Tag Archives: blanket

Lola loves… Learning how to quilt a baby blanket

Here’s my first foray into quilt-making! It’s obviously a beginners’ job but I’m still pretty pleased with it. I made it for my little god-daughter, who is still tiny so thankfully I didn’t have to make it any larger! Still, I had a lot of fun doing it and I’m already thinking ‘king-size double’.

So, here’s how I did it….

I chose medium-weight plain pink organic cotton to embroider on and chose iron-on designs from Sublime Stitching: Hundreds of Hip Embroideries and How-to (a book I reviewed here), it has a lot of cute baby designs like the crib, rattle and stork I used.

I divided the pink fabric into six sections giving plenty of room for seam allowance. (I recommend not cutting the fabric before embroidering because it may not fit in your embroidery hoop!) I then ironed on the designs and started to embroider over them using as much variation in stitch types as I could muster, plus a bit of applique.

 

 

Once I’d embroidered all the designs I made a card frame two centimetres thick as a template.

I laid this on the fabric and marked round the inside and outside with chalk to create a cutting line and sewing line with 2 centimetres seam allowance.

I then did the same with two pieces of red and white checked fabric and with four pieces of patchwork print fabric, which added to the patch effect. I arranged the squares how I wanted them, pinned a row in place and machine-sewed them one row at a time.

Then, I sewed the rows together, turned them over and ironed the seams down flat. I then had my top sheet. (I made a major boo-boo here and placed the milk bottle and moon up-side down. I think I must have been a bit over-excited because I didn’t notice until I’d finished. I tell myself it means some are facing baby and mummy!)

I backed the top sheet with a natural, antimicrobial soya-cotton blend quilt wadding (a little wobbly as you’ll see) and trimmed it with pink checked ribbon. Then it was done!

The blanket went down a treat and will hopefully be a nice momento for mum, dad and baba. Picking something small was greater for an introduction to quilting but I’d love to get really good at this. So, if anyone out there has any tips or tricks please let me know!

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Lola loves… A DIY Poncho

My make today is a DIY poncho – an idea I pinched from A Beautiful Mess’ Kinsey and Elsie. There’s a lot of scope for variation, which is what I like about this project. Kinsey added tassels and suggested embroidery and I went for a mix of over-grown buttons. You could also try personalising your poncho with fabric stamps or paints.

I travel a lot and always pick up those blankets they hand out on long-haul flights. Even my cat now owns (and ignores) four and I’m running out of reasons to pinch them (the ultimate reason is of course that the cost of the flight warrants pinching anything that’s not bolted down. It’s a quiet, civilised style of protest and I do it as a favour to all frequent flyers). Anyway, now I have something to use them for. For this I used a soft fleece blanket that doesn’t fray so didn’t even need hemming!

You can see the very easy instructions already drawn out for you by Kinsey and Elsie. After this, I simply cut the fabric on one side and added three buttons and buttonholes.

I’m going on a glamping hen do at the weekend and with the dire UK weather I think this’ll come in handy!


Lola loves… the Love Blanket

I was a bit sad to hand over the love blanket (yes, I named it. Yes, we bonded) but I hope that’s the sign of it being a good present.

I gave this to some lovely friends of mine on their wedding day, they had asked for a donation to their honeymoon fund (Thailand. Three weeks. Lucky buggers), which I happily obliged with but wanted to do something extra that was heartfelt but not budget-busting.

I bought two fleece blankets, a white one  that I embroidered, and a red one that I sewed to the back of the white one to hide the reverse side (which to be honest was a bit messy!)

All of the embroidery designs were from an iron-on kit by Sublime Stitching, which costs $5  and has full instructions.

I also bought some felt for the appliqué heart and used embroidery threads that I already had, so in total it was a pretty inexpensive gift.

They seemed to like it and have decided to hang it on their wall. I was thinking it would only be used on the occasional winter night or for movie watching so I’m happy, though I did have a romantic notion of their not-yet-conceived kids snuggling underneath it, so I hope it makes it down eventually. I have a crochet blanket made by my great-grandmother, which I snuggled under for comfort when I was ill – it is called the sick blanket (don’t worry, it was never covered in sick). It was, and still is, a very special blanket and I had that in mind when I made this.

I chose an appliqué heart and ribbon and embroidered swallows to ‘hold’ them, partly because I’m  into tattoo designs and because they’re a young and trendy couple, so I thought they’d enjoy it.

I machine-sewed the heart and ribbon with a secure zig-zag stitch  and then trimmed any edges.

It took a fair while to embroider this but it was a lovely project to work on. I even took it in the bus to sew on the way to work (I live in London so it’s always a long and public commute). As it was winter it kept me nice and snug as I sewed!

Here’s the couple on their beautiful day – they make quite a dapper pair, don’t they? You’ll see that the wedding dress is different to what I embroidered as, quite rightly, that was all kept secret until the day, but I was lucky enough to catch a look at the groom’s outfit before as he needed me to take up the trouser hem.

The heart matched the homemade fascinator  I wore on the day too!

It was an incredibly beautiful day and I’m really pleased to have made a special keepsake for them.


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