I have always wanted to make a hexagon quilt. It is on my bucket list and one day I will make a traditional type one with the smaller English paper pieced hexies that you do in rounds like Grandmother’s Flower garden. Last week Stephanie aka Craftypinkcreates posted a pic on Instagram of a quilt as you go (QAYG) hexie quilt she was starting. Stephanie has made some wonderful hexie quilts over the years. She had tagged Crystal aka Raspberryspool who had done a tutorial on how to do QAYG hexies and was inspiring others to make them. In the past I have made pot holders which were hexie shaped or mini mug rug type mini quilts with hexies but never an actual hexie quilt. QAYG hexies are different to your traditional hexie quilts. In traditional hexies you fold your top fabric over a paper template and tack it down before joining it to another hexie. After you make the entire quilt top you then assemble the quilt in a traditional way and quilt it. With QAYG you make a quilt sandwich of backing fabric, batting and top fabric then fold the backing fabric to the front and stitch it down. To create the quilt you join 2 completed quilt sandwiches together and that is how your quilt grows. In QAYG hexie quilts you tend to use larger size hexies than you would for a traditional english paper pieced quilt but you can do smaller ones. I do have a QAYG bag pattern which uses the larger hexie templates but I have never actually made the bag. I watched the tutorial and the thought “I really want to make one” kept running through my brain. I have all the supplies needed in my stash including a roll of batting but I didn’t really want to cut it up. Silly I know the entire purpose of having the batting in my stash is to use it but I want to make a large quilt first and have enough for that if I ever get around to making a quilt top.
I then had a thought. I have a lot of odd rectangle pieces of polar fleece off cuts from various projects I have made over the years. I could use polar fleece instead of batting in the centre of my hexies. Ok so it isn’t the norm to use polar fleece but there is no law to say I can’t. I have a habit of not following the norm anyway 🙂 I might need to do 2 layers for it to be thick enough but I should have plenty to at least make a lap quilt. It will use up the odd bits in my stash so that is what I am going to do. At this point I haven’t thought of what fabrics I will use for the backs and fronts of the hexies. I might cut out all my polar fleece first to see how many I have then pick fabrics to use. Once I get into my fabrics I will see what I have and then start to play. I like the idea of a dark backing fabric and lighter top fabric but who knows what I will decide. This is a long term quilt that I will do whenever I have the urge to do some hand stitching, it has no deadline so it is a bit of casual fun. Even though I haven’t started it I am actually excited about this because it is a relief to know what I am going to be using my polar fleece scraps for. When we moved I contemplated getting rid of them but I then used them as packing protection around items in boxes. In recent months as they have sat on my shelves and I kept thinking I really should do something with those. Now I have the perfect project.
Cloth pads may not be for everyone and I respect your decision if you don’t like them but they are something I have been wanting to try for a while. Last weekend I made my first batch. I knew that there were some people making and using them but I had no idea of that there was an entire community of online people making, selling and even doing swaps of them.
I joined a Facebook group which is focused on making them. It is really friendly group who are a super supportive of new comers and answer every queen you have imaginable. They have a file section which has heaps of useful patterns, links and general information. If you Google cloth pads you will also find heaps of websites and patterns.
Constructing a pad isn’t dissimilar to making a quilt in the fact you have 3 sections and each section has a function. I found this website very useful on what to use for each layer but to sum up a pad has a
Topper – This is the outer layer closet to the skin so you want soft comfortable fabric
Core – This is your absorbent layer and does all the work so you want absorbent fabric which you stack in layers
Backer – This layer faces out against your underwear so you want fabric that is water repellent if preferred fabric that won’t shift around
When I made these I had no idea if I would even like them or not. I didn’t want to go out and purchase special absorbent and waterproof fabric if I didn’t know if I would even like the feel of them so for my first ones I raided my linen closet and my fabric stash used what I had on hand to try them out. I used this free tutorial by Blue Dinosaur. For my outer layer I used some fabric that I had used before in other projects and just happened to be sitting my fabric basic. For my backing I used some scrap polar fleece fabric. I tested it to see if it was water repellant by doing water droplet test (if you pour water on it and the water beads on top it repels water)
For my cores I cut up some old face washers that had seen better days. Each pad has a core of 3 layers. On the smaller ones I got 3 layers from one face cloth per pad. For the longer ones I had to use separate face cloths.
I have tried these out this week and I’m really happy with them. I’ll admit to only using them at home as I was nervous as to how they would go. The smaller ones which I wasn’t sure would even fit were comfortable however I’m thinking I prefer longer. That’s the great thing about cloth pads is that you can make them to any length or shape you want depending on what you like and what size your body is. Sewing wise from all reports I hear the first ones you make always turn out the worse as you have no idea what you’re doing which is certainly the case with these. I know I haven’t sewn my core in correctly so there is a chance the core may fold inside them once I wash them but that’s ok they will still be usable. If you’re wanting to make these I urge you to have a go at them as they are pretty simple to make. Watch a few YouTube videos, view some tutorials, download a free pattern and grab some supplies you have around your house. To care for them they don’t take as much work as you would imagine – rinse them out, soak them for a few days then machine wash and line dry.
This is the first of many for this year
This pattern Mermaid Tail Blanket By Anna Banana I found on Craftsy. I actually brought 2 mermaid tail blankets on Craftsy but this one I found more straight forward. The pattern is super easy to follow. By chance I made this in the same colour combination as demonstrated in the pattern tutorial. Pure coincidence but when your making for a young girl an obvious choice. This one if for a tall 6 year old. It will be a little big for her but I wanted something she could get a few years out of. You actually lay in them like a sleeping bag so your entire lower body is snuggled inside them. They aren’t very restrictive so you can still wiggle your legs in them. This one is made from polar fleece but you could use minky, flannelette or for a summer one cotton.
Leasa set another sew my stash challenge this time based on precuts.
In my stash I have a couple of precut charm square packs and a log I’d gotten for free over the years but I couldn’t think of anything practical to make with them or couldn’t think of a gift I needed to make. I then remembered about a stack of 6.5″ flannel squares I brought of ebay about 10 years ago. I decided since they were all the same colour tone, the same size and many the same pattern they counted as a precut bundle. I’d always intended to make some sort of blanket with them but never got around to it. Last year when sorting out my stash I came across them again.
Its the most basic patchwork blanket you will come across. The back is a single piece of black polar fleece that I brought in the recent Lincraft 50% off sale. This blanket isn’t the most fanciest piece of work but it is bright and most importantly its practical. It will be used this winter on my lounge. I used a chunk of fabric from stash that had been sitting there doing nothing for years.
On my Christmas gift list is to make a doll blanket to go with one of the toys. Previously I’ve always crochet my doll blankets but this year as I have a number of crochet and knitting items on my list I decided to make it out of fabric instead and in the process use up some of my fabric scraps.
The front is just strip pieces I found in my stash. I decided to keep it in green tones. As there was yellow in the sunflowers I decided to include the tractor strip with the yellow background as I thought this would be a good chance to use it without the need to cut it up further and lose any of the print.
It feels like a quilt as in the centre I have a piece of polar fleece scrap that I found amongst my fabric off cuts. The backing piece is from my stash of mum’s old pj’s. It is cotton and has a slight mint green tone to it.
So at the moment this will be used as a doll quilt or blanket but since it is so simple it can be later used as a table runner or shelf liner. There is the ability for it to grow with the child.
I was asked to do these by a friend.
These are just store brought Santa Sacks that my friend purchased after last Christmas. My original thought was just to hand stitch the kids names onto the edging. My embroidery skills are poor. I started to back stitch the names and frankly it looked awful. I then got the idea of using my sizzix cutter to cut out polar fleece letters which I blanket stitched on. I am really happy with the result. I kept checking back to the paper I had the kids names typed on to ensure I spelt the names correctly.
These didn’t take long at all to do. They were tv jobs basically. I had each name pinned so it was just a matter of adjusting the pins as I went to make sure it all looked nice and neat whilst I watched tv.
This is something little I whipped up over the weekend.
I’d been planning on making this for months. This is based on a pattern from a magazine called Australian Homesewn but I never followed the full layout. They had more numbers to what I remember having on it when I played as a child. The pink blue and purple calico are the ones I dyed myself. The background is just raw calico. The numbers are polar fleece that I’ve also used inside the mat as a batting.
The backing is from a roll of fabric I brought years ago. I think it goes in well with the purple and the blue tones. The ribbon to tie it up I found last minute. I think I brought it years ago to make myself a belt but it was perfect for this project.
I’ve never made a quilt before so binding the 3 layers together gave me a new found respect for those amazing people who whip up quilts in no time. I remembered how to attach the walking foot this time so that part was easy. Manoeuvring it around the machine was a little tricky. I’m glad I did it in the evening as quilting is not a summer sport. Even cutting and pinning something that large is new for me.
This project was a real trip down memory lane. Every time I look at I become 7 years old again playing it at school or drawing it with chalk in the backyard. I really like this mat. I’m planning on making at least one more next year. I’ve still got more the dye fabrics and the backing. I may need to find some other fabrics for the background and fleece for the middle as my stash of those are running very low. Bit sad cause I’ve used them in a few projects and they have been handy materials.
So this is one more Christmas gift done. Feels good to actually get something completed over a weekend.
After cutting the backing fabric for Snug As A Blanket I had some strips of polar fleece leftover. Instead of storing them away to use in a project “one day” I decided to make some scarves.
I found this scarf pattern However I made it a little different. Mine are only 4″ x 40″ as they are for young kids and I only used 2 layers of fabric per scarf. I didn’t really measure out the sewing lines I just kinda did one line up the centre and one about the width of the presser foot either side. I wasn’t fussy when I cut it so some strips are wider than others but that doesn’t matter.
From the amount of fabric I was able to make 3. One for the girl to match her blanket and 2 for her to give to cousins or friends. Kids like having the same item as their friends so I thought this could be a cozy little item to share.
This is the second book I made.
This book is based on another Rag book by Kids Quilts 123 Pretty As Can Be
Again I gave myself the challenge of only using fabric from my scrap stash.
The images in Kids Quilts Rag books are often repeated in their many different patterns so in this one I chose 5 images that weren’t in the Colours
The pages are the same as the colour book with polar fleece inside.
The binding is again hand slipped stitched on using more of the left over bias binding I had.
This is the 4th book I’ve done based on Kids Quilts books in the last 2 years. Their books are quirky and fun. I love the bright colours they use and the images are cute. You can personalise them to be girly or boyish or gender neutral just by fabric selection.
A couple of weeks back I mention I was working on 2 books well here is the first one I finished.
Its based on the Rag Book pattern Crinkly Critters by Kids Quilts I added my own style and decided I wanted to make it into a book teaching colours. I set myself a challenge to theme each page in a colour and only use fabric from my scrap stash.
I made the pages a little larger so I could hand stitch the colour on each page. I used calico to make the pages look like a “Grown Up’s” book. Also the neutral backgrounds helps the colours to really stand out.
The pages are lined with polar fleece to make them soft and squishy.
To bind all the pages I thought I’d use my Walking foot for the first time ever but the sewing machine didn’t like it and kept saying overload so I resorted back to using my regular foot. The spine binding is slip stitched on by hand using left over bias binding my mum helped me make years ago on my first ever real big sewing project a polar fleece blanket.
I took a picture the reverse side of them all I really like the look of it.