Saturday, 6 June 2015

Monkey Duo

Two more monkeys for the children at the NP hospital children's ward.  First up is Lewis, he uses a plain lime green sock for his body with a blue/pale blue/green/grey sock for his arms, tail and ears.  His nose is the pale blue heel of the striped sock, so it matches the stripes on his arms.
 Next we have Jessie.  She's a shy girl, with her lovely striped arms, ears and tail.  Her body had ladybirds all over it and her nose is black, but with a big, bright red grin!  Her eyebows match her nose. 
Both monkeys were named by my father, not sure where he came up with them?!

Ragged Roses

My third ever quilt.  I call it Ragged Roses.  I used two blender fabrics - pink and burgandy - and two rose printed fabrics, both with a pale blue background, one with tiny roses and the other with slightly larger roses.  The back of each square used the same dark green blender fabric with little green dots (tones with the leaves on the roses on the front fabrics).  

As you can see, each square has an X sewn through the centre, then I laid out all the squares in a uniform diagonal pattern.  Because the rose print fabric has a pale blue background, it helped break up the pinks and burgandies.  The final step of construction is to snip all the seams to create the 'raggy' effect.  

Size-wise, this is a rectangular knee quilt or crib sized - bit wider than a normal crib quilt, so possibly good for over a toddler bed or as an extra layer at the foot of a single bed in winter.

Friday, 5 June 2015

Second Throwback

My second ever quilt was one I made for my Mum.  It was a raggy quilt using cotton fabrics, flannel and some chenille (with cotton fabric on the back of the chenille because otherwise it's really thick!).  I chose colours that would co-ordinate with her bedroom - deep burgandies, neutral beiges, some creams.  As you can see from the photo below, I did a random placement of all the squares.  I purchased the fabrics from a lovely lady at a local quilting shop (in Hawera) which has, sadly, now closed down.

I took a photo of the quilt, hanging on the washing line (as above) and took the photo with me to England, where we were travelling to spend Christmas with family.  On Christmas Eve, I wrapped the photo up in paper and on Christmas morning, instead of receiving her present, Mum received a photo of her gift!  The quilt itself is a knee-rug size, although it's more rectangular than square, it's also been used on cooler nights to pull up near her shoulders in bed or put across her feet over the bedcovers. 

I had to do all the sewing for this in secret, while Mum was at work or out so she wouldn't see it.  The best way I found to do that was to actually be making another quilt at the same time....the trick, of course, was to try and keep the two projects separated so I didn't mix up the blocks!!

Throwback Friday

Well, I thought I'd show a few quilts I've previously made.  The first is the first ever quilt I made, it's baby-sized, perhaps not big enough for a crib, but might be big enough for a bassinet.  It's certainly big enough for throwing over a baby in a stroller or a carseat.  It's big enough to put on the floor when you want to change bubs or if you're at someone else's place and want to prevent any spit-ups on their carpet.

I chose some bright fabrics that I thought would be suitable for either a boy or a girl.  I didn't really know much about fabrics or what would 'work', so I just chose some fabrics/colours I thought would look good together.  The first fabric I chose was the bugs in the centre, then I chose colours that would 'go' with those bugs - the red and the yellow.  Finally I chose the gingham/flower fabric in the last border, which was sitting next to the bugs on the shelf.  The orange was because I thought it was a bit too 'blue' and would brighten it up.  I was quite pleased with how it came out.
Instead of actually 'quilting' this quilt, I decided to tie it.  Basically, you take some co-ordinating (or matching) embroidery threads and a big-ish needle with a sharp point.  To poke the thread through from the top, on the other side, you take the thread back up close to where it came down.  On the topside, you just tie a knot in the two ends and voila!  You can see in the top picture how there are little ends of the threads.

I followed a youtube tutorial video to make this quilt, but I can't remember where it was now or what it was called...I think it was just called "Easy Baby Quilt" or something like that.

All Worthwhile

I was asked to make three monkeys, for three gorgeous wee kids in the USA.  I wanted to make sure I made them very special, but also link them together, like a family.  The wee girl's monkey was easy - I had the perfect socks to make a little girl monkey, pink, stripes, flowers.

So here she is!  I'm a big fan of yellow and I think it goes perfectly with the pinks.  The little blue flowers really stand out well on her body and I've added eyelashes to give her more femininity.  I love how she looks like she's wearing little yellow socks.  I am also becoming more and more a fan of mixing my socks up - stripes for the arms, tail and (normally) ears, while the body is the pink with blue flowers.

This is the monkey for the older boy.  Again, I used two different but co-ordinated socks; the red arms, tail and ears have tiny blue dots that match the blue stripes in the body.  Because he's a boy, I didn't give him any eyelashes but he has a big grin.

And monkey number three, for the most adorable middle child of the family.  The green arms, tail and ears are plain green, but tone so well with the green stripe in the body sock - which has blue, grey, pale blue and green stripes.  Again, no eyelashes, but another big grin (just like his new owner).

I left all the name tags blank so the kids (or their parents) can name their special monkeys whatever they'd like.  Turns out, the boys ended up swapping monkeys (which is perfectly fine with me, so long as everyone was happy...and they were!).  It was truly the most amazing gift to receive a couple of photos a few days later with the kids and their monkeys.

This smile makes everything worthwhile!!  It's the best gift back ever!!!