Camping in the USA quilt

Inspiration taken from this pin which I saw while on holiday in Summer. The appeal of this one was the simplicity – just strips and squares making up strips. Then I realised I could use the theme of the quilt as well, as I’d bought some charm square packs that would fit the camping/outdoors theme. Once I’d tracked down the two sets of charm squares (one little one larger) and went through my stash to find other fabrics which matched the theme. I finally got to use some Cowboys stuff I’d bought ages ago.

I made some of the strips wider and some of them narrower to give it some interest, then when it was big enough gave it a thin white sashing and a cheater quilt border since the pattern and colours seemed to match.

During the course of sewing it up I was wondering who it was for and then I realised – I have a friend who went on a one person camping trip through the States. My old nemesis Fraser. So once I had the quilt top together and knew it was for Fraser, I had the perfect donated vintage star wars sheet to use for the backing.

I didn’t do too much interesting with the hand quilting, I just followed the lines for the most part. I picked out a couple of foxes, hedgehogs and merit badge looking things in the various fabrics but it was straight forward handquilting.

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Selvedge quilt

I started to make a selvedge quilt a long time ago. Basically in between other projects or even concurrently, I’ve been sewing together strips and scraps of selvedge and leftovers from other projects into loose log cabins. I don’t like cutting off the sewing machine thread in between bits, so having a basket or two of strips beside the machine means it’s easy enough to have this going. I think I moved up to Auckland with three or four decent sized log cabins, that was two and a half years ago now and I’ve been pretty consistently sewing since.

At the start of the year I realised I’d been doing this long enough I could make a quilt of it. I used a couple of mismatched blocks to change things up a little, made sure the log cabins were the same size and sewed them together with wide white borders. It was kind of weirdly tall and thin so I made use of the long pieces of strips I’d been sewing together as well, with an eye for just this kind of use. The piece I used for the sides was so wide I was able to cut it in half lengthwise so there’s some symmetry there. The top and bottom is mostly leftover square shapes which I sewed into a long piece.

I did this while I was on my summer holiday, got it assembled and pinned, and then left it for a while so I could get some more urgent baby quilt projects done. For the backing, a huge leftover piece of cheater quilt fabric which I had from a baby quilt project.

Once it was time to pick it up and hand quilt I had to think about who was going to receive this beauty. Not everyone would appreciate a ‘leftover bits’ quilt, and it’s so bitsy, so many different fabrics. Then I thought of the perfect recipient and became excited to finish and give it to her.

I picked out a couple of details to showcase, but as you can see from the closeups there’s a lot going on in this quilt. I love it to bits, and I hope Alexis and her cat, Toby, do too.

Baby quilt for workmate

I’ve made and facilitated quite a few of these baby quilts for testers 🙂

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Just the top of the quilt done.

Another quilt for a workmate’s baby. This one was a lot of fun. I did an alternate squares thing by sewing long strips together, cutting them and making four square patches. Then a nice fat strip of a fabric I wanted to feature. I ended up sewing it together so it was much too long and tall… so I screwed my courage to the sticking place and cut up the quilt, reassembling it so it was wider and less tall. It was exciting and scary, but I quite like how it came out.

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Assembled, quilted and binding done.

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A big bit of Ikea owls fabric for the backing.

Crafts of Christmas past

One neat thing about going home for Christmas is that my mother has still got all the silly little things I’ve made her in the past and I can revisit my old crafts (and see how much better I’ve got.)

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The little bear nativity set. Mostly hand stitched which meant they took ages… very pleased with how fuzzy Joseph bear is. It’s possible I only made two wise bears? The fleecy looking one is the shepherd bear of course. (90s.)

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Little owls. I made these a couple of years in a row and I believe a number of my friends may even still have their little owls. (00s)

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Little cats. I made these out of old t shirts and hand painted with fabric paint, hand embroidered faces. I made this ginger stripey one to look like Mum’s old cat Bilbo. (00s)

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I don’t think I made this angel to look like she was shrugging all the time, but there it is. I can’t recall where I got the pattern, probably from a craft book or a magazine. I’m still fond of her, all made of calico, even the hair, and some little roses on the front of her dress. The eyes are a little lopsided, but she still has a sweet expression. (Late 90s I think)

Cheery quilt and cat lap pet

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I had one of those days where I just wanted to make something. I don’t know what causes these days, but I’m thankful to have them and when I have the energy to actually follow up on the urge. So I grabbed a set of charm squares I had in my stash and just started cutting them and sewing them together at random. I loved how happy and warm the colours were so I added some fat strips of other fabrics out of my stash which seemed to complement the charm squares. Pinterest got me super into the white sashing so I added some nice thick strips of white, some left over bits of charm square for the corners and extra bits of strips for the border.

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Once it was together I added some cherry blossom inspired flowers appliqued to the white sashing and it really became pretty. I decided to give it to my workmate Aimee around this time, and to make it even more comforting Anna suggested I add a fuzzy cat so you could have it on your lap and pet the cat… instead of making it part of the quilt I made it like a plushie. Really happy how this came out, like a soft sculpture made with machine stitching and some hand embellishments.

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