 2 and 4 -2 appliques. I chose one from the jumbo summer collection as the nearest thing to a baby. He looks as if he is wearing a babygro.

Over all I was quite pleased with the result . I have done a different but still simple version for the girls. . The appliques have enough character of their own to carry the quilt.

Introducing the boys.

Here’s the extra little chap.

Here is the centrepiece.

And again.

Some more quilted monkeys.

The label using one of the plain embroideries in a small size.

I have finished the girl quilt too but you will have to wait a while before I show you.

Now – Designs by Juju have brought out a sock monkey applique alphabet. There is no hope for me. I have lots of ideas on using this so watch this space.

More Treasures from the Sock Drawer

30 Sep

I spent the afternoon flicking my wrists trying to dislodge fragments of fabric from my finger ends.  That is what you get when you decide to do a bit of digitised machine applique . However, it uses up the bits of fabric I can never quite throw away and the results are very pleasing. I have various collections of Sock Monkey applique designs from Designs by Juju but the first one I am trying is the jumbo baby collection. I like the fact that the Juju designs get all the fabric bits out of the way at the beginning so that once that is done the embroidery can be left to its own devices. A plus if, like most embroiderers your machine only has one needle is that, because the fabric is all placed at the beginning the first 10 or so stages can all be done with the same colour in the needle which means you don’t have to keep re-threading it. The satin stitch is digitised to do each colour in one hit too which is another plus.

In case you have not done this type of embroidery I should explain that the reason for my sticky fingers was spray glue. It is the easiest way to hold the scraps of fabric in place whilst the machine stitches over them. You can buy a temporary glue that stays sticky just long enough to do the job of holding the fabric in place. You can also buy a special glue stick if you don’t want gluey surfaces. Lots of paper on surfaces and spraying well away from any machinery are also to be recommended.

I spread A3 sheets of paper over the table on which I am going to  do the glueing. This has the added advantage that no wiping is required and the paper can be folded up and disposed of and a fresh sheet put down when it gets too sticky. Butchers paper or brown paper would also work but I would think the print on newspaper might be a problem.

This is going to be a fairly basic tutorial so experts feel free to skip to the pictures.

If you like the idea of the sock monkeys but not the sticky bit then Juju does straight embroideries too.  Here is one of them.

They are well digitised and stitch out perfectly.

Here is a link to some of the embroideries. Otherwise just put ‘sock monkeys’ in the search on the home page and there are a raft of them.

Back to the applique. The designs come in different sizes, usually two different ones with each download. For this tutorial I am using the ‘Jumbo’ designs that come in 6″ x 10″ and 8″ x 8″.    I am using 8″ x 8″ as it ends up the largest and if I’m doing jumbo I might as well go the whole hog.

First I downloaded each design onto the software on my computer and sent it to the machine. I then called up the design sheet which prints out the actual size of the finished design. This allows me to use it as a template from which to trace all the relevant pieces for the design. I have a light box which makes life easier.

The colour charts that come with the designs only show the stitching so I found it useful to print off the pictures of the finished appliques from the web site so that I could see where fabric was needed.

Digitised appliques start with a line stitched round the area where the first piece of fabric is to be laid down. This line is visible on the pattern printout so I used this to trace the shape of the pieces to be cut from fabric. I traced each piece and cut it out close to the line but making sure there was enough to be caught under the satin stitch when it was stitched. These designs have a nice wide stitch which helps.

Always use  stabiliser under the fabric.  I used two layers of medium weight tearaway stabiliser and hooped it with the fabric and the designs stitched perfectly on patchwork weight cotton fabric.

Before hooping I find the centre of the fabric so that it can be centred  on the machine. If you cannot choose where the hoop sits on your machine you have at least some indication of where the centre is so that you can get it as near the correct position as possible whilst hooping.. You can of course just use a very large piece of fabric but that’s a bit extravagant, fabric prices being what they are these days. I marked it with a pin but unless you want to damage the needle if not the machine, remember to remove it before setting the machine going. You could use a faint pencil or fading marker mark instead if you do not like living dangerously.

The design first stitches a line to show where the first piece of  fabric goes. Cut the piece slightly bigger than the template traced from the design printout. Spray with temporary spray glue to hold it in place and press gently  on to the marked area.

The second stage then tacks it down. With these designs this is repeated until all the fabric is tacked down ready for the satin stitch.

If you need to trim the fabric use a pair of very sharp scissors. If you do the trimming as each piece is added you just need to trim it close the the line. If you wait until the end you risk cutting the satin stitch.  You really don’t want to do that after all the work you have put into the embroidery, especially if you have a single needle machine and have had to rethread the needle many times.It is worth investing in a pair of special applique scissors. They have one blade shaped like a pelican’s beak that keeps the  blades away from the stitching and makes life easier. I bought good ones which were expensive but definitely worth it. Quality shows in this sort of tool.

If you remove the hoop to add the pieces of fabric try not to move the base fabric as you need it to be in exactly the same place when returned to the machine.

The satin stitch then finishes the design off.

The stabiliser then has to be removed from the back of the embroidery if you have used tearaway stabiliser. You can use cutaway stabiliser that is trimmed and left in place after the embroidery has been done. I have never used this type but it is found on the back of embroideries done on polo shirts, presumably to stabilise the stretch fabric. The jump stitches need to be trimmed from the embroidery and if you are a perfectionist you should also trim all the loose threads from the back. Jump stitches are the threads left when the machine moves from one area to another without cutting the thread.

Here are some appliques I prepared earlier.

Another colourway.

Although it is a bit more work -and leads to very sticky fingers I like applique. With an embroidery you can vary the colour but little  else. With applique using different fabrics makes them your own. If you want to use the sock monkey fabric that I used I couldn’t find any in the UK so had to import it. I found it at Christa Quilts in Las Vegas.  The added advantage for UK residents is that she charges a flat fee for posting overseas. Watch out for the VAT though as that adds 20%  plus a contribution to the Post Office coffers and delays the parcel. Worth it for must have fabric that is unavailable here though especially if you get it on one of her 20% off sales as I did.

I can’t decide whether to make one large quilt or two small ones but on balance I think maybe small ones will be best with this baby theme. Watch this space.

Getting All Your Ducks In A Row.

26 Sep

I was trawling the internet mainly to see where links to my blog had come from when I came across yet more inspiration from a fellow crafter. Vicki’s Fabric Creations had a blog on a quilt made from embroideries by Embroidery Connection. They are called ‘Sweet Pea Duckies’ and are irresistible to anyone who likes ‘cute’.  As I believe in sharing here is a link to the page in case you would like to try them too. In this blog I will show you what I produced and how.

If you are not keen on the colours ignore them. The originals are digitised in Marathon threads and I use Madeira so they are largely my interpretation with a bit of help from a thread comparison program. I have never yet found one of those that is accurate.

I also did them on normal patchwork  fabric and they didn’t pucker – not always easy to achieve.

There are ten of them. Have a look at the links for the rest.

I had a bit of a problem in that I was supplied with the wrong colour charts but a quick email put that right, which is perhaps all you can ask. I only mention it in case you might have the same problem and need to know how to solve it.

I always use a piece of fabric bigger than the required block size as embroidering and pressing often distort the block from perfectly square. I then trim the block to size with my trusty cutter/ruler which is a bit easier than a pair of scissors and a lot safer than a separate ruler and rotary cutter. Being accident prone I was very pleased to find these on an Australian visit and I have found a source in the UK after much trawling of the internet and I now have some spares in case they disappear again. I looked for a couple of years and finally found them by accident. It  is amazing how difficult it is to find things on some websites even if you know they are there and I didn’t know where to start.

My first mistake was changing the style of quilt after I had already finished the embroideries. This meant that I had 11″ blocks when what I now needed was 12.5″ blocks. I  got over this by adding a frame,  taking the final size of each block to 12.5″.  I needed an extra 1.5″ total which equates to 3/4″ (0.75″) on each side plus seam allowances of an extra 1/2″ (0.5″) each making each strip  1.25″. Just don’t forget the seam allowances and don’t panic. There is usually a way and  If not you change the design yet again. It is rarely an unmitigated disaster.

Pin and sew them in place with the usual 1/4″ seam. The sides will be 11″ each and top and bottom 12.5″. However, do not assume this, always measure at each stage. Seams are not always accurate.

The ducks are sewn together in threes across giving two rows of three so we need something to join the rows together. I used 2″ squares.

To achieve this you need to cut 6 different strips each 2.5″ wide. I needed to cut two of each for the complete quilt.

Three of the coloured strips.

Join three together twice then cut into 2.5″ strips again. I chose some colours from the duck embroideries to draw together the borders and the embroideries.

Yes the colours are the same but I don’t exactly have studio conditions for my photographs.

Join together 18 of the strips, alternating the colours and using a pin to keep the seams aligned until sewn.

Make three sets.

The rows of ducks are then enclosed in the three sections of squares.

I decided that the next border should be the same blue and the same width as the sashing round the ducks, again to bring the bits of the quilt together. Makes it a bit easier on the eye.

I then did different sized borders using other colours from the squares.

Quilt.

Bind and finish.

Monkeying Around with The Hosiery.

11 Sep

Having been inspired by a link to Ladybelle’s web site and the fabulous sock monkey quilt featured there and given my obsession with machine embroidery I had to acquire the embroideries. Having done that I searched the internet for sock monkey fabric to match. There was none in the UK that I could find in a hurry so I went to Christa Quilts over the pond (not physically you understand) who just happened to be featuring some cream fabric in one of her regular  offers.  She also got me again this week by offering the whole range of sock monkey fabric at the same discount. In case you don’t know what the fabric looks like ;

If you want to see the full range of sock monkey embroideries click on this link and prepare to be surprised at the variety of things sock monkeys do.

Harrogate was a much bigger success from our point of view than Exeter. It was completely different in every way and we sold lots of goodies too so we were happy.

You will be pleased to know that sewing all the embroideries was not in vain. They were very popular. I will be extending the repertoire for next year. We will also have lots of new quilt designs.

I now have to try to sort out the stock and find room for it. Whilst I was up in the area I went to Ebor to stock up on fossil ferns. I now have 47 different ones so if you are as obsessed with fossil ferns as I am you know where to come.  nsaaquilting fossil ferns page.   I am still charging the old price despite several price rises and I have the brightest colours.

I’ll keep you posted on the sock monkeys. I just have to decide which to do first.

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.