Saturday, 16 January 2016

A quilt for Kara

My granddaughter, Kara's quilt was finished just after Christmas and delivered before the end of the year :-).  I had tried out a bargello pattern using a layer cake.  The name of the pattern is "I Used to be a Layer Cake!" by Nancy Altsman or Black Cat Creations.  It looked complicated, so when a friend bought the same pattern, we decided to work together and figure it out. Two heads are better than one.  There's a lot of sewing in it, but it turned out really well.  The colours reminded me of my granddaughter Kara, so we designated the quilt for her.  It took quite awhile to find the right colours for the border. Here are some pictures of the quilt. 

 (Click on the photo to enlarge it for a better view.)

side view

amazing how this view changes the whole look

flower quilting in the border

perfect backing

quilting from the back

Kara got this stuffed doggy to go with her quilt

the finished quilt
the quilt matches her Christmas pillow

back of pillow

Saturday, 2 January 2016

Pillow mania!

This year I got the idea to make pillows for my nine grandchildren and two foster grandchildren for Christmas.  I had several patterns from Elizabeth Hartman and set those aside to make a fox for Josh and kitties for Kara and Lauren (I would have liked to do the hedgehog and bunny, but I just purchased the Fancy Forest pattern before Christmas to make Emma's quilt eventually - I see more pillows in my future :-).  I also follow Lorna of Sew Fresh Quilts blog and purchased several of her downloadable patterns for various animals for the rest of the grandkids.  I used the large elephant for Leah, the small elephant for Emma, bird for Charity, turtle for Alex, frog for Aiden and two doggie variations for Katie and Ben.  Then I did the Canadian beaver for Joey.  That one was a lot of work, but it will match the quilt that I'm making for him so I persevered :-)  

My stash of pillow forms purchased at thrift shops and yard sales came in handy.  Josh is the oldest so he got the 18" pillow form and the next four had 16" and the rest 14" pillows.   Fortunately there was a pillow form sale on for ones I had to purchase LOL.

The pillows even have zipper closures in the them!  Lorna had a link for a blog that had very good instructions for doing these zippers.  I was very impressed with the backs.  Here is a photo of the back of one of the pillows:

Sew Fresh Quilts' blog has a good photo in this post that shows the zipper in the back.
 (Click on the individual pillow pictures for a larger view.)

Grandkids and foster grandkids with their pillows

Aiden's frog
Alex's turtle
Ben's doggie

Charity's bird

Emma's elephant

Joey's Canadian beaver

Josh's Fox with glasses

Kara's Kitty

Katie's doggie

Lauren's Kitty with glasses
Leah's elephant

It was quite a process making eleven pillows over a few months.  I made a list of the grandkids names and then kept notes of possible animals and fabrics.  Then I purchased and downloaded the Sew Fresh patterns and had them printed out on a colour printer.  Collecting fabrics was next.  I searched for fabrics I had used for the kids' own bed quilts (those that already have them that is) or of their I spy JK quilt or of pillow cases or doll quilts I have made in the past. A few quilts are in the planning stages so I stole a few pieces from the stash for their pillows. Of course by that time, the fabric stash was a disaster, the cutting table and floor were covered and the spare bedroom was piled high with pillow forms :-).
total disaster on my cutting table getting patterns organized and fabrics chosen and cut

pinning on the design wall helped keep track of things

all blocks completed (the glasses were too small so I had to cut the larger version - they are from Elzabeth Hartman's web page)
pillow forms piled up :-)
I used three sewing machines for making the pillows:  black 301 for putting in the zippers and topstitching, Bernina 830 (vintage model) for doing the quilting and the binding, and Singer 15-88 treadle for piecing the animals.  A girl just needs more than one sewing machine for convenience LOL.  Sewing machine collecting really comes in handy for these projects!
all pillows finished!