Daysail disappearing 9 patch baby quilt

There are few quilts that are easier to take on than a disappearing nine patch.  So, over the weekend, I opened up my Daysail layer cake at last, and decided to get cracking on one.

Sometimes people say to me that they don’t like working with layer cakes because there is just too much colour in it for one project.  I understand that sentiment sometimes, but often find I get the best results when using a layer cake (or any other pre-cut for that matter) if I make a decision to only use a few of the colours in the pack, and save the rest for another project.  That way the few colours you choose to focus on get to shine, and the result is not so overwhelming.

In this case, I decided to use the reds, navys, whites and aquas in the pack, and save the cream, green and teal for another day.

Here’s the method:

1.  Cut layer cake slices into 4 x 5″ patches.  I cut 21 slices (sometimes in bulk by stacking a few of them up) to make a quilt that will be 6 blocks by 6 blocks (about 41″ square finished size).

2.  Arrange the patches into sets of 9.  I like to choose one colour that will always be the centre block in these arrangements.  You’ll see why soon.  For this project, I chose red to be the centre patch.

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3.  Sew these blocks together, to form a 9-patch block.  Use a 1/4″ seam and press each row in the opposite direction so that the seams nest as you join the rows of the block together

4.  After a good press, lay your 9-patch on your cutting mat.  You need to measure carefully the centre lines of the block, both vertically and horizontally.  I’ve marked approximately the lines you need to locate in yellow on the picture below.  Where to cut5.  Cut the 9-patch block into 4 smaller blocks, along the yellow lines that you have measured.  Be as accurate as is possible!

6.  You should now have 4 small patches, each with one large square, one small (in my case, red) square and two rectangles.  Trim these so that they are of identical size.  I trimmed them all to 6 3/4″ square.

7.  Lay out your patches into the arrangement for the quilt.  Here’s an example of how you can lay it out, but there is plenty of room for improvisation and experimentation here!  I try not to over-think it.  In my view, some imperfection is desirable, but each to their own.

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8.  As you can see, when you choose a single colour for the centre of the 9 patch block, it ends up becoming a common thread in the finished design that brings the whole quilt together.  I think it can make an otherwise messy/scrappy design look orderly enough to be pleasing to the eye.

8.  Sew together your small blocks into rows.  Press the seams in opposite directions.

9.  Join your rows together, matching the points where the blocks meet and locking the seams (by having them pressed into opposite directions).

10.  Give your masterpiece a good press, cut some backing and wadding to size, baste, quilt and bind!

Enjoy this fun, easy project.

jf

At last! Spell it with Moda quilt top is complete

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It’s probably been the slowest project I have ever taken on… but at last the Spell it with Moda alphabet quilt top is ready to finish.

Hooray!

I’m so happy with a few decisions I made along the way: to omit the picture blocks that were slotted in irregularly to even out the size (I just used white panels at the end of the rows and centred the letters instead) and to add a really bright border made from the scraps of the piecing of the letters.  I think the border really makes it pop!

I’ve used a mix of all of the Bonnie and Camille bits and pieces I have accumulated over recent years, in an effort to tidy up my fabric stash.  There’s Marmalade, Scrumptious, April Showers and Happy-Go-Lucky in there, each contrasted with the white Bella Solid.

This will be hung on my little girl’s bedroom wall.  I hope she loves it as much as I do.

Have a great day.

jf

Bedlinen for doll’s furniture

My little girl is into dolls all of a sudden.  I bought her a little doll bed from Ikea, but the linen that came with it was… awful.  So, I dug out some scraps and decided to make something better for her.

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I rustled up some leftover April Showers (and probably some other Bonnie and Camille bits and pieces) and printed out from the internet some hexagon templates onto thicker paper.

I cut out the hexagons carefully, then used an EPP glue stick to baste the fabric on to the hexagons.

Then I set to work at joining the hexagons.  The little pillow came together very quickly, as did the mattress, but the doll’s quilt took a bit longer.  I think there’s probably about two weeks worth of short TV shows in there (to be fair, I sew small stitches and don’t watch a lot of TV 🙂 ).

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Last night I put the quilt top together with some wadding and backing (matching the mattress and the back of the pillow – also from April Showers)  and when my little girl woke up this morning there was a nice surprise for her.

She loved it!  So do I… and I love that I am teaching her that the best toys are handmade.  Now she can get back to her favourite game, which consists of feeding, putting to bed, putting on nappies and clothes, and toilet training one poor harangued doll.  If that poor doll could speak!

Since the favourite doll was in bed with little miss, these three got tucked in for the first snooze in the new linen.  They seem pretty happy about it!

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The great thing about working with paper pieces is that you don’t need a pattern or a fixed design, you can work it out as you go, adding another row here or there as you like.

Have a great day.

jf

Speedy table runner

For Christmas, my lovely little girl was given a new dresser by her grandma and grandpa.  I was concerned that, with the amount of junk that goes through her room (often via the dresser), it was at risk of damage without something to protect it.

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Enter… the speedy runner!  I whipped this up during two occasions when my husband said he “just needs to quickly check ebay”.  I’d say it took 2 hours from idea to finished – not bad, in my view.

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It only took one charm pack, a few scraps of batting and some backing and binding fabric (I used Miss Kate to bind, and a happy-go-lucky charm pack, both by Bonnie and Camille and selected to match a quilt I had already made for the room).

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I finished the last of the binding on the bus to work… voila!  I’m really happy with how it looks in its new home, and am reassured by knowing there’s something in place to protect her furniture.

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Have a great day!

jf

 

“Spell it with fabric” quilt

Hello!

I know the pattern was released about a year ago for the Moda Blog Hop (you can access the pattern here) but it is only now that I am getting around to making it up.  It’s to be for my little girl’s new bedroom – she moves into a big-girl bed soon, with a new room to boot!  An educational wall quilt seemed like the perfect accessory.

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Here are my early observations:

1.  Making a quilt where every block is different is surprisingly enjoyable.  I really like that every single one is a different task!

2.  The hardest part seems to be deciding on colours.  Someone with more flair than me might have embraced colour in the background, but I’m not that person.  I’ll have a colourful border, I think.

3.  This is a great way to use up scraps, because each block needs surprisingly little of the coloured fabric (if you are doing a low-volume background).

4.  I’m only 7 blocks into it, but it is addictive and I can’t wait to knock over a few more!  As each one doesn’t take very long, it is a quite satisfying project.

Of course I will share pictures of it with you as it progresses.  I’m using up a lot of my Bonnie and Camille for Moda odds and ends in the process.  This is such an enjoyable sewing project.  Loving it!

Have a wonderful day!

jf

Another soft play rattle ball

I keep getting great feedback on the soft play rattle ball I made from the pattern in Love Patchwork and Quilting magazine.  For more details, check out this older post of mine, where I made one from April Showers by Bonnie and Camille.  It turned out like this:

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Now, I’ve been hard at work using up Liberty scraps to make soft play rattle balls for the children of friends of mine as Christmas presents.  All little people I know have loved them so far!

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And let’s face it, everything is better in Liberty.

As far as is possible, I’m trying to make this a handmade Christmas.  So far so good!  I’ll share some extra projects with you in the coming days.

Have a great day!

JF

Ice Cream Dress by Oliver and S

I’m no expert when it comes to sewing clothing.  It has taken the arrival of my darling little girl to make me get a bit better at it.

I fell in love with the pattern for this dress when shopping at my local stitchery one Saturday afternoon, and couldn’t leave it behind.  I was told it was super-easy…

It wasn’t.  It was probably the most challenging sewing project I have done all year.

Nevertheless, it was worth the trouble.  It looks amazing, I love it every time I see it and now I know a whole lot more about making clothes.  Can you believe I didn’t know what a yoke was until now?! 🙂

Here’s the front.  I particularly love the little pockets with their red trim and little V’s at the top.

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On the back, there’s a lovely fastening at the top.  The lady who served me in the sewing store when I went to buy one button (15c, big spender!) thought I was nuts.  The fabric I used was from Bonnie and Camille’s Scrumptious range (surprise surprise!).

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If you are a better seamstress than I, you can get the pattern here. 

Have a wonderful day!

JF