Lion on the loose

Spotted in a Hampshire garden, a lion at large!

Meet Larry the Lion. He’s a Funky Friends pattern I’ve used to create a memory animal from babygros as a keepsake for a friend’s son’s forthcoming first birthday.

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I used six babygros to make Larry. Most were newborn size, which didn’t leave me with a lot of fabric, and therefore, not much room for mistakes. As luck had it, the pieces which I did cut out wrong were from the fabric I had most of, so I had enough spare to re-cut them. Phew.

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I hit a few obstacles along the way:

  • the eyes: I forgot to insert the craft eyes before sewing the head to body, making it much more difficult as I had to pull the head back out through the stuffing gap. Having not used craft eyes before, I had to watch a video tutorial to learn how to do so. All went well, until one was positioned incorrectly, and then I had to watch another video to work out how to get the washer off the back of the eye so I could remove it!
  • pattern markings: not that I’ve done a great deal of sewing from patterns, but in the little I’ve done, I’ve not been too bothered about transferring pattern markings. This time, I dutifully got out my carbon paper, washable pen, tracing paper, tracing wheel and transferred the markings. Only to realise when I started sewing that I should’ve transferred them to the right side of the fabric, not the wrong side like I had. Rookie error.
  • hand embroidery: not my strong point. I really struggled to get the toes on the first paw looking right, but once I had mastered it, the rest were quicker. As for the French knots on the cheeks, that took two attempts. I gave up last night and tried again today, with more success.
  • interfacing: the mane is a little floppy, I think I could definitely have used stiffer interfacing. One to remember for the next one.

Once I’d finished him, he went for a spin in the washing machine, followed by hanging out on the washing line for the afternoon.

I’m pretty pleased with how he turned out.

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Piecing

Now the piecing of the memory quilt. begins. It’s hard. And headache inducing. I’m being paid to make this quilt for a friend’s little boy who turns one on Friday. I’m behind schedule so think it’ll be late … No change there!

I’ve cut out 84 of my squares, or squares totalling 84 6″x6″ squares. I was aiming for 88 squares. But I’ve run out of interfacing (more arriving Monday), so I thought I’d see how it looks with what I’ve cut so far.

I laid out some old wadding which is similar in size to the finished quilt size.
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All my squares neatly stacked ready to start piecing.

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Although I’ve been asked to cut different sized squares, I think my friend prefers the uniform look of squares which are all the same size, like this:

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But I don’t have enough squares that size, so I added in the 9×9 and 3×3 squares:

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I knew she wouldn’t be too keen on this look, and I think that too many small squares together looks a bit messy. So, I switched in some 6×6 squares, like this:

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I then added a row of 3×3 squares between each bigger row. Overall, I’m left with this:

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Needs a lot of tweaking to balance it out. I think my friend will find it too busy! Maybe I’ll start again tomorrow. It may mean getting rid of the 9×9 squares and having alternating rows of 6×6 and 3×3. Which means I’ll need to get cutting again! Zzzz

Squares

I’ve been busy cutting out squares whenever I’ve had a moment. Takes longer than I expected! I focused on cutting out the appliquéd/fabrics with detailing first. I’m doing three sizes of squares 6″x6″ (6.5×6.5 with seam allowance), 9×9 (9.5×9.5) and 3×3. I’ve cut a few rectangles too, but not sure yet how or if I’ll work these in.

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I’ve just laid out what I’ve cut so far – this is not how they will be pieced – to give me an idea of size.

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What do you think? As I say, this is not how they’ll be pieced, but it’s coming out a bit better than I was expecting.

I reckon I’m nearly halfway there. Here are my piles. 3x3s are winning out.

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Now I’ve cut out all the main designs, I should speed up a bit. I hope. I’m cutting 6×6 squares where I can, then 3×3 with what is left.

The first cut

The memory quilt meeting finally happened this afternoon. My friend came over with her two children to go through what clothes she wanted to use, the sizing of the blocks, etc. As you can imagine, it’s hard to have crafty discussions whilst supervising young children. Chaos ensued.

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This evening, I’ve been cutting up lots of paper, trying to work out the best sizing for the blocks/squares. Like a giant game of Tetris. Getting a headache.

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Think I’m getting there. My impatience has got the better of me and, despite promising that I wouldn’t take my scissors to anything til tomorrow, I’ve interfaced and cut up one of my favourite squares.

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My first commission

Exciting times in Unfinishedcrafter-land. I’ve received my first commission. A friend has added me to make two memory blankets; one for each of her children. She wanted them both for her son’s 1st birthday, the 26th September. Having sought the advice of my two crafty friends/gurus, I’ve said I can only complete one in that time. The price we’ve agreed will work out as a pitiful hourly rate, but it’s my first time doing one and it’s for a friend.

So I now have three boxes of baby clothes sitting in my conservatory.
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We were supposed to have a blanket meeting last night, to choose the clothes and backing for the quilt, but I had to dash off to out-of-hours with my little man who had been being sick all day. As well as getting covered in sick A LOT, we’ve also spent most of today like this:

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Not going to lie, it’s lovely having him sleep on me, he hasn’t done that since he was really small.

Maybe tomorrow will be the day I begin on the quilt. It’s a tight schedule so every day counts.