Another Baby Quilt

Looks like Quilting seems to be my new passion – I assure you, it’s not. It just seems that way.

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This is a quick little quilt that I made for my friend’s baby shower. The trickiest part was deciding on colours as it seems most people don’t want to know the sex of their babies until they’re born. Come on people! It makes it harder for us buying/making presents! Ok, ok, I know if I was in that position myself I would be the same….

I wanted a clean, contemporary look to the quilt and knew in my head that I wanted just two colours. Then I ran out and didn’t buy enough, so I put the white sashing in as well.

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The wadding is left over bamboo wadding from when I did my king size quilt. I love bamboo wadding, it’s so soft and tactile and it quilts up nicely too. I’d definitely recommend trying it if you haven’t tried it before.

The quilting’s pretty simple as I didn’t want anything overly fussy.

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Finally, I put one of my labels in – which to be honest is something I stopped doing a while ago as I’m the only one that sees the clothes that I make. Anyone else find that they initially excitedly bought labels and then just stopped putting them in?

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The Wedding Quilt

Those of you that know me and read this blog – know that I am not a natural born quilter… I’d rather be making clothes and underwear but sometimes I get these mad ideas and think I should make a quilt… Because nothing says thoughtful than something handmade and because I always buy off list when it comes to weddings. Because i’m obstinate and refuse to buy that last remaining bale of hand towels or that random pair of egg cups…

Remember my quilting friend Jamie?

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As we both sew and learnt how to quilt together we thought it would be a lovely idea to make this quilt together. We settled on a square heart shaped design, bought the fabric and then forgot all about it for 6 months until the week before the wedding.

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After spending most of the week putting the quilt together, the morning of the wedding came along and I still hadn’t finished it. I was still trying to make and put the binding on in a mad rush (I was seriously wishing at this point I had one of those Simplicity binding machines). We jumped in the car, got stuck in traffic on the M25 as I manically hand stitched the binding in the car, before rushing into the hotel with 5 minutes to change into our wedding gear before rushing out again and getting to the Church with 5 minutes to spare.

After the wedding ceremony and before the drinks do, we parked down the street to finish cutting off all stray threads and wrap it up nicely and to take a quick photo.

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Jamie embroidered this cute little quilt label – (pre-thread snipping picture). This was a wedding blessing that we went to not the actual wedding as that was earlier in the year.

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After all that, I am in no hurry to repeat that again….. However, the happy couple seem to love it and took a picture of their new quilt on their bed.

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(Fabric was all from Simply Fabrics in Brixton and the backing was a lovely soft double sheet from TK Maxx)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Book Review: Quilt Love

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A couple of years ago I was lucky enough to attend a quilting workshop run by Cassandra Ellis at The Papered Parlour along with my friend Jamie. I think she was surprised to see a boy turn up on the day but he’s pretty into his crafting and makes a mean curtain or two as well as being a bit of a prolific quilter! In fact my king size quilt started life off in her class.

Cassandra makes phenomenally beautiful and inspiring quilts, so I was pleasantly surprised to come across her book on Amazon recently and absolutely had to snap it up! (I’m really gushing here, sorry! I really love the quilts and the photography and am definitely not paid to say any of this!)

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The book is split into four different types of quilts/quilted items – those that celebrate Big Events, Love, Friendship and Memories. It also covers the basics of quilting well – what materials you need, what type of quilting you should choose etc… The instructions for the quilts are very easy to understand and well written with good clear diagrams.

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What I really enjoy about Cassandra Ellis’ approach to quilting is that her philosophy is not about making perfect and exacting quilts but showing that the imperfect can be perfect. Her quilts often have a meaning attached to them, perhaps it’s a memory – re-using fabrics like an old wedding dress or the fabrics in a quilt are planned in a particular way like her DNA baby quilt where she uses the fabric to illustrate the mother’s, father’s and baby’s DNA incorporating into one another.

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This one below is my favourite quilt in the book – it’s called the ‘Because you love the fabric quilt’ and I think we all know what that feels like! I think this may be the same quilt that I saw in my class at the time and which to this day still inspires me to make something similar. I’ve always loved Japanese fabrics and prints as well as the bright hues of pinks and oranges that come together like a warm sunset.

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The book is really well thought out and has a visual index at the back, which is a great idea and makes finding things so much easier.

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And before you worry that it’s all quilts, don’t worry – there are patterns for cushions, a bag and a pouffe too!!


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Ella’s Quilt

When I finished my Super King Size quilt last year, I said to myself – ‘I will never make a quilt, EVER AGAIN!!’. Or for a long time at least….

Well – that was until my boss became pregnant and suddenly my work colleagues (who until this point were completely non plussed about my sewing abilities) suddenly thought something nice and homemade would be just the right ticket for her baby shower (alternatively they may have been thinking it would be super cheap too!). I didn’t help the cause by casually saying something along the lines of ‘oh, a baby quilt, that’s so easy, that wouldn’t take me too long’ despite having pretty much no free time to take on projects like this at the moment!

Actually, the making of the quilt didn’t take too long. But the choosing of the fabrics and the planning of the pattern did. I ‘ummed’ and ‘ahhed’ for ages. After googling baby quilts, I came across a really easy and quick pattern – the disappearing 9 patch quilt. Essentially, it’s a block of 3 squares by 3 squares sewn together which you then cut back into 4 squares. These squares then form the blocks of your quilts and you can assemble them any which way you want.
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The quilting was super easy, I just machined straight lines using my walking foot on my machine. It’s only taken me about 3 years to work out how to use this thing and now that I do, I’m a convert! I chose a natural cotton batting for the quilting as I always choose something 100% natural like bamboo or cotton.

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I started off trying to use fabrics from my stash and not buy much more, however I didn’t seem to have many ‘baby’ appropriate shades & fabrics. So in the end I was forced to go looking in the shops where I found FAR too many naff fabrics for children!

As my boss didn’t know what the sex of her baby was going to be, my design brief was unisex but not neutral. Even when I finished it, apparently it was still deemed too girly. Seriously, you can never please people! (Although luckily, my boss has just delivered a healthy beautiful baby girl called Ella! :-)).

My favourite part of the quilt, which you can’t see very clearly unfortunately is the pale green polka dot binding. The backing is white cotton drill that has been in my stash for years (Hooray! finally something I used from my stash!)

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Ultimately, the only person that mattered was my boss and she absolutely adored it! Job done 🙂 She was so touched that I had spent the time to hand make her something – you know, that’s when it really is rewarding making things for other people.

And finally we ate cake! 🙂 My boss treated us to a Rainbow cake from Hummingbird Bakery.  Which was truly scrumptious!

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It got demolished pretty quickly….

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That’s Quilting fantabulous!

Don’t get too excited and I know it’s been a while in the making… *cough* *cough* ahem, since February last year to be precise…. (as blogged here and here). However, i’m pretty darn chuffed! I finished my one and only quilt! Now I know that some quilters on the web can churn out their quilts at an alarming rate and even my friend Jamie puts me to shame with the amount he’s made so far and we both attended the same quilting course…

But it’s ok, because my mum still hasn’t finished hers! And that is now over thirty years old 🙂 Like mother, like daughter I suppose!! Although in defence of my mum, hers is ALL hand sewn!!

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My mum saw my quilt on the bed when she came down to stay the other weekend and I quote my mum “I wish you hadn’t put your quilt on the bed Freya, now your father is going to be wondering when I’m going to finish mine!” – I love my mum!!

The quilt is a mixture of Liberty print fabrics obtained from Fabrics Galore, some left over remnants from other projects and some vintage kimono fabrics I bought on eBay years ago. The batting is made from bamboo –  natural and antibacterial – it has a lovely handle and feel. I machine quilted three different sized stars across the entire quilt. (Note to self, do not do this in future – It took forever!) I’m not sure if you are going to be able to see much of the stars as the lighting isn’t so great and the patterns are pretty busy. But you can just about make it out…

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Quilts…

Next project on the table is turning all of this….

and this….

into this….

You may recognise this as the quilt I started back in February and then promptly forgot about it. Currently I’m 33 squares down with 9 more to go. I am determined to get the quilt top finished by the end of the week – and who knows when the rest will be done!

Any advice on the actual quilting? I’m not a die hard quilter and the thought of hand quilting the entire thing is giving me palpatitations as does the cost of getting it sent off to somebody to long arm quit it for me…