Animal Parade… quilts for a baby

Before I get started, please let me apologize for a couple of the pictures being sideways.  I have fixed them in the editor, but they keep changing back when I update and re-post this.  My apologies!

Remember a couple of years ago when I was doing book reviews? Well, one of the books charmed me so much, I used a couple of patterns in it to make baby quilts for my new grandson. The book’s title is Animal Parade by Cheri Leffler.

My grandson’s mother, my daughter, has always loved owls so in the autumn I made an owls quilt for him. This is a picture of the original in the book.

And, here is the one I made.

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You can’t tell that the fabric is turquoise in the above picture, but it is. I loved the fabric Cheri used in the bellies of her owls, but I couldn’t find any of that kind of fabric at the stores I visited, so I had to substitute. And, how did I miss those eyes in her owl on the upper right of Cheri’s quilt? They look so cute. Mine just look surprised like the others in the diagonal row that goes down to the left of it. LOL

You know how I love to be artistic with my quilting, so here are some close-ups of the quilting I did.

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That’s supposed to be a tree trunk on the left with a baby owl peeking out about the midway point right next to the left side of the picture.

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In this one you can see the leaves that I added to the branches. Basically, the quilting included tree trunks, extra branches and lots and lots of leaves.
Right side of the quilt with another tree trunk…

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Middle with lots of leaves…

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I know that a lot of stitching makes a quilt stiff. Some quilters put so much quilting on their quilts that they are like boards and are very heavy; too heavy to sleep under. That is the kind of quilting that you see on a lot of show quilts. When I quilted this, I put too much quilting in it. Yes, I was trying to “paint” a more complete picture, but for baby quilts, you really only need enough quilting to hold it together. They need soft quilts, and soft quilts have very little quilting. Lesson learned… again… with this quilt. So, on to the next one…

Another quilt from Cheri’s book in a penguin quilt with red borders and sashing. I like the red, but, to be honest, the red scares me due to bleeding issues. My son-in-law likes penguins, so for winter I made a penguin quilt from light blues. I also used a flannel backing and used the green color in the backing and purple to round out the colors. And, this time there was a lot less quilting. I wasn’t sure I’d be able to get it done in time for Christmas, and I didn’t. I normally do a little piecing at a time when I’m working on my own quilts. So, I was able to finish up the piecing a few days before Christmas and finish up the quilting several days afterwards.

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For this quilt, I just did an allover swirl to make it look like swirling wind.

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There were several places that was supposed to have embroidery, but I have to admit that I cheated.  I knew if I took the time to embroider everything on there that i wanted, the quilt probably wouldn’t get done for years.  So, I used a permanent fabric ink pen and drew in some of the embroidered areas, such as the black dots for the eyes below.

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I thought the dotted fabric reminded me of snowflakes.

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And, here is the flannel backing.

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I needed to get back to work on customer quilts, so I cheated once again by rolling the backing fabric around to the front to make the binding.  Can you see it?  No, I didn’t cut the flannel fabric first; I just rolled the extra backing flannel around to the front side and folded it over again and then machine sewed it down.  I’m a better thread artist than I am at making quilt tops.

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If you’d like to take a look at Cheri Leffler’s book, you can do so by going here: http://amzn.to/1nBiHdj

And, guess what? I saw that Cheri has a second Animal Parade book now, too. It looks like it’s got some adorable animals also. This one’s got hedge hogs, raccoons, dear, etc. You can find it here: http://amzn.to/1nBiWF4

Graphic Quilts from Everyday Images

Graphic Quilts from Everyday Images by Heather Scrimsher  leans toward the modern eye by using photos of ordinary objects to create 15 new projects.

Martingale - Graphic Quilts from Everyday Images (Print version + eBook bundle)

Martingale - Graphic Quilts from Everyday Images (Print version + eBook bundle)

Can you see how the following quilt was inspired by the punched steel in the upper left of the above picture?

Martingale - Graphic Quilts from Everyday Images (Print version + eBook bundle)

I love the bold colors in this quilt that was made to look like strings of beads.  The quilting is pretty cool, too.

Martingale - Graphic Quilts from Everyday Images (Print version + eBook bundle)

Martingale - Graphic Quilts from Everyday Images (Print version + eBook bundle)

This one is “Shaken or Stirred.”

Martingale - Graphic Quilts from Everyday Images (Print version + eBook bundle)

Martingale - Graphic Quilts from Everyday Images (Print version + eBook bundle)

Masonry on the corners of buildings…

Martingale - Graphic Quilts from Everyday Images (Print version + eBook bundle)

And, for all you hexie lovers, there’s “Inlay.”

Martingale - Graphic Quilts from Everyday Images (Print version + eBook bundle)

I think you will find plenty here to stir your imagination and get those creative designs flowing.  If you are interested in finding out more about this book, go to Martingale’s website here.

Many thanks to Martingale and their photographer, Brent Kane, for providing the book and pictures for this review.

Think Big

Think Big – Quilts, Runners, and Pillows from 18″ Blocks by Amy Ellis is full of modern and contemporary projects to nurture the modern soul.

Martingale - Think Big (Print version + eBook bundle)

The 10 large blocks included in this book make it easy to put together a quilt in a short amount of time.  You will learn how to conquer your fear of rounded corners with the following block.

Martingale - Think Big (Print version + eBook bundle)

The following quilt looks like it would be rather complex, but it is actually simple to put together.

Martingale - Think Big (Print version + eBook bundle)

Martingale - Think Big (Print version + eBook bundle)

Martingale - Think Big (Print version + eBook bundle)

Even if you are not a fan of modern quilts, these patterns can be combined with any kind of fabric for a quick, weekend project or gift.

If you are interested in finding out more about this book, head on over to Martingale’s website here.

Many thanks to Martingale and their photographer, Brent Kane, for providing this book and the pictures for me to share with you!

Sew and Play

Sew and Play by Farah Wolfe is full of games and toys you can make yourself for the little ones in your life.

Martingale - Sew and Play (Print version + eBook bundle)

This book is full of easy-to-follow patterns and directions to make 11 different games/projects as well as instructions for how to play each game.  Farah also has directions for how to make storage bags, etc. for these games.

Martingale - Sew and Play (Print version + eBook bundle)

Martingale - Sew and Play (Print version + eBook bundle)

Martingale - Sew and Play (Print version + eBook bundle)

Martingale - Sew and Play (Print version + eBook bundle)

Martingale - Sew and Play (Print version + eBook bundle)

Martingale - Sew and Play (Print version + eBook bundle)

No need for batteries with these toys.  They are gender neutral, safe, washable, and great for travel.  Game rules provide age-appropriate play options for toddlers, preschoolers, and schoolkids; there is something for everyone.

If you are interested in finding out more information about this book, head on over to Martingale’s website here.

Many thanks to Martingale and their photographer Brent Kane for providing the books and pictures for this review.

Cups and Saucers

Cups and Saucers by Maaike Bakker is back by popular demand, updated this time with samples of the projects done in 2 colorways.  The patterns for these projects are paper pieced, too, for those who’d rather piece than applique.

Martingale - Cups and Saucers (Print version + eBook bundle)

This would be cute hanging in your kitchen or near a doorway.

Martingale - Cups and Saucers (Print version + eBook bundle)

I think my favorite project in this book was the placemats with 4 different designs.  Pink may not go with the colors in your dining room, but wouldn’t these be cute sitting at your table?

Martingale - Cups and Saucers (Print version + eBook bundle)

I thought this was cute, too.

Martingale - Cups and Saucers (Print version + eBook bundle)

The author has a larger one, too.

Martingale - Cups and Saucers (Print version + eBook bundle)

How about this sitting on your kitchen table or coffee bar?

Martingale - Cups and Saucers (Print version + eBook bundle)

If you are interested in any of these projects, Martingale has it available at their website here.

Many thanks to Martingale and their photographer, Brent Kane, for providing the book and pictures for my review.

Vintage Vibe

Martingale - Vintage Vibe (Print version + eBook bundle)

I loved the quilts in this book by Amber Johnson.  They have the traditional look, but the colors are fresh and up-to-date.  She starts out the book by talking about fabric, fabric sizes, and how to build your fabric stash… great for beginners and others as well.  At the end of the book she gives you quilting basics, and in between the beginning and the end is filled with wonderful quilts and projects to make.

Martingale - Vintage Vibe (Print version + eBook bundle)

Martingale - Vintage Vibe (Print version + eBook bundle)

Martingale - Vintage Vibe (Print version + eBook bundle)

Martingale - Vintage Vibe (Print version + eBook bundle)

Martingale - Vintage Vibe (Print version + eBook bundle)

Martingale - Vintage Vibe (Print version + eBook bundle)

I think you will find something you like from the 14 patterns in this book.  If you’d like to find out more about this book, you can visit Martingale’s website here.  Many thanks to them for providing the book for this review and also to their photographer, Brent Kane, for providing the pictures!

Free-Motion Quilting for Beginners – And Those Who Think They Can’t

Free-Motion Quilting for Beginners – And Those Who Think They Can’t by Molly Hanson is a great book for those of you who are still afraid you can’t quilt, because you can!  You just have to believe in yourself.  It takes practice, and you won’t be as good as you’d like when you start, but the more you do it, the better you will be.

Martingale - Free-Motion Quilting for Beginners  (Print version + eBook bundle)

One of the things suggested to give you practice is to do some sketching.  It helps develop the muscles that will also do the quilting.

Martingale - Free-Motion Quilting for Beginners  (Print version + eBook bundle) In this book, Molly starts you out with basic meander and then some writing.  You will also find patterns for the projects she uses for the quilting in this book.

Martingale - Free-Motion Quilting for Beginners  (Print version + eBook bundle) She moves on to circles.

Martingale - Free-Motion Quilting for Beginners  (Print version + eBook bundle) And geometric designs…

Martingale - Free-Motion Quilting for Beginners  (Print version + eBook bundle)

Paisleys, which look nice on this bag…

Martingale - Free-Motion Quilting for Beginners  (Print version + eBook bundle)

Wood grain…

Martingale - Free-Motion Quilting for Beginners  (Print version + eBook bundle) And swirly designs…

Martingale - Free-Motion Quilting for Beginners  (Print version + eBook bundle)

I like that the author has so many different quilting designs in this book – there’s something for every quilting style.   So, what do you think?  Are you ready to give quilting a try?  You can do it, with the help of this book!

*Note: Many thanks to Martingale Press and their photographer, Brent Kane, for providing the book and the pictures for this review!