Tag Archives: Sewing

Memory Quilt

Fortunately for my baby boy, my auntie kept almost all of her son’s clothes from when he was a baby and toddler. That means my baby boy received lots of hand-me-downs for his wardrobe. Fortunately for me, my auntie kept almost all of her son’s clothes from when he was a baby and toddler. That means I was able to use some of those to make her a memory quilt for her recent (milestone) birthday. I raided the boxes and boxes of boy clothes, discarded the worn out, put away some for my boy, donated some, and got to cutting up the rest. The result is this quilt, a mish-mash of pieces of clothes and memories.

Finished quilt number 26
Vital Stats:
Finished size – Approx 130 x 130cm
Quilt top – 81 6-inch squares of assorted baby clothes
Batting – 100% cotton
Backing – A poly/cotton vintage sheet
Quilting – Straight lines on the diagonal
Binding – 1/4 inch double fold cross-grain hand sewn binding

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Patchwork Quilt



A little while ago I quilted this one, the quilt top had been sitting in a drawer for a few years. It wasn’t as hard as I’d imagined it would be and I love the way it turned out more than I thought I would! There are lots of memories in those fabrics; lots leftover from projects past.

Vital Stats:
Finished size – Single bed size(ish)
Quilt top – Bits and pieces from my stash, leftovers from other projects.
Batting – 100% cotton
Backing – A brand new unused vintage flannelette sheet
Quilting – Vertical and horizontal lines on both sides of the seams
Binding – 1/4 inch double fold cross-grain hand sewn binding in turquoise, leftover from Baby J’s Christmas Quilt

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Look What I Made: Christmas Quilt

I don’t blog as often as I used to (does anyone these days?), but I still am drawn to documenting the things I make. It seems past generations, without nifty social media and the wonderful world-wide web, didn’t keep records of their creations like many of us do today. I have no record of the creations made by my late grandmother – the expert knitter – besides the few jumpers and cardigans that still remain, at the back of a cupboard. Jumpers and cardigans that would arrive to our door wrapped in brown paper with a blue Air Mail sticker and a green customs notice. (Who could resist peaking at the description of what was hidden inside!) I like looking back at things I’ve made, especially as many of them have new homes.

This past Christmas – my baby’s first – I made him a keepsake gift, a Christmas quilt. I was inspired in part by an Instagram post (there’s that nifty social media) by Kelle Hampton who decorates her children’s bedrooms for the season. Brilliant! I chose somewhat non-traditional colours, so it still fits with the rest of his (current) room décor. I did um and ah over using snow-themed fabrics because their ain’t no white Christmas in Australia. But I reasoned Santa comes from the North Pole and there is snow there, and Santa is Christmas! Dilemma solved.

Vital Stats:
Finished size – 126 x 104cm
Quilt top – Dashwood Studio Merry Little Christmas by Jane Farnham, and assorted Prima Homespun and Christmas fabrics from Spotlight
Batting – 100% cotton
Backing – Nordic Holiday by Amanda Murphy
Quilting – Vertical and horizontal lines on both sides of the seams
Binding – 1/4 inch double fold cross-grain hand sewn binding

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Look What I Made: Amelie Cape

This weekend I finally found time to do a little sewing! My clever friend Thouraya from Amelie and Atticus has just released her very cute Amelie Cape pattern so I whipped up a wee cape. I chose the 1-3 years size and used the cape as an excuse to finally use some of The Very Hungry Caterpillar fabric in my stash. I paired it with some pink polka dots. See, when you buy fabric for no reason always it ends up coming in handy at some point. (Says every fabric hoarder, everywhere.)

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The cape is fully reversible and perfect for making Frozen princess capes for little Elsas and Annas. (For the record, Anna is my favourite. I think she’s the real star of the show. And she’s kinda a redhead.) I made the hooded option with a tie but I think I might try the collared version next. Pop over to the Amelie and Atticus store to purchase your pattern or visit the Amelie and Atticus blog to win yourself a copy.

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Look What I Made: Scrappy Vintage Sheet Quilted Pillow Case

Vintage sheets

This pillow case is made entirely of leftovers. The scraps are off-cuts from my vintage sheet quilts. The binding was a piece not used in my pink and grey quarter-square triangle quilt. The back piece of the case is part of a grey sheet I used on Lauren’s vintage sheet quilt.

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So this project was really free right? I didn’t buy any new materials, I modified the design to suit what I had on hand. Free craft! Love it. It reminds me of my friend Jackie, who considers it to be “free baseball” when a game goes over nine innings. Those extra innings? Free baseball! Extra time in a basketball game? Free basketball! A blanket made of scraps? Free craft! Get on board with free craft. It’s totally a thing. In fact our grandmothers or great-grandmothers likely did free craft. Out of necessity and a desire not to waste. Back when drinking out of Mason jars was done because there weren’t enough glasses or cups to go ’round the whole family dinner table, and patchwork quilts were made from scraps of fabric so you wouldn’t freeze during cold winter nights. Food for thought perhaps.

Vintage sheets

Edited to add:

It occurs to me now that I should add some notes on how I actually made it. In case I forget and want to make another!

For the front I sewed scraps together in rows and then trimmed the sides down so they were straight. The rows are different widths, and I didn’t measure anything. I just matched up scraps of similar widths. I then sewed the rows together until the piece was roughly as big as a standard pillow case. I quilted the top with some cotton batting and a leftover piece of a grey sheet. I added binding to one end of the top.

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Work in Progress

I’m a girl on a mission at the moment. I’m on a self-imposed ban on starting new crochet projects until I finish the UFOs (unfinished objects) in my stash. This is following on from my self-imposed 10-day ban on crochet altogether. It’s a bit all-or-nothing with me sometimes, isn’t it? Anyway, I had a bit of a rest from crochet last month but am back in full swing now. I’ve actually already crossed off one UFO from my list this month.

UFOs to be finished:
* baby granny-square blanket
* baby wool ripple blanket
* hodge podge #2
* African flowers cushion
* large granny square
* neon chevron cushion

The good news is this baby ripple blanket I started in, um, 2009 is almost done. Why did I stop working on it for so long? It’s Shepherd Baby Wool Marino 4ply on a 3mm hook. I’m wondering what to do with the leftover yarn.

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And in other crafty adventures I’ve been sewing here and there, most recently this wee pink and grey quilt. It will be pram-sized when finished and all fabric is from my stash. In another case of “Katie Isn’t Quite as Bright” it took me quite a few days to work out what this quilt block might be called. It’s a combination of two half-square triangles. What about quarter-square triangles, Katie? So obvious in hindsight.

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My points are getting better the more I quilt but here’s a bit of a reality check – not everything I make is perfect. Far from it! Sometimes the pursuit of perfection can be stifling. I wish I could put that fear of failing aside more often. Or, I should say the fear of being less-than-great-at-something aside. In the spirit of not stressing about perfection here are two shots of the quilt, taken at different times so the colours look a little different in each shot. Scandalous! And those points! I guess they aren’t too bad, are they?

grey_pink_quilt_wip_2

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Look What I Made: Elise Dolls for Softies for Mirabel

Just quick snap which you may have seen on Instagram or Facebook. Three dolls, made with the cute Elise Doll pattern by Erin from Candy Kirby Designs.

handmade sewing doll softie toy
Roxy, Matilda and Betty Mae
At least two of these girls are going to Softies for Mirabel along with Eddie.
(Their names aren’t planned in advance, they just come to me when the softie is nearly finished)

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Softies for Mirabel 2013

I’ve started early this year as I skipped last year’s appeal. It’s Softies for Mirabel time, that’s where Pip inspires a bunch of us crafty people to make soft toys for some kids who could do with some extra treats. The Mirabel Foundation looks out for kids with parents affected by substance abuse. It’s a great cause so get sewing, knitting or crocheting and send a toy or two down to Pip. They don’t have to be fancy, just sturdy and made with a little love. All of the details are below. Here is my first softie for the 2013 appeal. His name is Eddie the owl and he is made from a pattern by Star Primm of My Tiny Star. Here are the softies I made in 2009, 2010 and 2011.

owl, softies for mirabel, softies

Eddie is snoozing as I’ve run out of black felt and couldn’t make round eyes! But owls do sleep a lot, right?

SOFTIES-FOR-MIRABEL-2013 copy

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Look What I Made: Fly A Kite Quilt

I finally bought a walking foot* for my old sewing machine. I love it! It’s amazing! Why didn’t I buy one years ago?! I think I was put off by the name, “walking foot” sounds complicated. But it’s so not complicated. It’s easy! It made quilting this project much easier and much less painful than it would have been using my regular presser foot. Still time-consuming but there’s no getting around that, it’s a labour of love.

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quilt
This is a “just-because-I-like-the-fabric” quilt with no home to go to just yet. Although if my nanna has her way she won’t let me part with it, but that’s true of almost everything I make.

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The quilt top fabric is from the Fly a Kite range by October Afternoon for Riley Blake. It’s out of print now so I’m glad I snapped some up late last year from Poppy Seed Fabrics. The quilt measures 92 x 105cm (36 x 41″) and the batting is 100% cotton.

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I made the binding (I use ¼ double-fold cross-grain binding) from some spotted red fabric from my stash. I hand-sewed the back of the binding, which is almost my favourite part of quilting.

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I splurged and bought some more Fly a Kite fabric from a local retailer for the back. It’s hard when this would retail for about $10 a yard in the US but $22 a metre here in Australia. I couldn’t find anything else to match the top though and I love the little flowers.

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Check out some more Fly a Kite quilts here, here and here.

*I ordered the walking foot/even feed foot from Singer Australia. It was $33 plus $12 shipping fee and arrived in about four days. I did first try a generic walking foot that is supposed to compatible with most low-shank sewing machines (from the local chain-store craft-supply store). It was awful and broke two needles in no time. The feed dog mechanism on the Singer branded walking foot is a much better design. No issues and no broken needles in the rest of the quilt.

 

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Work in Progress – “Fly a Kite” by October Afternoon for Riley Blake Quilt

Riley Blake produces some beautiful fabric ranges including Summer Song which I used for my first quilt and this one, called Fly a Kite. I love this fabric but I just noticed it’s been 10 months since I bought it. Some months ago I did cut the fabric into rectangles, and started sewing them together for a quilt. I stopped working on it as I wasn’t sure how big I wanted the quilt to be (cue craft anxiety and indecision) so it’s been sitting in the cupboard since.

fly a kite riley blake quilt

I had a lovely morning sewing the rest of the pieces together, and was almost finished when I realised my silly, silly mistake. Somehow I’d sewn the first half of the quilt top with a different seam allowance to the part I’d been working on that day. The two halves wouldn’t fit together. And there was absolutely no way to disguise or work around it. I’m not sure how I didn’t notice sooner but the next few hours was spent with the seam ripper and a broken heart. Ok, that’s going a little too far but needless to say I’ll never make that mistake again!
riley blake designs quilt flye a kite

Yes, my expression was much like this when I realised what I’d done.

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I just love when the seams come together so well. It was careful, careful cutting and patient and precise sewing. And a little luck, after all I’m no expert sewer/quilter.

I splurged on some matching backing fabric so this quilt may even come together this week. I don’t look forward to the quilting portion of the project but I love hand sewing on the binding. This time I think I’ll make some red polka dot binding to finish it off. What’s your favourite part of making a quilt?

 

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