Star Jersey Quilted Baby Playmat

Hello

I have just finished making a playmat as a new baby gift, As I like a challenge, I choose to applique stars onto a fab green jersey, I was a bit apprehensive about quilting a stretchy fabric , but was amazed to find it quilted without any problem!

The stars were cut from stashed cotton fabrics as was the seersucker binding.

I used green jersey on both sides sandwiching fleece in between as batting , the result is a lovely soft and warm playmat .
The stars were tacked and then hand embellished with simple running stitches,  when these were all done I added the jersey backing , ensuring the layers were flat took a bit of extra time .

Once it was all pinned securely,  it was on to my Bernina and her walking foot to echo quilt the design.

The quilting was led by the design , I edge stitched a central star and then worked across to the next one until all stars were done I echo stitched the outline of the design, was fun to do and so pleased with the finished result.
 Let me know what you think.

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Repurposed skirt project

I picked up this retro dress last year as I loved the print but the halter neck sundress was too small and not the most flattering look  for me but I thought it would make a fab skirt for spring


I detached the top and unpicked the skirt panels , they were longer than I thought as the original had been turned up , the fabric is 100% Acrylic so fraying is minimal and the seams were originally pinked

I was pleased to find the remainder of the labels still attached which gave me washing  instructions and the fabric content .


I pressed out the skirt pieces and found the hem creases disappeared , which means I can use the whole piece .

I envisioned a knee length pencil skirt , with pleating to to front and pockets , every skirt needs pockets

For the waistband I cut a strip 5″ wide from the bottom of all the pieces , as the panels were long enough , there will have to be a join in the band as the widest panel is not quite long enough to go round my waist .

I rejoined  the back seam , checking the grain was true , machine basting the top 10″ the seam  for the zip , once pressed I removed the basting .

In order to drape the front of the skirt I machine basted the centre front in a contrasting thread this will help keep front balanced . The panel was cut very lopsided, I then trimmed the panel on the fold so both sides matched.

Next I made up the waistband , I cut one piece measuring half my waist measurement plus 1.5 cm seam allowance at both ends , then two pieces measuring each one quarter of my waist measurement again with 1.5 cm seam allowance at either end ,I then interfaced each piece minus the seam allowance all round . I joined the side seams , pressed open the side seams , machine basted the centre front. I then stay stitched the waistband just inside the seam allowance along the top and bottom edges and then pressed bottom seam allowance under.

Next I draped the skirt , creating and pinning two pleats , the second will include the pocket, I held this up to my waist , keeping the centre straight , I then used tailors chalk to mark along my waistline , giving the eventual seam line.


I then mirrored the pleats on the other side , very tempted to cut the waistline here as would make the mirroring a lot easier , but as is so roughly drafted I don’t want to cut off any fabric at the waist and find that I needed it !

Next I machine basted back darts and pinned front panel to the back making sure side seams were laying flat and were on the straight of grain under the hip line – time to try it on .

I adjusted the pins down the side seams and added a further back dart on each side as I have a rather shallow back , once I was happy with the fit I machine basted all seams and darts ready to try on again right side out . Once I was happy with the fit I pressed the pleats and trimmed the seam allowance all round to 1.5cm .


I also notched the pieces to make it easier when I reassemble . Next pockets , I drafted the pocket bags from lining , adding double seam allowance to the top edge . This allows for the lack of seam allowance on the back of the pleat.

I removed all the basting from the draft skirt ,  cut through the back of the pocket pleat,  pressed the pieces and used them to cut the lining .


I attached the pocket bags and reassembled the skirt and lining.

I attached the waistband matching cf and side seams , I stitched this with machine basting for a final fitting and pinned the hem .

As I was happy with the fit I then restitched the waistband seam leaving back lining free in order that I can finish after inserting the zip.


  I trimmed the waist seam allowance to reduce bulk and pressed allowance up into band .

I reclosed the back zip opening with machine basting pressed open and inserted the zip .


I hand sewed the waistband closed , machine hemmed the lining and hand stitched the hem – and skirt is done .

 Am pretty happy with how it turned out , just need some warmer weather and some tanned legs !

Have you repurposed something recently ?

Kotka

Hello

Today I finished this cat softie as a gift for a new arrival


After a request for a gift for a new baby that had arrived in a cat loving family , I took a look on pintrest for some inspiration , sketched out a rough design and then drafted out a pattern .
I chose some coordinating cotton and felt oddments , using plain for the hands,  back of the head and back legs and the print for the remainder.
Putting together was reasonably straight forward , I applied the felt pieces with zigzag and hand embroidered the eyes, mouth and whiskers then made up the head and body, arms and legs.

I attached the head to the body , the arms ,legs and tail and turned through , I had originally intended to stitch the base of the back and front together to close , however as I was stuffing , it occurred to me that it would be nice if she could sit up , so I drafted and cut a base and part stitched , leaving a gap to turn through , if I had considered the base earlier I would have left part of the side seam open for turning instead . Turning through is always a bit of a struggle once the arms and legs are attached !

However am pleased with how she turned out , when I make another, as well as making opening in side seam, I’ll add the seam allowance to my pattern as I was too lazy to do this and added ‘by eye’ when cutting , which is not to be recommended .

Do you have a suggestion for best place to turn softies through ? Let me know , would love to hear from you


Quilted Baby Playmat

Hello

I thought I’d share my quilted baby play mat, I made this over the Christmas break for a new arrival and thought I’d take some photos before I deliver it to the new Mum.

I have made several of these quilts as gifts in the past and they are always well received, however free motion quilting is not one of my favourite things but I love the way the finished result adds texture to the fabric.

As an compulsive and eclectic maker I have made a resolution to note down measurements as occasionally I am asked to make another of something and find myself having to work it all out again.  See my method here Quilt tutorial

The finished quilt measures about 95cm (37.5″) square and is made from squares and sashes in cotton and wool blanketing for batting. This gives the finished quilt a lovely weight. In this quilt the blanketing was quite a dark pink , which shows through the white cotton, giving an overall pale pink colour .

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For the  free motion quilting I used a stencil, tracing the continuous pattern with a washable fabric pen . This takes quite a long time , I have found this works well for me as I can see the line to follow as I am machining, knowing where I am going next helps the flow of quilting and assists with getting an even stitch length.

Take a look at Leah Day for fab tips

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My top tips for free motion quilting are:

  • Practise, it’s so tempting to have quick go , decide your ready and then spend an evening unpicking uneven stitches.
  • Slow needle, fast arms – choosing a regular pattern will help you get into rhythm.
  • Start with a simple pattern, larger loops are easier to master.
  • Begin with a small project ( a single bed quilt is too big) it’s hard to master new technique whilst simultaneously rotating layers of fabric and batting.
  • Select the end needle down position, this will allow you to stop at any point to take a break , reposition your project, and relax your shoulders .

I enjoyed making the quilt and it’s a great way to use up those fabric pieces in your stash which are small but just too pretty to throw out.

What are your favourite tips for free motion quilting?