Friday, 10 June 2011

Toys for the boys

Good morning/evening/afternoon ladies.  Now, I don't have any children of my own (other than my bunny babies of course) and judging by my friend's children, I don't think I want any.  That did not come out right!  They're lovely and gorgeous and I love them to bits, but it's so much commitment!  And the bits where they're crying/mardying/stropping...  I don't think I could cope.

They are, however, a bloody good excuse to sew.  So I did.  I've been seeing taggie blankets all over the place, including over at Sandra Sews.  I wanted to make one.  Usually what happens is I spot something I like, I decide I'll make it, 3 months later I remember I wanted to make it!  This time, I decided I wanted to make a taggy blanket and I did!

I know that taggy blankets are all about texture so on the front I used a square of cotton, 2 squares of homespun which both feel different and a square of denim from an old pair of jeans.  I pulled together loads of different types of ribbon and threaded a jingle-bell on one.  Sandra has since informed me that a REALLY STUPID IDEA as this is going to a baby.  Ooops.  I gave it to the mother anyway but asked her to cut it off!!  I backed this pieced front with wadding and a piece of white cotton and tried out some quilting.  Oh yes, the Crafter's Apprentice does quilting... after a fashion!
First it was on with the walking foot to do the trusty spiral quilting that I did on a gazillion coasters recently, then some back and forth lines.  Then I changed to my free motion foot and did the meandering - if that's what the loopy thing is, then a random pattern of loops and waves.  I love quilting!!

The back of the taggy is this cute cotton fabric.  No idea who it's by.  I was in the Husqvarna shop buying Tilda for my giveaway when I spotted it and so had to have a fat quarter.  The bolts were there also but there was no label on them.
I have given this as a present to my colleague/friend's 12 week only baby.  He reached out to touch it but he doesn't have control of his hands yet.  I'm hoping it'll be suitable for him in a few weeks.

I didn't want to leave out my other colleague/friend's son.  He's 2, nearly 3 and adorable.  He loves to play cars up and down the living room carpet so he had to have a playmat.  I showed you a glimpse of this in a WIP post.

And I quilted it!  I quilted along the edges of the roads.  I used the walking foot so there was a lot of turning involved.  I skipped over the buildings and cars, but sewed right over the trees and road signs or I'd still be quilting it now!

I think you can just make the quilting out if you concentrate on the tops of the trees first.  I really buggered a seam up though and then made it worse with quilting.  Ah well, I doubt this little fella will notice or care.

I learnt a lot quilting this.  Firstly basting or pinning would have been a really good idea...  the wadding slipped about so much that it's bunched up in places.   I also got a really good feel for stitching through the sandwich and how sparse quilting like this doesn't quite give the effect I would have liked.

Here's a picture of the back so you can see the quilting.  The back is a black IKEA sheet, though it looks grey here.

And here it is all rolled up ready to go.

I REALLY enjoyed quilting this even though it's a bit of a mess.  There's definitely a quilt in my near future though I don't know how I'll fit one through the throat of my machine and I don't have any use for cot quilts or lap quilts...


Farm Girl said...

Fabulous gifts Wendy. I really love the tag blankets, what a great idea, and they look like they'd be fun to make too! Hope you have a lovely weekend.

Lisa Ann said...

Hello! I love your projects...that little bear is just adorable. Amigurumi is on my to-do list. You asked about some fabric (for the Clover and Violet QAL)...well, I think it is Lecien. That is what I was told when I purchased it. It was a precut kit for a sampler quilt. Thanks for stopping my my blog!

Sandra :) said...

Sheesh you drama queen - I didn't say it was stupid to add a jingle bell - I said it could CHOKE THE BABY TO DEATH!

Your projects are lovely - I LOVE LOVE LOVE that you'll tackle any project, learn the techniques, and get it done - I admire that so much! I need to take a page from your book (when you aren't looking and won't catch me) and be more brave - I tend to be a big old sewing CHICKEN, boc boc boc!

Kids aren't too bad - once you get through the poopy years and the formative years and the talking back years they're quite handy to have around! ;) Mine drive me here and there, and lift heavy things for me, and carry in the groceries, and buy me whatever I ask for for birthdays/Christmas/Mothers Day - I'm rather partial to this stage of life! 21 and 22 year old sons ROCK!! :)

Nancy Lee said...

I love the car quilt. It will get a lot of use. We had a car mat and my little mat rat played quietly for hours with his cars on it. Well done for making it portable! The kids are good to have around. Things can(and should) be done to ensure a minimum of mardiness and stropping (I am learning to speak British). Cheers!

Allie said...

What great gifts!! Love the taggy blanket, never made one but I might have to. Had to laugh at Sandra's comment on down the drama queen, lol...
The play mat is gorgeous. What a good friend you are to make them both something. My oldest was 2 when his brother was born, and mostly folks remembered to bring him a little gift as well as his new brother. I have to tell you that I never wanted children, UNTIL I had one....there's a total transformation that goes on when they're actually in your arms. And Sandra's right, they are handy to have around later, lol!

Uhooi said...

Waw,, It works very nice, sweet and beautiful,

Mindie Hilton said...

This sounds good.

I saw you on Whos Got Tallent and wanted to invite you to my anything goes link party that runs Friday evening through Sunday night. Our firt party had over 300 links and was so much fun so I have a special give away planned for linkers only this week. Hope to see you there. You can find the button for the party at if you want to grab it as a reminder.

Beth said...

The beginning did make me laugh, I am not a natural 'kids' person they are OK when they can talk but babies scare me, having said that having my own was totally different and I wouldn't swap them for the world (obviously).

I'd have been thrilled if someone had made something as nice as this for my two, they are lovely and all the better for the thought, time and effort you have put into making them. Bethx