Tulip Parade

I recently finished my tulip wall hanging, originally it was meant to be a table runner, but when I held it up to show off to the family members…( I usually chase them, screeching ..Look what I´ve done, what do you think, what do you think?? …..and they´re very good about loving everything I make 🙂 )…..well anyway, they all agreed that it would look great on the wall, specifically where it is now, this little nook where we prepare coffee, toast etc. So that´s were its´s living now!

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I found the pattern at Porch swing quilts, http://porchswingquilts.blogspot.com/2017/12/tiptoe-quilt-along.html and decided to give it a try.

This was my first time making flying geese and HRTs, and as you can plainly see it´s not perfect, somehow I ended up with  blunt center tips on the blue and yellow tulip. I contemplated redoing these, but  I really didn’t feel like it! I was in a hurry to finish and left them, with the excuse that in real life flowers aren’t perfect either 😉

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I quilted the tulips with wavy lines and the background with straight lines, my machine has a tulip sitch wich I used to stitch down the border. All in all I´m very happy with the way it turned out, and it just makes me happy every time I make coffee or toast.

Thanks for the visit, Have a great day!

Almost Zig Zag

I FINALLY!!! Finished my almost zig zag lap quilt. I say almost zig zag because you kind of have to look carefully to actually see the pattern. I really just wanted a very simple mixture of a redish and greenish quilt, so I bought charm packs of Kaffe Fassett reds and greens. You might recall this was the quilt in my blog post “Patiently waiting”, well it waits no longer and is done! For the back I used a flowery red fabric I found in a store not so near to me.

Along with the simplicity I wanted it to be soft with lots of loft, so I did minimal quilting, just wavy lines along the seams, I used cream Aurifil thread on top and red on the bobbin, so it’s hardly visible at the back.

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Jack as usual wanted to pose alongside the quilt 🙂 He knows he´s ever so handsome!

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Oscar still wearing his winter coat, come for a quick look and dashed away, he´s very camera-shy.IMG_3451

Here´s a photo of the quilt on my work table to show the zig zag pattern.

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And because I´m vain, I added my label, Hand made by The Monkey Thorn, 🙂 I had these made up and shipped from the Dutch Label Shop.

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Thanks for stopping by, Have a wonderful day!

Isabella´s Backpack

Well here we are again, and once again Isabella is the muse for this post, ever since she  started school, I have wanted to make her a backpack, because it´s very important for 10 month olds to take their nappies, baby wipes, bottles and toys in a pretty backpack to nursery school, and also because I´ve been wanting to make a backpack for ages and this was the perfect excuse 😉

For most of the fabric I used  scraps left over from the quilt I made for her cot Here and also bought a strip of owl print fabric, I just love owls!

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Before assembling the bag I quilted  with straight lines along the seams. The bag is lined in plastic so that it can be wiped down, it has press studs on the top of both sides so it can be opened up easily, and the straps are adjustable so that when she starts university she can still use it 🙂

 

Well here you have it, all finished and ready for Miss Muffet to use.

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Thanks for stopping by, have a lovely day!

 

 

 

Autumn Nine Patch

When I started this quilting adventure, one of my best friends mentioned how she would like a quilt in autumn tones, so for her upcoming birthday, I decided I would gift her with one.

Because as usual I am pressed for time and the quilt had to be all done in time for her birthday, I went ahead with a simple 9 patch disappearing quilt top. I couldn’t help myself and added some green blocks, in autumn you can still find bright green leaves right?  The binding is a scrappy one, and the quilting is simple wavy lines, the quilting is quite spaced out because I want the quilt to have loft and be supple.

I did have a few hiccups along the way, I bought beige background fabric at our local market, where I was assured that it was 100% cotton bla bla. But when I started ironing the seams of the sewn up blocks, the fabric literally shrunk before my eyes, pulling at the printed fabrics. Very frustrating. I had to unpick everything and buy new fabric, soooo… a lot of wasted time and money.

But all´s well that ends well, I finished the quilt ahead of time and hopefully my friend Amanda will like it.

Here it is.

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Thanks for stopping by. 🙂

 

 

 

The Purple One!

A while back a friend of mine asked me for a purple quilt. I kept putting it off because purple is just not my colour! and also because my time is so scarce, and I had other projects in mind, so I couldn´t summon up the enthusiasm to make it. But then the universe conspired against my unwillingness to make this quilt.

Another very good friend from Mozambique come for a visit and brought some batiks for me, and wouldn´t you believe it, 2 of them were in purple hues! A week later when I was at our nearby seaside village São Pedro de Moel, that on Sundays has a few stalls, and when I say few I really mean few, it´s usually just the 2 that sell the same thing 🙂 identical clothes! Anyway, the one stall is owned by a Senegalese couple, and lo and behold  they had a purple and yellow batik! So I got myself some, and that’s when I knew I would have to make the quilt. I bought another 3 purple fabrics, 2 of them solids.

Here is a photo I took of São Pedro de Moel, a few years ago. It´s very pretty, the photo doesn´t do it justice.

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Anyway, I decided to make it using the scrappy trip method. So although I only had 6 different types of fabric, I went ahead with this method on the Purple One…. Shame, that’s what I called it all the time, The Purple One! in the beginning it was really not very loved, but over time it started to grow on me, and as I put it together I started to like the purple combinations more and more.

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Initially I was just going to bind the quilt without making borders, but it really would have been quite boring, so I added the two white borders and the pieced border in-between. I think the borders changed the whole look of the quilt and it turned out quite nice. I  quilted with wavy lines in a cream coloured thread.  I was going to use purple thread, but wanted the white borders to have a clean look, so I used the cream, for the back I just used a plain white fabric.

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So finally I was all finished and in love with my purple quilt, and off it went into the Washing machine, threw in some color catcher sheets, used detergent for mixed colors…… and would you BELIEVE IT! ….The quilt lines on the back were stained purple, everywhere that the Senegalese batik and the darker solid purple were. Well… thats it, I am officially back to hating purple, this quilt has taken its revenge!

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I´ve always been told not to pre-wash fabrics when quilting, but if I had, maybe this wouldn’t have happened. After this disaster I took a swatch of both fabrics, quilted them and put them in bowls of water with detergent, and this is what happened, the dark purple bled into the water, and the batik did not, however after drying, the batik had the quilt lines stained and the dark fabric not! How confusing is that!!?? I think I´ll have to take up another hobby, it´s very frustrating to spend hours and days on a project, in my case months, because I have so little time, and then this sort of thing happens. I don´t know whether to scream or cry.

Here you can see how the bowl that had the batik is clear, but how the colour bled in the plain purple quilted swatch, and yet it´s the batik that bled to the thread.

 

Has this ever happened to any of you? If anyone has any ideas please let me know.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Baby mat, or dog bed… you choose.

When my youngest Megan, was a baby, she had a fabric play mat that had a tubular round edge all around so that she couldn’t roll out of it, and also when she got older, she could play inside with her toys without them rolling out onto the floor.

So the other day, Andi my eldest daughter was saying how she would like something similar for Isabella, so I decided to make one.

Since this item will always be on the floor, I wanted a darkish fabric, so I chose a robust fabric for the bottom panel, a cotton twill blend in grey, and a 100% cotton for the top and edge, the top fabric has a farm motif.

I must say that one of my friends said the fabric was more suited for a boy than a girl, but really it has pink piggies so that´s good enough for me 😉, ……and I admit she also said it looked like a dog bed(maybe I should get a new friend 🙂 )….  she is quite right though, it does look like a dog bed…… and it would have been less costly to buy a dog bed!!, But I didn’t let that bother me, when baby has outgrown it, I will give it to Jack or Oscar, they both love to tear up dog beds.

Anyway for those of you who might be wanting to make a baby play mat that resembles a dog bed, or make a genuine dog bed, here goes!

For a 0.98cm square mat, you will need;

  • A bottom square of metre fabric, this includes the 1 cm seams on both sides, mine was the grey twill.
  • A top square of 1m fabric, this includes the 1 cm seams on both sides, mine was the cotton farm pattern.
  • A strip of the top fabric of  +- 4.20m x .32cm, the strips will have to be sewn together to get the required length, also I always make the tube bigger than necessary to allow for the corners etc.
  • A square of 1m Polyester blend batting.
  • Enough filling for the round ridge that goes around the mat.

Take the top square fabric right side facing up, and attach the square polyester batting to the bottom by sewing a quick zig zag all around the edges. Trim the excess batting

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Take the strip of fabric and fold in half so that the wrong sides are facing each other and sew together to make a tube, leaving only the top end open. Once its  sewn turn the tube inside out, so the right side is now facing out.

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Next, attach the tube to the top part of the top square fabric, right sides facing, before reaching the end cut the excess fabric, so that it will be flush with the top square. remember you still have one side open to stuff the tube.

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When that is done, attach the bottom fabric to the top part, right side facing  the tube will also be inside. Leave a small gap to turn the whole thing inside out when done.

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Once the mat has been turned inside out through the gap, fill the tube with whichever filling takes your fancy, I used shredded foam because it was the cheapest, and it need loads of filling. handsew the opening of the tube and the gap of the grey fabric on the bottom of the mat, and that’s it, all done.

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Of course you can add all sorts of toys to the mat, I didn´t because I know the utility of this mat will be pretty short, once baby starts exploring a bit further than what siting on her bottom allows her to do. So we just put toys inside which can be taken out and played with anywhere.

Well there you have it people, a baby play mat or a dog bed, both useful and easy to make. 😊

Crib Bumper

After finishing the baby quilt for my granddaughter, I made the crib bumper. I didn´t want it to be too busy, so I opted to use only 2 fabrics the white and the striped fabric that I used as one of the borders on the quilt.

For each bumper, I cut the white fabric into 3 strips of 17cm x 40cm  allowing for 1cm seams on either side, and the striped fabric into 2 strips of 9.5cm by 40cm.

So the final measurements of the bumpers will be 60 x 38cm each. Of course you can adjust the measurements to any size you want, it all depends on the size of the cot.

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Sew the strips together

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Iron the seams towards the darker fabric.

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I did a zig zag along the edges of the strips.

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Sew the top of the bumper to the batting and trim the excess batting.

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Next, make the fabric tubes  to tie the bumpers to the crib.

Cut 24 strips of 9cm x 38cm (allowing for 1 cm seams) in the white fabric. Again you can use your own measurements.

Fold the strips in half and sew along the length and the top, leaving the bottom open, so you can turn it inside out.

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Once you have them all sewn.

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Turn them inside out, I use a chopstick to push the fabric inside itself, it´s so quick and easy!

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Once they´re all turned inside out, sew along the edges on the right side, it just sort of makes it look neater and prettier.

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Attach 2 of the ties to the sides of the bumper and sew along the edge.

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When you´ve sewn the ties to the bumper it should look like this.

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Next you pin and sew the backing to the front of the bumper (right sides together).

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Leave a gap on one of the sides , about 12 to 15 cm.

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Then sew all along the edge and turn the whole thing inside out through the gap that was left open.

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In order to keep the theme of the zig zag, which I had also used on the quilt, I chose to sew a zig zag border, about 7cm from the edge.

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Ok, so here is the part where I cheated 😉

Of course the gap should be closed, by hand sewing a running stitch, but because I hate hand sewing, and the bottom of the bumper will be tucked in by the mattress and won´t be seen. I just machine sewed the gap!

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Next step. Wash, iron and attach the 3 bumpers to the sides of the cot.

And here´s how it looks on the cot.

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Well that´s it, Super easy and quick!

Hope you like it 🙂

 

 

Baby Sashed Quilt

Once I found out I´m going to be a grandmother, the burning question was… Is the baby a girl or boy? While we waited for baby to grow a bit, so we could find out during the scan, I made a few items in greens and yellows, but what I really wanted to make, was a quilt for the cot. So as soon as we found out that baby is a girl, I jumped into action and bought the material.

I got some of the fabrics from IKEA, and some beautiful Tilda fabric.

I don´t really like to make major measuring decisions, I sort of just go along and see how things evolve 🙂 and when I figure it´s big enough I stop!

So here is how I made the quilt.

Cut strips of the various fabrics into 21 cm by 7 cm, allowing for 0.5 cm seams.

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Join the strips in batches of 3, using different strips all the time, the aim is to try to get as much diversity as possible, of course this all depends on how many different varieties of fabric you have.

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Once the strips are sewn together, cut them in 2 horizontally, so you land up with 3 strips of smaller blocks.

And then mix and match these smaller strips with others and sews 3 of them together to form a new block.

Because I didn´t know which strips I was going to join together, I ironed all the seams open.

This little tool you see here, is actually a black head remover that I bought from Avon! But I find that it works brilliantly as a sewing helper in keeping the seams open during sewing. 🙂

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Cut the strips for the sashing, which in this case are 17cm x 7cm (which will allow for 1 cm seams) and squares for the corner blocks 7cm x 7cm.  sew  small squares to the white strips for the sashing between the rows, horizontal or vertical, whichever you prefer.

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I always try to chain piece as much as possible

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So you land up with a long string of sashing parts, then just cut the thread between each.img_1675

Once your blocks are sewn,  sew a strip of the white sashing to one side of the block, always add to the same side of the blocks, either the bottom or the lateral side

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Then add the  sashing  with the corner square to the block. I ironed the sashing seams to one side. Alway try to iron towards the dark side,  although sometimes  this isn´t possible.

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Here you can see the white sashing at the bottom of the blocks and on the top left corner, the sashing on the side already sewn to the block. In order to keep my blocks in the manner that I found most pleasing I pinned the number of the block to each, because I can easily get lost when I am busing sewing and ironing the seams.

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Once the blocks have the sashing,  sew them together to form rows, and then  sew the rows together.

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To the top and bottom row, sew a strip of sashing.

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Right…. So when you have the top all sewn….whew… must say, on my very basic sewing machine and sewing at night, it took me a while! But all worth it 🙂 ….Well now you know why my photos are sometimes quite dark, I mainly sew at night and also my sewing room is in an attic room with a smallish skylight window!

Cut the batting so that some of it is visible all around the top.

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And cut the backing so that is a little wider than the batting.

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Before joining the backing, I appliqued a square of fabric of Alice in Wonderland to the backing, just to make sure that baby always knows that Granny Alice made this quilt 🙂

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Then you have to make sure that the 3 layers are smooth using safety pins to pin, pin and pin, the more you pin the easier it is to keep the layers together without shifting during sewing.

I  quilted using zig zag stitching along the seams of the sashing, I love zig zag it´s so forgiving of little mistakes.

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Here is the top

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And here is the back.

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Next step is the binding, I wanted a little something extra before the final binding, so I cut  6 cm wide strips of contrasting fabric, joined the strips on the diagonal,  folded and ironed in half, just like a  binding strip.

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I sewed the strip to the front of the quilt, just like a normal binding strip, but I did not fold it to the back of the quilt. i left it loose on the right side

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I then made the binding 8 cm wide with the same fabric as the sashing squares and attached the binding to the quilt. For a great binding tutorial go to (https://www.craftsy.com/blog/2014/09/how-to-bind-quilts/ ) I left the batting around the quilt +- 4cm, so that when folding over the binding it had the fullness of the batting.

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Hand sewing is not my favorite thing,  but in this case it was the best option to sew the back of the binding to the quilt

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And there you have it. Baby quilt all done. Of course Hubby also had to do his bit, so his job was to hold up the quilt for the final photos 🙂 Now he wants all the credit!

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Well thats the quilt all done, now it just needs to be washed and placed in the cot, to wait for baby´s arrival….Cant´wait!!