Sunday, 30 December 2012

Little ladybirds for a little lady

The story of this little quilt began online some time ago when I was looking for some other material...which is what quite often happens!  I came across Robert Kaufman's adorable "Picnic Party Ladybugs" and had to get some.  The picnic part of the name made me think of a picnic rug idea, or maybe looking at the ladybirds on the ground through a blanket...or something.  Anyway, as soon as I saw the material I knew I wanted to make it green and purple and a little bit crazy but still really cute.

I love doing freestyle blocks and using tonal purple material (all from my stash - yes, I have a lot of purple fabric!) I made some cut loose log cabin blocks.  I had played with this technique before but after a chat with my friend and mentor Trish, I was guided back to Jan Mullen's pattern for a wonky log cabin quilt in order to get the finishing touches right and I am very glad I did.  The small border of green (in this case Michael Miller Fairy Dust so it has some sparkle) was inspired by her design as was binding it in the ladybird fabric...

...and most effectively I think, she made little black frames around the focus material in the centre of each block.  I used 3 different lime greens instead to add a bit of variety and texture.
I backed it with a piece of green with white spot which almost matched the ladybird print exactly and which I just happened to have already *ahem*.   Finally I quilted it crazy style too - highlighting the centre blocks and frames and then quilting some wonky tramlines through the background.
Ready to give to the new baby, which is an interesting story in itself...I had chosen the ladybirds for her largely because she has a German mother and in Germany ladybirds are considered lucky, especially around New Year's, which is when she was due.  I had to keep the colours suitable for a boy or girl as it was going to be a surprise but as you can see, she was a bit early and is hopefully now enjoying it.  An even nicer coincidence?  She has been named Marie and in German a ladybird is a Marienkaefer (Marie's or Mary's beetle).  How about that?

Monday, 3 December 2012

Sherbet Stripes

Finally "Sherbet Stripes" has been gifted so it can be shared!
 This is another string quilt, which I really enjoy making.  They are a surprise which comes together at the end and are the perfect mix of traditional and modern.  Plus they use lots of little bits of material - perfect for scraps, jelly rolls or making the most of whole lines of fabric.  What more could you want?  This baby quilt was another commission and it needed to suit either a boy or girl...
 I had a jelly roll of "Sherbet Pips" by Aneela Hoey who does the cutest little whimsical retro patterns and figures.  Her designs and colours are very distinctive.  This particular line includes children skating in the Wintertime, scarves, little squares (which makes a nice variant on the polka dots you often see and which I also love) and cutest of all, little dogs!  This was the selling point for my client, the recipient has a doggy not dissimilar to the curious little dog on the fabric.

I tried something a bit different with strips and the white trellis effect this time.  As the quilt was small scale I made the strips and the white sashing a bit narrower so there was more variety and colour.  I also kept the strips the same width rather than having a random effect as in previous string quilts I have made.  I also experimented with the white centre squares which worked relatively well and echoed the little squares in the fabrics.
To finish it off I used a grey and white dot fabric, punctuated by a strip of playful puppies on red from the "Sherbet Pips" line.  The quilt is self bound using the backing and the little highlights of the red come through in that too.