Tag Archives: boys quilt

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.

DSCN3136 DSCN3137 DSCN3138 DSCN3139 DSCN3140 DSCN3141 DSCN3142 DSCN3143 DSCN3144 DSCN3145Now I just need to work out what to do about their faces. The sideways ones are fine but I think too many blank stares could cause nightmares amongst the young.

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.

The Doll Conspiracy

12 Aug

First an update on my Pirate Quilt. You may remember it. If not here is a reminder. Here is a link to one blog.   Here is another .

In it the ship is small but it occurred to me that a bigger ship on a wall hanging would also be a useful addition.

I also appiquéd the mariners compass as an alternative to an embroidery.

In a former life I made dolls and when I started quilting seriously I relegated the paraphernalia to a small section of my work area. (This small section is the size of many ‘3rd’ bedrooms in estate agent terms). I have been meaning to get in there and sort it out with the idea of trying to offload the moulds and made dolls so that I can put my frame in the room. It was only after I had done an inventory and photographed all the dolls that I realised just how much ‘stuff’ there is in there. What I really need is someone wanting to start a  doll making business who wants to buy a whole working studio. Then I just need to sell the dolls I have already made. In case you think  I am exaggerating take a look at this lot. It’s only a drop in the ocean but it’s a bit overpowering.

Kimmie mould  by Cindy Marschner Rolfe

From the Joey mould by Cindy Marschner Rolfe.

Another Joey

Angel Love by Cindy marschner Rolfe.

Theodore by Cheri Chagall with Donna Rubert 28″ body.

Christina.

Sylvie by Cheri Chagall.

Mimi by Cheri Chagall.

Crystal.

L’il Boo by Cindy Marschner Rolfe.

Lucinda

Cleo

Yvette

Ivan

Jenny

Emily

Chubbins

Sipho from Donna Rubert’s Flossie mould

June

Theodora from Theodore mould by Cheri Chagall.

Hannah Rose by Donna Rubert

Elmo

Aaron

There are some more on my web site nsaaquilting.co.uk

It’s not just the dolls or even the moulds. There are wigs, shoes, eyes, and goodness knows what else.

I  have come to the conclusion that life is too short. There are many more dolls I would like to make but I would have to live  several decades more and still be able to lift the moulds – unlikely. Then there is the quilting. So many quilts, so little time.

Been There, Got Several Teeshirts.

7 Jul

I don’t know whether anyone else has noticed but the variety in fabric design seems to have declined over the last few years. You may have noticed that my fabric of choice is bright and cheerful and if the colours clash a bit well it wakes me up in the mornings.

Take these fabrics I used in a Sunbonnet Sue quilt I blogged about some time ago.

Now whilst you might not want an outfit made from them, these fabrics work really well in applique. I did wonder if fabric companies are afraid to be too adventurous in case they can’t sell it, the price of cotton being what it is these days. It could be fashion, although the fabric companies by definition set  trends. It could just be the recession and general air of depression of course.  On the other hand a jazzy bit of fabric cheers me up no end.

Anyway, when fabric with a zing was available I bought it and here is one of the quilts I made with it.

This is a very good way to use up some of the smaller measures of fabric sold by retailers. There is also no reason why the sleeves could not be a different fabric. Another way of doing it would be to sew strips of fabric together or crazy patch some pieces from odd scraps. You could even use the logos from old tee-shirts or design your own and use printable fabric to make lots of miniature shirts. Only your imagination can hold you back once you start down that road.

See how it’s done? A rectangle of fabric with a neckline cut out and two more smaller rectangles for sleeves. This allows different fabric for sleeves or the same fabric in a different direction as on the striped shirt below.I used embroidery stitches to sew them on but satin stitch would be less likely to fray. It depends whether you like the ‘country’ look. As a rule I don’t but tee-shirts are allowed to fray. In fact walking down the high street I see a few holes might make them more authentic. If you are using the same fabric on the whole shirt you could just draft a full tee-shirt shape and cut it out in one piece. I would suggest you use either the three piece or the whole shirt method as a mixture might look strange. Not that I have ever tried, just making sure you think about it before committing all that fabric.

A few more.

To finish it off and draw it all together, matching corner squares.

Now tell me that didn’t cheer you up on a dismal day.

Yo Ho Ho and a Bottle of Rum

15 Jun

I have finished the pirate quilt. I wasn’t sure I liked it until I quilted it. It is amazing the difference it makes.

Here it is loaded on the frame. Thread colour chosen, bobbin colour chosen – and off we go

I am still at the meandering stage. I have lots of fabulous ideas about what I would like to do in the way of quilting. Unfortunately they mostly require the full sized area provided by a long arm machine and frame. The main problem is that unless you draw everything out in advance you could get to the bottom border and find you can’t repeat the same pattern as you stitched in the top border. Not only frustrating but also the ruination of the quilt. The reason for this is that as you progress and roll up the quilt under the machine arm the space left on which to work reduces. The only cure is a long-arm setup.  Still it beats stitch-in-the-ditch – much more fun.

View of the front and back of the quilt.

The finished Quilt.
Top Left.

Top Right.

Bottom Left.

Bottom Right.

Pilchards.

Walking the Plank.

Ship.

Compass.

The compass is an embroidery from Emblibrary.com

If you are thinking of using a piano key border and loading it onto a frame for quilting it might pay to consider that it may stretch as you roll  and quilt so stabilising first will help, otherwise you get a slightly twisted border. Just a heads up so it doesn’t creep up on you and ruin your quilt.

Now I just have to write up the pattern to go to the designer and then onto my web site. nsaaquilting.co.uk

The Captain,the Cabin Boy and a Fishy Tale.

10 Jun

The next stage has been reached. The thing to remember when appliquéing onto a pieced top like this is that there are lots of seams adding thickness. If you find yourself appliquéing onto a pieced top, in order not to give yourself more problems than necessary make sure the stabiliser does not fold over on the back as you are working and so make the thickness even more. My machine  gets upset if I give it too much to swallow and starts breaking needles. Some machines will need one layer of stabiliser to produce an easy running satin stitch, some need two. The thickness of stabiliser also has a bearing. Experiment before letting yourself loose on your precious quilt top and you won’t go far wrong.

I have now stitched  the individual appliqués onto the centre section of the quilt top before adding borders.

Remember –

Template

Baking paper.

Applique.

Sure scared you HAHA.

The Captain and his friend. (Eye eye) Captain.

I don’t think he’s having a good day.

YoHoHo and a bottle of rum.

I can’t see no ships.

Just to make the whole thing interesting the bulb decided to go on the machine so I had to swap to a different model. Trust me to buy a machine with a non standard light bulb. I digress.

Next I will be deciding on a border. I will keep you posted.

The Wind in My Sails and a Parrot on My Shoulder

2 Jun

The next quilt is going to feature pirates. I am looking forward to getting my teeth into something new as I have been revamping some of my existing patterns for various reasons.

The first decision was what to use as a background. The one I wanted to use, although fantastic for a one-off was not going to go down too well as a pattern. It would have been too complicated and therefore probably not too popular. There are a limited number of people out there prepared to attempt the more complicated designs. If you make Mckenna Ryan patterns you may disagree but I don’t design art quilts, mine are for using therefore the method of construction used for them has to be more robust and therefore incorporated into the design. If you don’t know her work click on the link. Her designs are beautiful.

I decide to use a method of construction I have not put into any of my patterns so far. I am including a tutorial for those that would like to copy it. I used combinations of blues to represent sea and sky. I could equally have used greens for an island, browns for sand and blue for sea/sky to make it more detailed. I am going to be using it as a backdrop for several appliques so I decided to keep the background simple. I may experiment with alternatives when I have finished the prototype and am testing the pattern.

I am aiming at 8″ blocks and therefore each block needs to finish at 8.5″ to include the seam allowances before attaching each block to the next. The bigger your starting square the better but a normal width of fabric allows 10.5″ – 11″ squares to be cut without wasting fabric so this is what I did.

10.5″ – 11″ squares of two fabrics

The size doesn’t have to be exact as long as they are at least the required size.

Stack the two fabrics one on top of the other and slicing through both layers cut the shapes shown. They can be as random as you like as long as they are cut together and therefore identical.

Identical shapes cut from two squares.

This will give you two sets of identical shapes.

Swap the second and fourth shapes with each other.

Second and fourth shapes swapped.

This gives the same two squares but in two different colours. It is important to keep the layout the same as they are going to be sewn back into two identical squares. I can tell you from experience that if you get it wrong the best thing to do is throw it in the scrap bag and go onto the next one. Working out the correct sequence when you have lost it is not easy. This is especially true if it is the second one you are sewing as there is nothing to compare it to.

Stitch them back together as shown with a 1/4″ seam. Make sure it is not bigger than that or your square will be too small. There are a lot of seams in each square.

Pieces joined together into two shapes.

These will not now be squares as you have removed fabric from the width but not the length with the seams.

The next stage is to measure the pieces and decide what size you can make the finished blocks. they must all be the same so they need to be trimmed to match the smallest. If you have cut and sewn correctly you should be able to trim them to 8.5″. If this is not possible don’t get out the quick unpick. Life is too short to rip a seam. Just trim them all to the nearest measurement you can manage. Whatever this is they must all be the same.

Trimming the blocks.

I use a ruler and integrated cutter. Much safer than the usual ruler and separate cutter. It also keeps the blade at the right angle. they are not easy to come by but after much searching I found a new one a couple of weeks ago.

Once you have decided on the layout of your blocks sew them together in alternate directions. This way you only have to worry about matching the main seam, not all the ones on each triangle.

Sew blocks together in alternate directions.

The best way is to sew a row of blocks together then sew rows to each other. When you come to do this you want to make sure that the seams stay aligned so that your finished quilt does not have badly matched seams. T o make sure put a pin at right-angles to the cross seam through the upward seam making sure they are perfectly aligned. Do not remove this until the seam is sewn. As the pin is at right-angles the needle should skim over it. If you are nervous about that use a tacking thread to hold the seams in place before sewing. If your are using an overlocker this will obviously not work, it will damage the blade. The tacking method is a good one when using an overlocker. I often do use an overlocker to construct my quilts but as I will be applying appliques to this background I don’t want the seams to impede the sewing of the satin stitch so I am using the tried and tested method instead.

Pin at right-angles to cross seam and through vertical seams

This will give you a perfect matching seam.

Perfect Seam join.

When the rows are sewn together they look like this.

Finished background.

Soldier, Soldier Let’s Reconsider Our Options.

27 May

Just when you thought it was safe —- here I am again. I have been off to the South East to help Daughter Number Two move again. I won’t go into why it was necessary but the net result is a much nicer flat and a much nicer area so it’s not all bad. We did have one sleepless night worrying about getting the wardrobe into the bedroom. After all a wardrobe in a dining room is not exactly ‘a la mode ‘ and it seemed inevitable at one point. However we regrouped and did a bit of lateral thinking and hey presto it’s in. Very nice it looks too. She also has a garden and apparently very friendly neighbours. What more could a girl want; handsome, unattached millionaires with GSOH being in short supply.

Anyway. I’m back now so normal service will be resumed. Just a quick post on what has been keeping me busy in the last couple of weeks.

I blogged about my soldier quilt design in July last year. This last couple of weeks I have remade the whole thing partly to update the pattern and partly because I wanted to try different quilting. The prototype was done using stitch-in-the-ditch but as I have the quilt frame assembled I decided to see what it would look like with a touch of free motion quilting. Apologies in advance to  LG who gave me some tips on the trombone. I took your comments on board but artistic licence won the day.

The template:

Ready to satin stitch.

Also.

Satin Stitched.

The drum shows the difference satin stitch makes. The drum sticks I did using a fabric base but totally covering in satin stitch.The diamond markings were done over a marking pencil guide line.

A line of stretch stitch to define the stripe on the trousers.

Pin it to the frame.

Quilt.

Bob’s your Uncle, a finished quilt quite different from the prototype. You don’t have to copy a pattern exactly. Even small changes such as this variation on quilting can make a huge difference. If you want to compare with the original click on the link above or here. If I had used a hi-loft wadding then the soldiers would also have stood out in relief. I actually used a cotton mix wadding. This makes more of a topper than a warm snuggly quilt. Which to use depends on the intended use and personal preference.

Tomorrow I start on the pirates. Watch this space.