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

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

Scandinavian style baby quilt

On mother’s day in early May, I had a little more time than usual in the sewing room.  It was my request for the day – so much better than breakfast in bed!

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I took the chance to make a quilt top for a friend of mine who is a new mother.  Her daughter arrived 4 weeks early, and so I didn’t quite have the gift ready for little miss’ arrival.  Nevertheless, it is complete now, and I thought I would share with you some photos.

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I didn’t use a pattern for this quilt, but I gave a description of how to make it in this post.

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I decided to back the quilt in flannelette, because it is winter here and nothing is more snuggly.  That way, the quilt has a cool side and a warm side, so that it can be used year-round.

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I had picked up the fabric for the front at a quilter’s fair earlier in the year, and it is by Cloud 9.  The backing is a Moda fabric which, despite being from a fairy-tale styled range, coordinates well with the pinks and creams on the quilt top.  I used all of the scraps from the fabrics I used on the top to make a scrappy binding, and so there was less than one fat quarter’s worth of waste for the whole quilt.  That made me especially happy!

My Mum, who so often helps me with the hand-sewing part of binding, did it again on this quilt.  Thanks Mum 🙂  It means I was able to post the finished product to the recipient yesterday.  Now I have the anticipation of waiting for the recipient’s reaction… one of the parts of giving quilts I enjoy most.

Have a great day, all.

jf

Mother’s day magic

I didn’t have a lot of requests for mother’s day.  My little girl is too small to make me breakfast in bed (in fact, a whole night of sleep would be a big enough win in my book… and I didn’t get that!) and so my one wish was for some sewing time.  My mother’s day wish came true!

Here’s the product.  All done in a matter of about 3 hours, this quilt top:

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It was made without a pattern, but was really very easy.  Here’s how it is done:

From 10 fat quarters, I cut 20 squares with 10″ sides.  Then I grouped the squares into 5 groups of 4 each, and I tried to mix up the patterns so that there was an even distribution of the more plain colours (yellow, pink and navy) among the patterned fabrics.

Then I took all of the 10″ squares and cut them down the diagonal to create triangles.  I sewed two contrasting triangles together, pressed them and then cut them in half along the other diagonal.

Then, I paired two of the resulting units together and sewed them along the long hypotenuse to make a square again, but now a square with 4 colours in each!

Then it was just a matter of laying the blocks out into 5 rows of 4, and joining it all together.

I sliced up the remainder of 8 of the fat quarters into 2.5″ strips, joined them together and have a scrappy binding ready for the final step of finishing this quilt.

It also means I have very little waste… just the scraps of two fat quarters.  That makes me really happy!

This will be a gift for a friend of mine who has just had a little baby girl.  I hope that she will love it.  It might seem odd to have spent mother’s day sewing for someone else, but the pleasure for me is in the making, and honouring a new mother is so much fun.  Plus, as I sewed I had a nice big pot of tea and listened to daggy musicals while my darling husband and daughter did the groceries.  Win-win.

While you can’t see it in the picture, the backing I have laid it out with is a brushed cotton (flannelette) pink fabric with clouds all over it… a Kate and Birdie fabric for Moda.  The fabrics on the quilt top are ones I picked up from the last quilt show I attended, and they are from Cloud 9 (though I can’t tell you much more about them than that!).  They’ve got a nice Scandinavian flavour that is an unusual colour combination for me.  It’s always nice to make something that’s a bit different.

The flanny backing should make it extra snuggly, while the top can be a cooler side for summer and for tummy time.

I can’t wait to get home and baste!

Have a great day,

jf

 

 

 

Red letter day – done!

My talented quilting buddies Julia and Liz and I have finished our Red Letter Day project.  Didn’t it turn out wonderfully!?

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The pattern is by Camille Roskelley, and can be purchased from her blog.  The fabrics are largely Bonnie and Camille, with a few other nice ones thrown in there!

Julia and I made the blocks, and Liz was responsible for the quilting.  What a team we are 🙂

Those same people, Julia and Liz have a new venture that I can’t wait to support.  Their online fabric store, www.quiltmodern.com.au went live today!  If you are looking for fabulous fabric, check them out.

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

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