Somewhere over the rainbow…

…there’s a made-to-order rainbow patchwork quilt complete with custom random layout and beautifully hand-embroidered initial square…with a Crafty Prawn fabric label on it.


Here is my latest made-to-order patchwork quilt, custom made for a new little baby in Belgium. All through the wonderful power of Etsy! This will be a mainly image filled post as I hope that pretty pictures speak for themselves. Saying that, I’ll probably get a bit carried away and jabber on about all the little details and fun I had making it!

This quilt uses the same fabrics and colours used in ‘Finn’s Quilt’ but with a random layout, as requested by the customer. Although I was a little tentative about a completely random layout at first, feeling it may look like a bit of an explosion, the result is a striking, bright and bold quilt. And as true patchwork is supposed to be completely random, why not! Other custom requirements included one of my special hand embroidered squares but with a bold M initial and a little embroidered year date.


I can’t help but get a buzz from making with beautifully rainbow squares that have all been cut by my fair hands // the back if often just as intriguing with all those neatly pressed seams // feline assistant amongst the rainbow…


This sunny number has been quilted with a crosshatch pattern in white thread, which gives a nice consistent texture to the zingy and slightly crazy random layout.


The quilt has been backed with a rich maroon, complimenting the floral dusky pink binding and giving a nice neutral and not too girly feel to the overall quilt – yes the lucky recipient of this quilt was a baby boy! I also used a forget-me-knot blue thread for the bobbin – to show up the crosshatch quilting as a nice contrast with the maroon. Don’t forget the signature Crafty Prawn fabric label peeking out from behind!


Tah-dah! If you would like your very own patchwork quilt in any size, pattern or colour just contact me via The Crafty Prawn Etsy shop and I can make you something totally handmade and unique. Perfect as a new baby gift, 1st birthday present for a special little niece or nephew or even a unique wedding gift!

***This quilt is available in The Crafty Prawn Etsy shop, here ***

Special Nephew Quilt No.3

This is special-nephew-quilt No.3! It has been quite a time for nephew quilts as not long after finishing the Rainbow Patchwork Quilt for my sister Tara and her little Finley in November 2012, I got cracking on another one of a kind quilt for my oldest sister Caitlin and her little boy bubba that was shortly to be arriving in March/April 2013.


This is the first of my special-nephew-quilts that I’ve made since opening up ‘The Crafty Prawn’ shop and having my Etsy hat on. So this time, I was determined to take lots of photos and try to document the process as I went along. Regardless of sharing with anyone else, it’s actually really lovely to have a bit of a record of all that work and making for myself to look back on. So, here are some studio snaps and the story of Jago’s quilt!


a glimpse of my chaotic but controlled studio mess (Ahem…)


The digital bit…The original quilt layout design, embroidery text and name square…

I use just a little bit of digital at the beginning of my handmade quilt projects to figure out the layout, measurements and arrangement of the coloured squares. I think it’s true to say that with each quilt I get a bit more adventurous. Being a bit of an impatient soul and not one to repeat things until I get it perfect, I instead tend to get rather grand ideas and give myself a bit of a mammoth task. Perfect example being…’I’m going to make my first ever patchwork quilt’…’I think I will make it as big as I can and include large verses of hand-embroidered text that will take months to complete…’ But hey, I guess it’s all part of the fun.

I digress. For my third special-nephew-quilt, I really liked the square 50″ x 50″ size I’d used for Finn’s Rainbow Patchwork Quilt, but wanted to try something different for the embroidery. I decided to use the embroidery as a border to the patchwork. I also wanted to try out a modern twist on a traditional patchwork quilt pattern I’d found – ‘Sunshine & Shadow’, where the squares get gradually darker towards the outer edges of the quilt. So equipped with this idea, I decided to go for a darker range of colours, a collection of blues, greys, greens and purples which while at times I worried was too dark for a baby quilt, turned out to be a rather ‘sophisticated’ and fun colour scheme, admittedly livened up by the jazzy bright turquoise backing fabric!



Please excuse my scruffy shoes in these pictures, they just couldn’t help but sneak in. But at least they co-ordinate with the quilt?!

After a lot of square cutting, square re-arranging, fretting about which square looks best where, and getting a little annoyed with puss-cat Albert – who enjoys prancing about on said squares just when I’m at my most despairing that I’m never going to find the right layout (must make a design wall to prevent cat interference!); I decide on my layout and stack up my squares in line groups. Using a very high tech system to keep them all in the right order – see little scraps of paper in photo above (!), I sew, sew, sew and eventually the pattern comes together!

3-01The embroidery did turn out a little ambitious (as always). A border to a 50″ x 50″ quilt was always going to be a little lengthy I guess. This time I chose an extract from The tale of Tom Kitten (Beatrix Potter of course, a tradition for the special-nephew-quilts by now); I hand-embroidered the text on my signature linen, with a rich moss green combined with touches of mustard, blues and magenta tones to compliment the patchwork colours.

4-01Reeling from my mitered corner success in my last made to order Crafty Prawn quilt, I also added a lovely grey and white striped linen edging to the whole quilt, which added another modern aspect and more interest.

6-01        Lots of tacking by hand needed for a rather ambitious diamond quilting pattern…5-01-01With each quilt I make, I grow a bit more confident with the quilting stage and can really see the benefits of the added texture and quilty-feeling that heavier quilting brings. For this quilt, I quilted a diamond pattern radiating out from the centre, aswell as my usual stitching-in-the-ditch along the patchwork seams. While needing lots of tacking by hand before I even looked at my machine, to ensure all the diamond points sat exactly in the centre of each square; I think it’s really worth it. I’m very happy with how the back of this quilt turned out, see picture above right, with the diamond pattern creating a lovely textured graphic pattern on the reverse as well as the front. I used corresponding coloured thread for the top stitching, which gives a lovely effect when you get up close – starting with white thread in the middle and slowly getting darker through to the edge with light blue, grey, blue, green, purple and navy.


I will finish with perhaps the most enjoyable bit of my special-nephew-quilts for me, the hand embroidered name and birth date square. Here I used a dotty white and blue square for the embroidery, which works really well and gives the embroidery even more 3D effect. Made to order quilts in this style are available in my Etsy shop here.

First Crafty Prawn Custom-Made New Baby Quilt

My first order for a custom made Crafty Prawn quilt is finished and was popped in the post just a few weeks ago!
Untitled-1This blog post was actually started the very morning it was popped in the post, but I got somewhat distracted by another rather special quilt for my third little nephew, but more about that later. Safe to say, March was a quilty month!

When my fellow textile-y friend Gemma contacted me back in Febuary about purchasing a Crafty Prawn quilt for a close family friend who was about to have a baby, I was more than a little excited! After discussing all their requirements and details for the quilt including style, colour and the special text to be embroidered, I got stuck into making. The result is a custom-made, one of a kind patchwork quilt in my ‘blended two-halves’ style,  personalised with a gorgeous hand-embroidered name and birthdate square for baby Megan; and a specially chosen Winnie the Pooh quote delicately hand embroidered in co-ordinating colours.

I hope you enjoy looking at these pictures, including some making and packing shots which give a bit of an idea of how my quilts come together. I really enjoyed working to Gemma’s requirements and making the first of my quilts for an un-known customer, which added a bit of mystery to the process! If you fancy a quilt something like this one, or a totally different one with my signature hand-embroidery, just drop me a line at and we can get creating!

THE SQUARES…the finished quilt measured 35” x 50”, that makes for a lot of 3″x3″ squares! As the style of this quilt is slightly scrappy I carefully chose co-ordinating smaller strips of fabric to stitch together to make the squares. This gives the quilt a very richly patterned feel, with lots of interest and a boho feel. Not to mention quite a bit of cutting, sewing, ironing, cutting, sewing, ironing…

making-squares-01_smlTHE EMBROIDERY…the special bit! Gemma chose a very sweet quote from Winne the Pooh, perfect for a new baby quilt and something special to her and her family. I embroider on linen as the fabric takes the stitching really well and the slightly open weave helps make the embroidery look timeless. Once I have the text, I print it in my signature font and then trace each letter onto the fabric, before getting down to embroidering. I love this bit of the process and while it’s undoubtedly pretty time consuming, I can get up quite speed once I get going! I decided to give this panel a kind of candy striped border with lovely mitered corners.

making-embroidery-01THE DETAILS…running stitch border to the lovingly embroidered name & birthdate square // quilted with random-but-carefully-placed straight vertical lines to give texture to the quilt and compliment the scrappy patchwork //blue binding in same fabric as backing together with a special Crafty Prawn fabric label, giving that extra professional touch!


…hand quilted text panel preserves the delicate hand embroidery and gives and lovely textured quality.



finished5_smlTHE PACKING…the only problem with creating something for someone you don’t know – a real customer(!) – is that you can only hope that they understand and appreciate all the little bits that make the quilt special when they receive it. Also you hope that you get lots of ooo’s and aaah’s when that package is opened. So when you receive a Crafty Prawn quilt you also receive an insert with details of how your quilts been made, how to care for it and how to order a second name square in the future if another little bubba comes along!


Patchwork & Embroidered Quilt


I’ve been meaning to post this collection of images for ages! About a year ago I made this rather large patchwork quilt for my sister and her first little one. The little one was also to be my first nephew/niece, which I was extremely excited about, hence the slightly mammouth task undertaken. Said nephew was the grand age of ONE last weekend, so I thought it was really about time ‘Marley’s Quilt’ got a blog post. Especially as I may have to get making another one for a second sister’s first little one very soon…!

The quilt consists of three groups of hand-embroidered Beatrix Potter quotes (I know, I must be mad…) surrounded by many many patchwork squares of found, collected and recycled co-ordinating fabrics. The quotes include some classic phrases taken from Beatrix Potter tales such as ‘The Tale of the Flopsy Bunnies’…

…’because the lettuces had been so soporific…’

‘Cecily Parsley Nursery Rhymes’…

…we love our little garden and tend it with such care…

and the inimitable ‘Tale of Mrs Tiggy-Winkle’…

…her little black nose went sniffle snuffle…

If you’re not familiar with all the Beatrix Potter stories, each beautifully illustrated in fine watercolour; I’m sorry to say it but your childhood is lacking and you better make up for it now!! In the mean time, here’s some more pictures of my quilt… :)

It was quite large in the end!

Originally the idea was to make a cot quilt but as the hand embroidery took shape I thought a cot size was a bit small and why not make a bigger one that could be used for much longer as a play mat, blanket etc. I used Hobbs quality cotton wadding and a nice co-ordinating pale blue linen for both the backing and binding around the edges. Using a combination of blue/green and pink/red based colours, the two halves of the quilt blend into each other and can be folded in half depending on which colour is prefered.
Like this quilt and interested in ordering one a bit like it? I sell custom made-to-order quilts on my Etsy shop, The Crafty Prawn here:

detail of blue area

detail of pinky reds

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