#59-61 I Spy blocks

Next instalment of I Spy blocks got finished this week. Rowena sent me so many beautiful fabrics I’m not sure I’ll be able to stop myself at 64. I’ll see how I get on.

Here are the three I managed this week:

I particularly love the sea horse

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I Spy blocks #55-58

During little boy’s nap time this week I managed to make four more blocks for his I Spy quilt. I’m working my way through the fabrics that Rowena so very very kindly gave me.

I really like the flip flops block. I just think it’s fun. I was also pleased with how well the blue thread coordinated with the speed boat picture.

I’m getting closer to having enough blocks for the quilt. I’m looking forward to deciding the layout. It may take a while 😀.

Blogging hiatus

Hi all,

I’m going to need to take a short break from blogging while I get used to being a first time mum.

I’m delighted to announce the safe arrival of our beautiful baby boy.

As you might expect, new parenthood has turned my world upside down and I don’t think I’ll be spending much time at my sewing machine for the next few weeks. Hopefully it won’t be too long before I have some fabric finishes to share with you all.

Tiny quilts finished

This week I put together a set of seven 10 x 14″ mini quilts for use by premature babies in our local hospital. These were fun, easy things to make.

We were asked to minimise piecing seams and quilting lines to create a smooth surface. The babies will lie on top of the quilts rather than under them so they are more like mattress pads than true quilts I suppose.

I used the bagging out method to assemble them and then just top stitched around the edge to both seal the turning gap and quilt the finished piece.

This was a lovely way to use up leftover batting pieces and some of my stash. Hopefully they’ll be useful and will add some colour and fun for worried parents with their poorly babies. Whilst my little one keeps growing safe inside me and I contemplate becoming a mum, it feels nice to be able to do something for new parents who are having a scary time.

I used different fabrics for each side to give the parents some choice. Here are my two favourite combinations:

March ‘One Monthly Goal’ Setting

A simple goal for this month: At least 4 more blocks for my I Spy quilt.

I’m linking up with Elm Street Quilts March OMG page.

I’d like to get lots of blocks done this month, but right now I only have the fabric for 4 blocks. I’ll be using up the rest of the images cut from the fat quarters I bought last month (blogged about here).

If I get more fabric I’ll try and do a few more blocks. Just to be on the safe side though, the goal is to complete the four blocks I know I can definitely do.

This quilt has been fun to make so far. It’s giving me lots of practice at machine applique and fussy cutting. I also love working with the brilliantly bright colours from right across the rainbow that are going into it. The finished quilt will be similar to this Jigsaw quilt I made last year. However, unlike that Jigsaw quilt, I’m not planning to have any large focus blocks in the new I Spy quilt so it’s proving challenging to find the necessary 64 unique images I want for the different blocks.

Storage Box #1

I’ve made a first attempt at a fabric storage box for the new nursery. It counts as my One Monthly Finish for February but I’m hoping I’ll have another to go with it before the month is out. The box isn’t bad so I’ll definitely use it, but a few design tweaks will be needed for subsequent attempts.

Fusible Interfacing

This project was my first time using a heavyweight fusible interfacing to stiffen the fabric. I’ve used non-fusible stiffeners (peltex) before when making bags but I hoped a fusible version might prove easier to control during sewing and easier to keep smooth when turning the box the right way out. It was definitely much easier during sewing but did crinkle a little during turning. Some judicious pressing with a hot iron solved most of the creases in the final thing. The only problem is that the finished box is still a bit sloppier than I would like. I think for next box I might use two layers of interfacing. I’ll trim the second layer so it doesn’t get added to the seam allowance and create more bulk in the corners.

Lining

This is a mess. The lining is far too baggy. Right now I’m not sure why. Although I cut both then outer and lining fabrics the same size I used a larger seam allowance for the lining to try and absorb the bulk (5/8ths for lining versus 4/8ths for outer). I also turned the top edge of the lining over to make it visible on the outside of the box. There’s still just way too much of it inside though and it won’t sit tidy in the corners.

For the next box I’m going to cut the lining fabric 1/4 inch smaller than the outer on each side and trim the seam allowance before assembling the box. This should reduce the bulk in the seams and so let it lie flatter. I’ll probably also increase the depth of how far the lining overhangs the top outer edge. I like the lining fabric (one of my grandmother’s old sheets) so I’m very happy for it to be visible. If necessary I might try putting some stay stitches in the corners of the assembled box to anchor the lining down. I would prefer to get the sizing right instead though.

Fingers crossed these design tweaks will improve the second box.

I Spy Quilt – Work in progress

In my previous post about this quilt I reported that I had run out of fabrics to feature as pictures. I’m only half way through the numbers of blocks I’ll need so progress has stalled.

Last week the visiting trader at our local Patchworking Group brought along a great selection of discount fat quarters. There were five lovely prints that caught my eye as being good for the I Spy quilt. I have tried to avoid buying a fat quarter just to fuzzy cut a 5″ shape out because it seems so wasteful. However, this time I could justify the purchase because of a wonderful initiative one of our group’s members told us about…

Quilts for premature babies in incubators.

Our local hospital has asked for 10 x 14″ quilts for premature babies to lie on top of in their incubators. They need to be washable at 60 C degrees. They also ideally should not have much (or any) piecing and minimal seams to maximise how smooth they are. Basically it’s the perfect excuse to use up fat quarters of childish fabrics in a quick, simple set of quilts that will be so valuable for vulnerable babies. On that basis I happily bought 5 fat quarters and made up some new blocks for the I Spy quilt.

I’ll be sure the share pictures of the prem-baby quilts once I’ve made those up too.