The Creative Juices Are Flowing

There is nothing like a baby being born to get me in the mood to create!

Over the years I have made hundreds (a slight exaggeration) of bibs, cuddle blankets, leggings, little tops, cardigans and bootees. And, if you search through my past blog entries you will see that for my youngest three grandchildren, I made each of them a crochet blanket, and I also made them patchwork ones.

Robins niece had her second little baby girl on the 18th of April. It’s nearly a month later, and today I finally popped in to meet little Fable and give her our gift! I spent all day yesterday finishing the blanket off, and it turned out great! (even if I must say so myself) I was so happy with the finished blanket that I thought I would share the process with you, my reader. There are often little tricks with Patchwork that make something that looks very complicated, actually quite easy to put together. Of course the material choices make quite a difference to the finished product as well, and that is often trial and error. Luckily the combination of fabrics looked great this time.

Awhile ago Spotlight had a sale on and I purchased 8 different materials that would blend together, and about a quarter of a metre of each one. I then purchased two different plain fabrics that matched one of the colours in the fabric pieces. I got approximately a metre and a half or two metres of this solid colour fabric.

So here are the instructions…

Firstly I cut the 8 different materials into 3 inch strips (each is the full width of the material). I then match two groups of four strips. Here are the blue/green strips.

Firstly I cut the 8 different materials into 3 inch strips (each is the full width of the material). I then match two groups of four strips. Here are the blue/green strips.

Keep the colours in order I sew them together with a quarter inch seam.

Keeping the colours in order, I sew them together with a quarter inch seam.

The last of the pink/yellow selection sewn together.

The last of the pink/yellow selection sewn together.

And you end up with two long strips, each of four different materials. Please note these have been pressed neatly. I have my iron out and going the whole time I sew, and press the materials frequently.

And you end up with two long strips, each of four different materials. Please note these have been pressed neatly. I have my iron out and going the whole time I sew, and press the materials frequently.

Now to measure and cut. Even up the ends of the strips first.

Now to measure and cut. Even up the ends of the strips first.

You need to cut the material up as wide as it is high, right along the long strip. I got four big squares off each one.

You need to cut the material up as wide as it is high, right along the long strip. I got four big squares off each one.

Here are the two groups of four squares.

Here are the two groups of four squares.

Keeping the patterns in order line them up beside each other with one colour group having its stripes going at a 90 degree angle.

Keeping the patterns in order line them up beside each other with one colour group having its stripes going at a 90 degree angle.

Put the two different ones together with the right sides facing each other and sew a quarter inch seam right around the outside of the square.

Put the two different ones together with the right sides facing each other and sew a quarter inch seam right around the outside of the square.

Sew neatly around the outside edge :-)

Sew neatly around the outside edge 🙂

From corner to corner cut with your rotary blade, then spin around and cut the opposite diagonal.

From corner to corner cut with your rotary blade, then spin around and cut the opposite diagonal.

You should end up with your large square cut into four like this!

You should end up with your large square cut into four like this!

Press the seams and turn over. Voila! Look at that! Aren't they so pretty! These four have been placed making a little mixed square in the centre.

Press the seams and turn over. Voila! Look at that! Aren’t they so pretty! These four have been placed making a little mixed square in the centre.

Or you could place them with the little triangles to the outer corner. Or you could mix them up totally. The last way is extremely hard to keep control of when sewing together. I get lost! So I kind of like to still have some order (among the chaos).

Or you could place them with the little triangles to the outer corner. Or you could mix them up totally. The last way is extremely hard to keep control of when sewing together. I get lost! So I kind of like to still have some order (among the chaos).

Once all four big squares have been cut up, place them together again in the way that you want to sew them up.

Once all four big squares have been cut up, place them together again in the way that you want to sew them up.

Sew up each row making sure to press the seams once finished.

Sew up each row making sure to press the seams once finished.

Then sew the four rows together. Don't they look pretty :-)

Then sew the four rows together. Don’t they look pretty 🙂

On this blanket I chose the green with little pink flowers for the first border. Sew on the top and bottom first and then the edges. Make sure to slightly stretch the material as you sew. This makes it easier for the quilt to keep shape, and for the top stitching later on.

On this blanket I chose the green with little pink flowers for the first border. Sew on the top and bottom first and then the edges. Make sure to slightly stretch the border material as you sew. This makes it easier for the quilt to keep shape, and for the top stitching later on.

My next border was a very cute yellow tree pattern sewn exactly the same way as the green border.

My next border was a very cute yellow tree pattern sewn exactly the same way as the green border.

Because this is a smallish quilt (or blanket) there is no need to top stitch through all layers. On this one I have added the wadding to the back, and if you look closely, I have top stitched through both of the layers. This keeps the blanket looking neat and holding together well after many washes. There are many ways that you can top stitch on a quilt. I have just made quarter inch lines alongside the seams and it looks very tidy.

Because this is a smallish quilt (or blanket) there is no need to top stitch through all layers. On this one I have added the wadding to the back, and if you look closely, I have top stitched through both of the layers. This keeps the blanket looking neat and holding together well after many washes. There are many ways that you can top stitch on a quilt. I have just made quarter inch lines along each side of the seams and it looks very tidy.

Now I have added the backing and finished the outer rows of top stitch through all the three layers.

Now I have added the backing and finished the outer rows of top stitch through all the three layers.

The next stage is the binding. I cut three inch strips and joined them together to make one big long strip. Fold it in half and iron the fold.

The next stage is the binding. I cut three inch strips and joined them together to make one big long strip. Fold it in half and iron the fold.

With the cut edges together sew the binding on stopping about a quarter of an inch from the corner and sew diagonally off the edge.

With the cut edges together sew the binding on stopping about a quarter of an inch from the corner and sew diagonally off the edge.

Turn the cloth around and fold the binding to have a straight edge along the top, then just recommence sewing the seam.

Turn the cloth around and fold the binding to have a straight edge along the top, then just recommence sewing the seam.

Iron the binding out from the edge and fold it around to the back. At the corners fold the binding in the same way as you did when you were sewing and they will just fit together nicely. I then stitch in the ditch on the front of the blanket, and it catches the back and sews the binding down neatly. you can hand stitch this part if you want the stitching to be completely hidden.

Iron the binding out from the edge and fold it around to the back. At the corners fold the binding in the same way as you did when you were sewing and they will just fit together nicely. I then stitch in the ditch on the front of the blanket, and it catches the back and sews the binding down neatly. you can hand stitch this part if you want the stitching to be completely hidden.

And here are the two quilts that I made in two days. I must admit that each one took all day, but they were wet days and not a lot else could be achieved, except housework! And that is always there anyway!

And here are the two quilts that I made in two days. I must admit that each one took all day, but they were wet days and not a lot else could be achieved, except housework! And that is always there to do anyway!

All folded up ready to be given to two very special little babies. Fable got the green edged one, and Zoe got the pink edged one.

All folded up ready to be given to two very special little babies. Fable got the green edged one, and Zoe got the pink edged one.

Now I find that there is no greater pleasure than to give a gift that you have hand crafted. I pour my love into the blanket as I sew it up and I imagine the little baby that I am making it for, laying on it, kicking their little feet happily. I pray a little blessing on the child and hope that the Mummy enjoys seeing her child playing on the pretty blanket.

I also get a great sense of satisfaction seeing how the colours and patterns fit together. These two blankets had the inside panels the same and yet the outside borders were completely different creating a unique blanket for each child.

I hope that the instructions are clear enough and you can now be bold enough to attempt your very own patchwork quilt or blanket. Let me know how it goes! Send me a photo of your one finished so I can enjoy the colours and patterns that  you have created.

ENJOY 🙂

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2 Responses to “The Creative Juices Are Flowing”

  1. Judy says:

    They look great.

  2. Pam says:

    Thank you Judy. I enjoyed making them 🙂

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