Thursday, January 11, 2018

Bjorn Bears - Christmas quilt number 2

If you read the last post, you know I had a request by my youngest two to replace their very outgrown quilts with new ones this Christmas. I had to admit it was reasonable since their old quilts are both toddler size and they are most certainly not!

Evan's quilt was also an Elizabeth Hartman pattern, Bjorn Bears.
If you look up her pattern, you'll see she does the bears in rainbow solids. But I didn't think my very cool 15 year old would be okay with rainbow bears. So I tried to up the cool factor a bit by making my bears into black, white and grey bears. (There is also a spotted bear in there that my friend Donna calls a 'leopard bear'.)

I also turned the darling optional glasses into some sweet shades - with the help of my guild friends, who donated various reflective fabric scraps for my sunglass lenses.  Pretty fly, dontcha think? (Do kids even say 'fly' anymore?)

I also ordered a minky backing for this quilt. Love the cuddliness and the great texture, hate the shedding and stretching. At least on this one I didn't have to fit bits of fluff coming up through to the
top in the needle holes.

As her others, this is a great pattern. And lends itself to some chain piecing. I made all the nose units at once which sped things up a bit. At least it felt that way. Good instructions. I appreciate that. Nothing like frustration free patterns when you are up against a Christmas deadline.

I did another all over design for the quilting. All freehand on my Innova.  I call this one hedgehog curls. It's a variation of one of the talented Tracey Russell's designs.

Oh, and for comparison, here is the quilt this one replaced:
Eight years ago. He was in first grade. I'm still pretty proud of this quilt. At the time, this was pretty advanced for me and I rocked it. But it's laughably small for my tall freshman boy.

And yes, he liked it. Not as exuberantly as his 11 year old younger brother but what can you expect from a cool teenage boy? He is grateful kid though and was sure to thank me for making him a new quilt. Can't ask for more than that, right?

Dogs in Sweaters - Christmas Quilt number 1

Hi Quilty Peeps!

You remember that I have 5 kiddos, right? And each of them have received a quilt made just for them by mom. But lately there has been a bit of polite grumbling on the part of the youngest two. Because I made their quilts quite a few years ago, when they were smaller. So their quilts are smaller. In fact, I made those two particular quilt just before we moved from Texas to Turkey. They were meant to be carried on planes and into hotel rooms.  So those two quilts are small. Like not even throw size.

And while quilts stay the same relative size, children do not. These two children are now a strapping 15 year old and a growing every day 11 year old. Thus the request for bigger quilts. Thus for Christmas, that is what they got. Here is the quilt for the 11 year old:

And for nostalgia's sake here is the quilt I made him 8 years ago :
I know it doesn't look small but trust me, it is. Slightly larger than a baby blanket and not nearly big enough for my baby-of-the-family-but-no-longer-a-baby son.

His new quilt was made from Elizabeth Hartman's Dogs in Sweaters pattern. Fabric was from various lines all purchased at the Arts and Crafts center at Baumholder Army base here in Germany. Thank goodness they had a good variety of quality prints and solids that played well together. It's a good 45 minute drive from my house but since I didn't leave myself enough time to order all the fabric, this store saved my bacon.

Aren't these dogs the cutest? The glasses just kill me. And they were especially appropriate since my youngest got glasses this year right before school started.

Elizabeth Hartman's patterns are great. I chain pieced as much as I could. That's not completely possible with this pattern but you do make 3 dogs at the same time, which is nice. I prefer quilting over piecing so anything that makes the piecing go faster is good in my book. Her instructions are very well done; easy to understand and follow.

I did order minky backing for this quilt and for his brother's. I knew they would both love the soft cuddliness of it. But I will admit that working with minky is not my favorite. The shedding, managing the stretchiness when loading on the frame, the shedding... I'm still finding dark blue fluff in my studio.  Still though, it shows some awesome quilting texture on the back and it is the best for cuddling.

Honestly, I didn't have time to do custom quilting on this. Santa does have deadlines after all, but I think the all over design worked perfectly.

Rory was over the moon happy to find this under the tree. Today I had to go steal it off his bed to get some pictures of it before it started to look too 'loved'.  Nice to be appreciated though right?

I'll do a separate post to show you the other Christmas quilt. Stay tuned!