Quick Baby Cow Quilt

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Happy Cows

An old friend of mine who’s living in Canada had a baby boy a couple of months back and I really wanted to send a ‘hello’ to the new arrival. So I diligently got out my crochet hooks, bought some yarn and started crafting a colour change blanket.  It took me a few weeks to make, but somehow it just didn’t work out very well.  So, I have to confess that ditched it in the ‘one to try later’ pile!

Which all means that I’m rather late in sending something across the pond, and for the sake of speed, and because I was grumpy about my first try, I decided to dust off the sewing machine again and try my hand at a VERY SIMPLE quilt.  Actually, Quilt may be overselling it slightly, but there we go.

 

Beautiful fabric

Beautiful fabric

Jo had already found this fabulous fabric in the blue version (blue background, not blue cows!), and when I saw this bright green version, I grabbed it and ran.

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Funky?

 

My sewing machine and I have had a bit of an up and down relationship in the past (entirely the sewing machine’s fault of course), but actually, it behaved rather well on this occasion.  I’ve literally just stitched vertical lines along the quilt, onto a white fleece backing, and then edged it in a darkish grey.  I really wanted something funky and fun and not too traditionally ‘baby’ for this  project and I think it’s come out pretty well apart from perhaps a couple of corners which need a little love and erm, hiding.  I’m still learning the art of quilt making (and corners), so it was good to do this one entirely by myself (yay me!).  My last attempt took a whole lot longer and needed a fair amount of input from Jo (see here).

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It’s back to crochet for me now – a couple of projects in the pipeline, including a trio of little baskets for my spare room…..

Karey x

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Quick Quilt For My Boy

 

So, back many moons ago when I still had two brain cells to rub together, I read Geography at university. Although I was never much of an academic, I do have a deep seated love of maps and anything mappy. I had been pondering for a while on making a quilt for my 8 year old boy, but was struggling with fabric ideas – I wanted something that was boyish, but not too young that he would grow out of it too soon. So, when one day I was browsing fabric online (as you do) and I saw this new range of fabrics from Riley Blake, I was a very happy girl. It’s just lovely, although at the time I did have to search for a while to find a UK stockist, but then I came up trumps with Plush Addict  – and I was very, very happy to receive my bundle of fat quarters.

Now, I’m no genius quilter, I’m just happy with doing the basics and can make a passable job of a simple quilt. I have got into a habit of backing my quilts onto polar fleece. In my opinion it makes it cheaper (backing fabric and batting in one), slightly quicker and is soft and very easy to wash. My only reservation has been the polyester-ness of fleece. So, I was thrilled with the idea of bamboo fleece (also from Plush Addict) – all the soft loveliness of fleece but with the natural qualities of bamboo. It does seem to come in quite a limited number of colours, but as one of those happens to be the charcoal grey you can see the world maps printed in below, I was a happy girl.

 

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This fabric started off the whole idea…..

 

The fabric then lurked around in our spare room for a while, as these things do, until my son heading off to Cub Camp (for which he’d need a camp blanket) spurred me into action and I hatched a plan.

I wanted the quilt to be quick and easy – so I toyed with a lot of ideas and ended up with this as my plan. I’d cut the majority of my FQs up into strips 5cm, 10cm and 20cm wide, pretty much at random. I kept the world map fabric and the orange text fabric as whole FQ’s as I wanted to be able to see big patches of them in my finished design.

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I cut the fabric into strips – 5cm, 10cm and 20cm

I then stitched together my strips to make giant strips, the width I wanted my finished quilt to be. Now, one of the thing I’m rubbish at is being able to calculate what size of finished quilt I’ll end up with from the fabric I have – but I was going for something about single bed size.

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I then sewed together my strips to created giant stripes the width I wanted my finished quilt to be.

As I stitched the strips together I was random in my selection of fabrics, the only rule being not to have two of the same next to each other (because that would just be silly).

Once I’d made 4 of these giant strips, I cut along their length into widths of 5cm, 10cm and 20cm. I then mixed up all my quilt-width-strips and sewed them together, turning them round and mixing them up to get a random pattern.

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My finished quilt top…

To finish off, I added a border of unbleached cotton. I then pinned my quilt top onto my bamboo fleece fabric and stitched in the ditch across each of the stripes to attach the quilt top to the fleece.

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Finished!


I had some fabric scraps left over, so I used these to make the binding.

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The colour and weight of the bamboo fleece makes a perfect backing fabric – it has a lovely drape to it, it’s soft and not too bulky.

I’m happy with the finished result, and perhaps more importantly, so is the recipient. I’ll certainly be using bamboo fleece again, it has a lovely feel, good drape and is comfortable to snuggle up in. Now I just have to come up with another boy-friendly quilt idea for the smaller of my two boys….

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All done! One quilt for my big boy.

JP x

Happy New Year – Let the Making Commence!

Hello there – and a most Happy 2014 to you all!

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Wow….I’ve just had a really fun, full on, happy family, happy friends kind of Christmas.  Two weeks packed full of lovely stuff, and I’m now looking forward to seeing what the next 12 months have in store.

This is probably the first year that ‘most’ of my family got handmade presents (handmade by me that is!).  And, to be honest, there’s nothing like a Christmas deadline (and Jo threatening to finish things for me…) to focus the mind a little.

First on the list was this quilt for my daughter.

IMG_2198And let me just say….quilting folk, I bow down to you, and your dedication to straight lines.  This has been rather a labor of love for me – one I will only be likely to repeat for my son – after a long break – and perhaps hypnosis…..But – I have to say, I really do love the finished article.  Very pleased with the bright colours for the backing and edging, which I think turns this from plain pastel to pastel funky?

My other two projects took me back to my happy place of crochet – yay.  The first being my personal favourite. What do you think?

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A friend of mine bought one of these metal teapots and I loved it – so off I trotted to bag one for my brother (who has a bad habit of breaking tea pots….yes, really).  Then I managed to find this wonderful colour change yarn that just matches perfectly, and set to work making it a wooly hat.  Basic flat circle pattern using double crochet (UK terms) for the top bit and then moved onto half trebles for the rest. The bobble was just a moment of inspiration 🙂

And last over the finishing line was a second cushion for my Nan – which is of course now sitting happily in her house where I can’t take a picture of it (I know, I know, Jo and I are learning about the photo thing slowly…..see here) to go with this earlier one which followed a Bavarian Crochet pattern (there’s a great tutorial for this stitch here):

Bavarian Crochet Cushion

Bavarian Crochet Cushion

I was basically far too lazy to make a second identical one, but wanted to use the same colour palette – so I just made small squares using one of my favourite yarns (Sirdar Snuggly Baby Bamboo DK) and then crocheted them together. Once it was all neat and tidy, I just sewed the panel onto the front of a 30x30cm cushion that I’d bought from eBay and voila!

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So….what next I hear you ask? Well, I think it’s time for something for me, and I’ve been hankering after this poncho that I saw on Ravelry…take a look here. It’s just possible that I’ve got some lovely, navy, chunky yarn hidden away somewhere.

Until next time.

KB