Guess how much I love you quilt number two

Guess how much I love you fabric panel

The last few weeks I’ve been sitting waiting for this baby to arrive (currently 4 days overdue), so I whipped up a little quilt by accident.  I hadn’t planned on making a quilt, as there are already far to many overdue unfinished objects in my home already, but I’m a sucker for the guess how much I love you books, (I started this one 9 years ago – finished 1-2 years ago) so when Darn cheap Fabrics had the licensed print in stock…somehow two metres of fabric ended up in my bag.

Guess how much I love you baby quilt

Unfortunately, one I started cutting it out (without a plan or pattern) there was not quite enough fabric to finish the corners of the quilt.  After hunting extensively online, I found a lovely online store, Fabric Fusion which still had a little of this print in stock.

Nearly every single scrap of fabric went into this quilt, as I assembled the quilt back using the leftover fabric from the quilt top…and there was probably 5 small offcuts that didn’t make it.  It was a tight fit to baste the two together as there very nearly wasn’t enough fabric!  You can see in the bottom right corner I was struggling to have enough fabric.  I would have liked to break up the chunks of fabric more, but with seam allowances it was going to be too tight to fit it back together and be big enough.

guess how much I love you quilt back

The quilt was machine quilted around the blocks, and just randomly in the centre along some decorative lines on the fabric panel.  The wadding was a bamboo by Mathilda’s Own which only requires quilting lines every 8″ apart.  Mine are closer than that in most parts, but it’s nice to know it’s a fairly secure wadding.  I’ve pinned the care instructions for the bamboo wadding here if you’re interested.  I’m pretty pleased with the binding, it was a $2 fat quarter from GJ’s discount fabric I bought about 2 years ago, and didn’t go with any projects until now.  Yay for stash use (even though I’ve now added more wadding offcut to it than the 50cm of fabric….)

guess how much I love you quilt, binding corner

Generally my preference for squishy comfort and style is to handquilt, but there just wasn’t enough time, and this is going to be washed extensively and suffer a fair amount of abuse, so it was the perfect opportunity to try out the walking foot on my new (secondhand) Bernina.  It handled like a beauty as expected 🙂

Now I just need the baby…..

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A quilt for Hugo

It’s gotten to that lovely time in our lives where all our friends are busy joining the parental club. The newest member, is a charming little boy, Hugo (gorgeous name right?).

This quilt was assembled from a gender neutral jelly roll, as the gender of the bub was unknown, and also to have something nice and bright for bub to roll around and look at.20130720-195931.jpg

The quilting was done by machine, with a variegated thread in straight lines. This way it’s easily machine washable (key feature of baby quilts) and still nice and soft. I find sometimes heavy machine quilting creates a very stiff quilt, which isn’t ideal for maximum snuggle factor.20130720-200024.jpg

The backing is from my stash!!!! The stashbusting challenge has been going slowly, but this was one of my prouder moments finding a use for this fabric. It’s been in the stash for at least 3 years, and it was just perfect for the quilt top.

Now time to wrap it up, and exchange the gift for cuddles!

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Oliver & S Bedtime story pjs (again)

This is truly turning out to be one of my tried and true patterns. The lovely Bedtime story pjs might be an autumn project each year.  Here’s my previous post/review (also how big has she grown in a year!!!)

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To save time, I cut out 4 of the pattern at once, two in blue and two in pink dots, using up 6 yards of flannel fabric from fabric.com.  It was quite the little construction line, (and I was feeling considerably smug), until the flannel bested the serger.  The poor serger has possibly never seen such a workout before, and in the face of innumerable tiny little seams the blades dulled and the timing disappeared.  It would not sew.

Luckily I didn’t force the issue, as that would have significantly increased the cost from servicing, to full on repair job.  However, all efficiency was lost as the serger sat in the repair shop for two weeks 😦

When finally the serger did return, I played around with a few waistband options, with having the threaded through elastic casing, a stitched down elastic (using fehr trade’s method), and even doing encased elastic at the back, with ribbon ties at the front. This is probably the best method for adjustability, but technically difficult to execute a bow on a tired wiggly toddler.

My biggest problem now is my daughter LOVES these pj’s, and in the morning wraps her arms around herself so I can’t take her pj top off. The levels of subterfuge, bribery and drama to get her dressed in the morning…..

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Sorry for the model and the blurriness, she just wouldn’t sit still, or smile, or generally co-operate.  Look on the bright side, you just have to be frustrated by a picture of the model.  I’ve got to deal with trying to convince this crazy haired monster to eat.

So while I’ve been a bit MIA, it’s due to being busy sewing!  (and pretty much ALL unselfish sewing).

See?  I knew you wouldn’t mind.  The next few projects will come dribbling through in the next few weeks 🙂

Oliver and S Patterns

Anyone else in love with the new patterns released by Oliver and S? I’m in love with the Field trip cargo pants, and think they will be great stash busters as they have quilting cottons in mind for the pants.  While I didn’t take part in kids clothing week, I did finish up 5 little frog raglan tops.  I initially just bought the pattern for the pants, BUT GOSH I LOVE THIS TEE.  Seriously, if Oliver and S packaged up the tee in sizes 12m to 8yrs (instead of two size ranges for the top and pants combo) I would pay the $15 for the tee pattern alone.

 

Ages ago I mentioned how there weren’t many ‘everyday’ patterns but this certainly fits this profile. Unisex and simple to sew, these are the best kids pants, also as with the separate knee areas you can reinforce that section of the pants, without the bulk.  I’ve omitted the pocket on all the t-shirts, as to be honest it’s a cute detail but a time consuming one.  It’s all about the production line around here at the moment.  Cutting and sewing 5 at a time is much faster.

Oliver and S Field trip raglan top and pants

These are sized 12-18m for our best bud B, and are suitably manly.  I bought the pattern with the intention of bulk sewing lots of new clothes for his birthday, and while I’ve been a bit naughty and only made the t-shirt so far I do have 3 pairs of pants cut out ready to sew.  Any day now.  So B has 4 froggy shirts, and R has the one where I accidentally snipped a notch too deep around the neckline.  One day, I’ll get a picture of them all matchy matchy.  These two are a week apart, and they most certainly have an arranged marriage.

Pattern

Oliver and S Field trip cargo pants and raglan t-shirt.  I love Oliver and S patterns, and they are worth every dollar.  The t-shirt is super fast to cut and whip up, and I’ll be making lots of these in the future.  As an electronic pattern, it’s great as I’ll just re-print each time I need to cut out a new bigger size as the kids grow.  For the time it takes, I can make B and R lots of matching tops probably faster than going and shopping for them (for those sans kids – it can take ages to go anywhere let along achieve anything).  I’m tempted to try a raglan tee pattern for me now!

Fabric

The frog knit is from the local op shop, it’s quite good quality as far as I can tell and was $4 for 2 metres.  I’ve only used about half of it so far, so I’ll probably whip up another 5 as they will be great shirts for daycare.  The sleeves are a japanese knit from Spotlight, at $15 a metre it was disappointing to see the edges curling up after a wash.  Still, it was beautiful to sew.

Techniques

These were cut out using a rotary cutter and mat, which makes cutting out knits a breeze.  The key is having a new sharp blade, as any snags will pull the fabric out off grain.  All the seams were done on the overlockers, which again made it SO FAST.  I sewed all 5 up in a after work quick session.  The sleeves and waist finish were done with a twin needle on my sewing machine.  It’s interesting how daunting these concepts were to me a few short months ago, and now I can’t imagine ever not using it.  Twin needles are SO easy.  If you aren’t sure people, buy a twin needle off the internet, and just TRY.  I might do a complete post about this at a later stage.

Fit

Right, I have accepted the fact my bag has a large melon and skinny little limbs. Next time on all patterns, I’m cutting at least the next size up for the neckline, and maybe grade down a size for her skinny little arms and belly.  Funny shaped baby.  I’ll have to see what the fit is like for B, he looks like model size.

Any suggestions on how to get better photos of wriggly babies by the way?

 

Guess how much I love you quilt

One finished baby quilt! This star of the sea quilt surely was a labour of love, although significantly less than the lovely babys mama underwent.

This quilt was for the little bubba of my dear friends Kate and Phil, who I’ve known for years. When I first moved out of home I moved in with Kate (a stranger) and another friend. Two years later we were still living together and Kate’s drunken uni buddy moved in as well (after living on our couch for a good year). Fast forward many boxes of lager to 2010, and I was so fortunate to be their bridesmaid at their wedding. So here is I think my favourite and most special quilt, for their baby.

This quilt has some history, and I actually started making it in 2005 when we were still living together in drunken uni revelry. The panel was hunted down and is from eBay, from a lady on eBay uk. It’s from the childhood book “guess how much I love you” by Sam Brady. If you haven’t read this book, it tells the tale of little nutbrown hare trying to explain to his father just how much he loves him. It’s one of my favourite children’s books.

hand quilter leaf

This quilt has been slowly worked on over the years, getting it closer to completion, but each time my husband would suggest someone to give it to, it didn’t feel right. Not until this little girl. Do you ever get that feeling?

The design is star of the sea which was inspired from an edition of down under quilts. The real tragedy of this quilt is its the third I ever started, and I tried foundation piecing- and made some terrible noob mistakes. The foundation blocks are made from iron on interfacing. I had to manually cut out the interfacing on EVERY BLOCK after the quilt was assembled. I didn’t prewash the fabric. I wasn’t careful enough and some corners didn’t meet.

The back is bright and still gender neutral, but broken up with the panel in the middle. All the quilt is hand quilted in the diamonds and big squares with different coloured threads. Now, if you’re thinking “wow, hand quilted- that must have taken AGES…” it did not take as long as cutting out interfacing. So if you want to try paper piecing, use this lovely tutorial, I wish I had!