Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Dani has her quilt - so now I can show it off!

This is the quilt I made for Dani. She recieved it this week and now I can show you some pictures.
She has a great pic that shows the texture of the quilt on her blog at
To see the other lovely quilts made for swap go to

A playground for little green frogs
It measures about 50cm wide by 45cm high or 19.5in by 18.5in.

My original inspirition was the lovely 'Inchie' quilts that I discovered through Emma's blog.

My first thought was to make an abstract quilt with removable 'Inchies' that could be worn or used as brooches, but then after doing some Flikr searches of doll quilts I came across some lovely bird designs. I decided to do a tree quilt with removable birds.
However, when it came to sketching out some designs I hit a bit of a brick wall.

As all good crafters do, I gave up and decided to do some 'tidying' of my sewing room (moving stuff from one pile to another). I discovered a frog applique design from an American quilt magazine (Quiltmaker's Favorites - Winter 08) that I had put away to use 'one day'. This sent the plan off on another tanget.
Half an hour with the work photocopier, several hours of fabric window-shopping on-line, some enjoyable time trawling through the stash, a week or two of thinking and a bit of time with a paper and pencil and 'Frogitopia was designed.

I wish it was that easy to go from design to finished product, but it morphed and changed as I went.
I have some basic piecing for the sky and water, with wonky seams to create the effect of waves/ripples/reflections in the water. The grasses, rock and lilly pads are all raw-edge applique but only the lilly pads are appliqued through all layers of the quilt sandwich. Next time I'll do all the applique this way.

The reeds are hand embroidered using backstitch in embroidery floss and some short lengths of wool stitched on and fluffed up to make the flowers.

The lilly pads are felt. They were going to be needle-felted artistic creations but I ruined the first one I tried so I used plain felt instead - and think it worked perfectly.

The grasses at the bottom extend out past the edge of the binding to create some depth. I like the way they turned out.

The two butterflies are purchased iron-on patches that have been backed with felt and brooch pins. These were again going to be needle-felted but I ran out of time but am really happy with how these work.

The frogs are layered with pellon to give them a bit of firmness and fullness, and each have a brooch pin sewn to the back so that they are free to jump around the pond (with a bit of assistance).

The other embellishments include gold dragonfly buttons, glass lady-bird beads and some little caterpiller buttons. I spent hours looking in shops and searching on-line for these. I really had no idea how hard it was going to be to find the right sort of button!

The actual quilting is pretty simple. I quilted in the ditch of the different strips of the water, and created some wavy lines about 1.5in apart in the sky and about 0.5in apart on the rock. This was all done with a walking foot. I attempted some free-motion but it was a bit of a disaster. As it was, most of the quilting was unpicked and re-done (Note to self: quilt in the same direction next time and save yourself some grief!!!)
The backing fabric has been in my stash for years and although I didn't pull it out until after I was half-way through the top it was obviously a sub-concious influence on the design. I added a hanging sleeve to the top of the backing when attaching the binding.

The label was made using ink-jet printable fabric (Matilda's own), Microsoft Publisher and a clip-art frame I found online. This is the first time I've done a label this way and I'm hooked!
Most of this quilt is created from my stash. I bought the blue sky/water pack from Creative Sewing Online. I also bought the beads, buttons, iron-on patches and brooch pins.
The backing, batting, binding and scraps for all the applique were all in the stash, as was the vliesoflix, felt and ink-jet fabric for the label. If you are into applique or just looking for some handy packs to pad out the stash then I recommend the scrap packs from Patchwork Products in Sydney
There is another version of this quilt underway - 'Frogitopia 2' - that is destined for my wall. They were intended to be completed and photographed together but sadly the flu curtailed my plans. I used the same design but in an aqua colourway rather than the royal blue. Funny enought, I had the same backing fabric print in an aqua-ish colour! The quilt is lying on the table beside me with binding almost finished (forgot the hanging sleeve on this one). One of the frogs needs to be sewn together, they all need eyes and brooch pins and lilly pads to sit on and bugs and dragonflies to drool over. I've already printed the label. I just need some spare time and I'll have some more pics to show.


Kylie said...

This is brilliant! I love the fact you can move the frogs around. Dani is one very lucky person!

Sarah McG said...

Fantastic quilt Bec. I love your work. I would love to do a swap with you, but may have to wait a year or two until I catch up & clear some of my UFO's!