Sewing has still been a bit elusive for me this year, but I had to drag out my machine to do some clothing repairs for a friend with mobility issues, and took the opportunity while the machine was out to finish up this quilt that was started a while ago. Kailee B. and Thiv T. welcomed their first-born to the world a couple of years ago, and I made them a baby quilt to echo some of the beautiful bright orange colors in their wedding. Well they have recently welcomed baby #2 into the world (hello Kiran!), and I wanted to make sure he had his snuggling needs fully met. To that end, I wanted something that was complimentary to his sister's quilt, but also different. For this, I used a partially-finished quilt top a friend had started but didn't complete, and pulled it together with a backing of well-loved tie-dyed soft gooshiness (a sheet that I have loved for literal decades but the fitted sheet in the set had met it's makers, so it was time for an upcycle of the topsheet). I used a poly quilt batting in between for extra bounce, quilted it simply along the cross stitch lines, and bound the while thing is a slightly contrasting binding that I personally think does a nice job of framing, while giving a small nod to the funky colors on the back. I think this could genuinely be a reversible quilt--- I love both sides. It's a simple quilt, but I think a perfect size for a petit bebe, and I love the color matching with his sister, but also the differences and gentler vibe--- knowing how active his dear sister is, I imagine he will bring a bit more of the chill... or not! We shall see! Etiher way, i hope he and the whole family enjoy this little bundle of comfy!
Well it's been a minute.... 2022 was a dumpster fire of a year for me after the trauma and violence of the occupation here in Ottawa in February. So everything, including sewing, fell away as I collapsed in on myself. But life goes on, literally and figuratively, and my dear friend Dallas A. is about to welcome her second child into the world in early 2023. Healing is a journey, and new life is a big motivator. I did a little quiet ritual for myself on New Years Eve, and without intending to, woke up New Years Day inspired to sew again for the first time in a very long while. I followed the inspiration and got this lovely little gem sewed up.
It is a bit of a contrast to the one I did a few years ago for her son Elio, but also has echoes of it, which was ultimately the intention as sibling quilts. To that end, the color palette is light, rosy and feminine (I am not usually into gendered baby stuff, but Dal is having a girl and is excited for it--- it felt right). Riffing off of the suspended diamonds in Elios quilts, I went for suspended squares in this one. So, inspired by the warm red and pink checks of the background fabric, I raided my stash of repurposed/ upcycled fabrics for complimentary patterns and colors, and got to cutting! It came together pretty quickly once I had figured out the pattern in my head. That said, my math was a bit off and I made one too many rows. So I repurposed that work and incorporated it into the binding which is kind of fun. I used a backing fabric that has little textured nubs on it--- reminds me of a bedspread from my grandmothers home. And quilted it simply using the suspended colored blocks as a base. I also hand tied the blocks with some white yarn from another project for a bit of added baby-esque charm, and added an iron-on label on the back. I was out of the habit of taking pictures as I go, so only have some of the final product, but that is good enough as I get back into the saddle of sewing again.
Looking forward to welcoming Dallas' little bean into the world, and hope she gets many years of warmth and cuddles with this blanket!
I made this lovely quilt for my youngest sister Lesley B. for christmas. She is a big skull fan, so I decided to go with a tighter purple palate and pulled all of the different fabrics in my stash that I could find that fit this color way, and then embedded a sneaky secret skull in soft grey into the design. It took me a while to map it all out, but eventually I got there, and went with an 11x15 block design. I placed all 120-something blocks out on my floor to get the pattern right (and added some corner flairs to the blocks around the mouth to give it a bit more definition), and then collapsed everything up in order into the 15 rows that made up the length of the quilt. Once everything was all mapped, it was then a matter of sewing ALL THE BLOCKS together which took a while, but was quite satisfying in the end. I was using a soft quilted backing again, but having learned recently from my cousin's baby quilt, this type of fabric is not great for machine quilting, so after binding it in a complimentary batik fabric, I decided to hand tie the entire thing with golden embroidery floss. Again, quite time consuming, but in the end a nice final effect, in my opinion! I hope Les gets many years of warmth and coziness from this spooooooky quilt!
My dear cousins Heidi C. and Nathan H. are about to have their first baby (aka swirly), and since I was seeing them over the holidays, I was able to complete their baby quilt to gift to them in person. I felt like I wanted to do one with lots of faces on it (which I learned later was a favourite feature of Nathan's own baby quilt), but I broke things up with slashes of bright rosy fabric just to mix things up a bit. I also framed everything in that fabric, and then made a narrow border using some of the fabric from cousin Alexis and Andrew's daughter Claire's quilt a few years ago, for a little cousin resonance. I made some bright red binding to go around the outside, and backed it in a soft, quilted green fabric. This backing was a little stretchy, so unfortunately it didn't quilt very smoothly and there are some puckers in the back... but hey! I guess that means it is homemade! :) I hope swirly gets many years of cuddles and comfort from this quilt!
Well... better late than never, right? I have been working on this quilt for Vanessa M. for a few months now, and in that time, I missed all three milestones for which it was intended. You win some, you lose some. But in the end, I got it finished and sent off to her. Vanessa and I have been friends for decades, and there were three milestones this year to celebrate: both of us turning 44 (#doubledigits), Vanessa getting married to her long-time partner in August (perhaps the most important), and celebrating the 25th anniversary of International Amy and Vanessa day in September (no wait, that is the most important).
It was a moment of milestones, and I thought it would be nice to mark them with a quilt for my dear friend two whom I have never actually gifted a quilt despite so many years together. We are similar in some ways, but not always when it comes to aesthetics. As one might notice on this blog, I am into COLOR, whereas Vanessa has a more minimalist aesthetic. So I did my best to honor that in this design.
Using up-cycled batiks, I wove together a mosaic-inspired central panel showing off the navy and blue fabrics, and then like a supernova, slowly worked my way out from there and into the abyss of space (which is an upcycled bedsheet, also used as the backing). It is a small design detail but one I like for those who care to notice, at one corner the scattering of stardust leaks into the outer trim and into the binding itself. Not revolutionary or particularly dramatic, but i love that little detail and I feel like it is something she would notice and enjoy.
After finally finishing the quilt top, I sandwiched everything and started the epic task of quilting this thing. I am not a huge quilting fan and usually keep things quite simple, but I felt like this quilt demanded the free-motion-quilting treatment to really bring it all together. It took a long time, but as usual, when I do make the time for it (like on my white whale quilt), I love the final effect on both the front and backsides. I made the binding from more of the navy backing along with some scraps from the center blocks to create the very subtle 'fading off into the edges' effect.
I hope that this quilt gets many years of minimalist-design-loving snuggles!
I whipped up this bright baby quilt for my friend Christine H. as she gets ready to welcome her first baby into the world in a couple of months. I actually got it done in time for the baby shower! Gasp!
I wanted to play with stripes and color, so I did up some strip sets with some bright, red-ish baby-themed fabrics in my stash, trimmed them up into blocks and then rimmed them all with some of the green apple fabric in my stash. I think it is sweet! Then I added a rim of my fave tie dyed batik that pulled in many of the colors from the striped blocks before adding a final edge of lime fabric-- because why not? I made some binding out of a juicy red fabric from my stash and finished it up!
I really like this for a baby-- it is not a huge quilt, but is super colorful, great for tucking in for a snuggle, and can also serve as a bright, colorful play mat or blanket for setting up outside for some play time. I hope she enjoys it, and it gets lots of use!
I sewed up this quilt for Shivani C. and her new little baby Aavu! I really like it! Much more 'pink' and monotoned than I usually do, but I knew Shivani would be into it.
I made this using almost all of the rest of the Glebe Patches I had left in my stash. They are just so lovely, and I thought it was time to give them a new home. I chose one of my favourite pink clamshell patterned fabrics to use as the framing fabric, and made some binding out of a variegated purple fabric from my stash. On the back, I used a delightful Winne the Pooh flannel piece I had found, and it fit perfectly and will be extra snuggly.
I am quite pleased with how this turned out, and hope it gets many years of use!
Not my best blog post title, but it made me smile....
This is a baby quilt I did up for my friend Emily B. and her second child, Franklin. (You can see the one for Henrik here if interested)
Before she was even pregnant, she dropped off the blue and brown background fabric for me to use at my leisure-- not for her, but just for me to use as I chose. She said she loved it but with a new baby she just wasn't going to be making anything anytime soon. So I held on to it, waiting for the right moment--- until the day I found out she was pregnant with her second child! I dug it out and then promptly procrastinated for many months until I was finally able to find the time to pull this together.
I tried to use fabrics that matched the background fabric (ie: the fabric Emily gave me), and feel like it came out pretty well. I used some of my African fabrics from the stash (some of which were also used in this quilt for Zawadi), making some colorful panels to catch baby's eye, and centered it all around one of the batik elephants in my stash. I also rimmed it in some pine cone fabric--- the family likes to be at cottages and in nature, and I thought the colors worked well-- and then made some binding with the background fabric and sandwiched it up!
I hope little Franklin enjoys many snuggles with this quilt! The quilt arrived 6 weeks after Franklin did, but I am sure he will be enjoying it as the autumn season starts to unfold. Enjoy!
I had an emergency appendectomy in May 2021, and during my recovery I was exhausted, and couldn't muster more than staring at the wall for a while. But as I started to come out of the depths of the recovery space-- still not really ready to pick up a book but wanting to do something with my hands-- I started making hexies again. I think I needed some time away after making mom's epic hexie quilt a couple of years ago. And I was also craving a bit of eye candy I think. Either way, I started hand sewing them up, and eventually had enough to start sewing them together. And so I did. And then I had enough to make a pillow covering. And so I did.
Every stitch is hand done, including the construction of the pillow case itself (since I could not lift over 10 pounds and my sewing machine weighs much more than that). So once I had the hexies sewed together, I sandwiched them with some batting and did a very simple hand quilting job with some yellow embroidery thread. I then created a flapped backing (with the leftover fabric from one of my recent shirt experiments) and spent a bunch of time hand sewing the backing to the front to make the case itself--- first with a simple straight stitch to attach them all together, and then a blanket stitch to reinforce and contain the raw edges a bit.
And so, this is my appendix pillow-- a hand-sewn souvenir from my adventures in healing.
Slightly random, but I have been playing around a bit with making my own clothes. I have made several skirts before, but shirts are a relatively new endeavour. When we were able to go into stores, I used to love exploring the fabric section at Value Village to find random fabrics I could play with. And this spring I started playing a bit with the ones I have found over the years.
The blue and red shirts were made using a free pattern from Tessuti Fabrics and frankly isn't super well sized--- the body is pretty big and the arm holes are small even at the largest size. But I like the neck line, and it is super simple to sew together, so I will keep playing with it. The blue shirt is made with some very quirky velvet embossed with quotes and pictures from the little miss muffet children's rhyme. And for the sleeves I used some wonderful tablecloth remnants with scalloped edges--- not conventional and they don't really go together (and who needs a velvet shirt?!) but I love it! The red shirt I used the same pattern, but will take it apart to widen the arms so it is more wearable.
The green and multi-colored shirts were patterns I just made up myself using existing shirts as a quasi-template. For the multicolored one I played around with adding a peplum which was something different to try. And for the green I had fun experimenting with collars and cuffs. Anyway, none are perfect and it is all a big experiment for fun, but I love having these random me-made pops of color in my wardrobe, and look forward to being able to go back to Value Village to trawl the fabric section for treasures again soon!
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