Tuesday, April 30, 2024

Quilts for Brothers

I have a coworker who is expecting her second son in mid-May.  I did not know her when her 3-year-old J was born, so I knew that in addition to a baby quilt, I wanted to make a quilt for big brother, too.  I decided on simple I Spy quilts with 1" (finished) sashing.

They had a name for baby K early on, so I thought it would be fun to put the boys' names on their quilts.  I used the alphabet die for my Accuquilt.

I spy fun

Fire Monkey helped me pick out the I Spy squares for both quilts.  We had a lot of fun picking out our favorite from my huge collection of 5" I Spy squares.  And I was glad to tell my coworker that the fabrics were kid-approved!


Dino Dreams

I bought the backing fabric for big brother J at QuiltCon.  It is an absolutely fabulous print of Space Dinosaurs called Dino Dreams by Iris + Sea for Paintbrush Studio.  I bought baby K's backing fabric at my local quilt shop Quilt Patch; it's Jungle Paradise by Stacy Iest Hsu for Moda.  

Jungle Paradise

Mama was absolutely thrilled with the quilts and was so touched that I made one for big brother, too.  She said he rolls up in it like a burrito every night--you know that's exactly what a quilter wants to hear!  He likes tracing the letters in his name and finding the different items in the quilt.  I am so happy that to help celebrate this growing family!

Wrapped and ready to give

Sunday, April 28, 2024

Funky Friend Puppy Dogs

This month, Island Batik joined with Funky Friends Factory for the ambassador challenge.  Pauline, the force behind Funky Friends Factory, is an Australian designer who designs the absolute cutest stuffed toy patterns.  She has so many fantastic patterns that it was hard to choose one!  Ultimately I chose Puppy Dog Pete. He's just so cute!!!  I made two puppy dogs.

Truth be told, I struggle with projects that are 3-dimensional, especially stuffed toys.  But Pauline really sets up her Funky Friend patterns up for success.  The patterns are broken down into small steps, and she has a photo tutorial for each Friend that shows in details what it should like. 

Candy Liver

Materials used in this project were given to me by Island Batik, Funky Friends Factory, Aurifil, Schmetz, Oliso, and Hobbs.


Violet the Purple Puppy

I did one thing different than the pattern--I really wanted the ears to have some padding and not just be fabric.  I used scraps of Hobbs fusible batting and fused it directly onto the wrong side of he ear pieces.  I cut the batting pieces without a seam allowance, so that the extra thickness wouldn't be in the seams.  I'm pleased with how that worked!  It did make turning the ears right-side out a little more difficult, but it was worth it!

ears with Hobbs fusible batting
Fire Monkey has named the green puppy Candy Liver. (It comes from a mis-hearing of his dad talking about cantilevers.)  His body fabric is from an older Island Batik collection Lemongrass.  I'm not sure which collection the blue contrasting fabric for the ears, nose, and tail came from, but it's the prefect compliment to the blue spots in the Lemongrass fabric.  Candy Liver's friend is Violet the Purple Puppy.  Her main fabric is Purple from the always-available Basics collection, and her nose and ear fabrics are from last year's English Lavender collection.  I stitched both puppies with schmetz n #2783 Medium Delft Blue for all the sewing machine parts, but used color specific for the hand stitching after stuffing:  Aurifil #2884 Green Yellow for  Candy Liver and Aurufil #2545 Medium Purple for Violet.  I started the puppy project with a brand new Schmetz microtex needle.


Violet's head in process

I have made a few Funky Friends in the past but I had one new trick this time: printing the pattern pieces onto freezer paper that can go into the printer.  My friend Kathleen of Kathleen McMusing recently mentioned these papers to me, and man, did they make the process easier!  I printed Puppy Dog Pete's pattern pieces (say that 5 times fast!) directly onto freezer paper, then used my Oliso iron to iron the pattern pieces directly onto the fabric for cutting.  So much easier than tracing!!  I still had to transfer the pattern markings, but that's not nearly as time consuming. 

I am really happy with our new puppy pals!  Thank you, Funky Friends Factory, for a pattern that made us new huggable friends!