A girly grateful-dead, sunshine-and-shadow quilt for Baby Maggie

#2 of recent ‘Crafty Prawn Custom-Made Quilts’…
…beginning with a request all the way from a father-to-be in New York…
…the result is a bright, girly but cool cot quilt…
…in sunshine-and-shadow layout – with personalised hand embroidered song lyrics – and bub’s full name…
You don’t get more customised than that!019_edit_sml…’quilt-owner-to-be’ was after something soft and girly but funky too…
pretty graphic and chintz florals
dusky pinks
mustard yellow
lime green
teal and soft blue
…combination of punchy polka dots, stripes and checks alongside unusual florals.
BLOG-01…personalised sunshine-and-shadow layout – the original of which can be seen here
…incorporating a quirky arrangement of customised text…
…a rather apt and sweet quote from Grateful Dead’s ‘Eye of the World’ no less…
“Wake now, discover that you are the song that the mornin’ brings,
your heart has it’s seasons, it’s evenin’s and songs of it’s own”BLOG_2-01…blues in the centre, to greens, then pinks, to yellows, finishing off with a bit of floral…
…quilted with simple grid lines on either side of the 3″ squares
…giving lovely texture but not detracting from the complex layout…
BLOG_3-01…customised hand embroidery stitched carefully in co-ordinating colours…
…some words highlighted with multi-coloured letters adding a touch of whimsy!review…and a happy customer’s review on etsy…

…happy days…

CONTACT me about ORDERING a special custom-made Crafty Prawn quilt TODAY

xx

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.

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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!

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

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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!

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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.

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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.