Thursday, 2 January 2014

By the sea, mini quilt

A mini quilt today, and this is the last of my 'Craft it Forward' makes (others here, here and here). This one was for my friend Emma (Hope Sews), and was inspired by one of her holiday snaps from earlier in the year. I loved this photo of her little girl by the sea, and thought it would be great to recreate in fabric.

So I started out piecing together strips of fabric to make the background. I sewed them straight on to a square of an old blanket and added lots of lines of stitching, particularly in the sea, to give it a bit of strength and bring the picture to life.

Once I was happy with the background I used bondaweb to cut out the basic figure outline - the photo was so straight forward and clear that I was able to 'cheat' a bit and trace this on to the bondaweb. When I was happy with the positioning, I ironed it on to the background. Then I used my water soluble pen to draw the detail on the figure.

I sewed around it in running stitch, changing the thread colour according to the part of the picture.

I did several lines all around and made a start on the hair.

At this point I rinsed off the pen marks to get a better idea how it was going - and then went to bed while it dried!

Next step was adding a bit more detail with some paint. I just used ordinary, craft acrylics, watered down a little bit so they would stay 'soft' in the fabric. A hint of flesh colour on legs and arms, some detail on the dress and a bit of a tint to the hair and shadow. When it was dry I ironed it just to seal the colours a bit.

It was coming together nicely but I felt it needed a bit more thickness and weight. I added another layer of blanket, some backing fabric and lots more quilting lines to hold all the layers together - more ripples in the sand, more waves in the sea, more swirls in the sky, more curls in the hair...

Then for this mini quilt I found a really neat way of hanging it - here.

 So this was the next step, add these 2 triangles on the back at the top, so that some kind of 'dowel' can later be inserted for hanging. And lastly it needed binding, I used the same fabrics from the picture for the binding, to 'extend' the picture into the edges. Here it is finished from the back so you can see how it will hang.

And here it is, finished, right side around.

I can definitely see myself making more mini quilts along these lines. And although there's obviously lots of stitching and detail, it's all on quite a small scale so it's very manageable.

And lastly, how did you get on with the quote quiz from yesterday? Here it is again, with answers.

Which Nobel prize and Oscar winner said: "You see things and you say, 'why?' But I dream things that never were and I say, 'why not?'"
George Bernard Shaw

Which children's writer said: "If you have good thoughts they will shine out of your face like sunbeams and you will always look lovely."
Roald Dahl

Which Russian said: "Everyone thinks of changing the world, but no one thinks of changing himself..."
Leo Tolstoy

Who said (and this is probably my favourite, favourite): "Don’t waste your time looking around for something you want that can’t be found, when you find out you can live without it and go along not thinking about it".
Baloo the Bear (wise words in the ’Bear Necessities’)

And lastly, who said: "Imagination is more important than knowledge." 

That's it for today then. Back again tomorrow, Sally.


  1. So glad! It was a beautiful photo in the first place X

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