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.



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.


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.


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…


Middle with lots of leaves…


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.


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



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.


I thought the dotted fabric reminded me of snowflakes.


And, here is the flannel backing.


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.


If you’d like to take a look at Cheri Leffler’s book, you can do so by going here:

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:

3 More Books

Book Review #1…Civil War Legacies II by Carol Hopkins


Martingale - Civil War Legacies II (Print version + eBook bundle)

Carol Hopkins wrote Civil War Legacies, and this is the follow-up to that best-selling book.  Although she uses 1860s reproduction fabrices, this would be a great book for using up those scraps. Carol gives tips on selecting fabric for these projects. Many of the blocks are great for beginning quilters to learn, and the small scale make them perfect for gifts, wall hangings, doll quilts, table toppers, etc.

Martingale - Civil War Legacies II (Print version + eBook bundle)

The red quilt below would make a great table mat for a tea or coffee bar, imho.  And, the one on the right has true primitive colors… kind of looks like the sun peeking through the night.

Martingale - Civil War Legacies II (Print version + eBook bundle)     Martingale - Civil War Legacies II (Print version + eBook bundle)


Book Review #2…Stack, Shuffle, and Slide by Karla Alexander

Martingale - Stack, Shuffle, and Slide (Print version + eBook bundle)

If you’ve heard of Stack the Deck type quilt blocks or Stack, Cut, and Shuffle quilt blocks, you will find Karla Alexander’s latest book as another twist on those block cutting models. Karla takes the fear out of color combinations by showing you  how place the different values of the colors within the blocks.  She includes patterns for the different levels of quilters, so there is something for everyone.  Many of her quilts are made with the modern and carefree look.  The quilt below on the left (the darker one)  is for a beginner quilt maker (believe it or not! – it all has to do with color and value placement) and the one below on the right with the triangle flags is for an intermediate level quilt maker.

Martingale - Stack, Shuffle, and Slide (Print version + eBook bundle)Martingale - Stack, Shuffle, and Slide (Print version + eBook bundle)

Book Review #3… Fabulously Fast Quilts by Amy Smart

Martingale - Fabulously Fast Quilts (Print version + eBook bundle)

Amy Smart is a blogger who is having a blog hop this week.  She and her blogger friends are sharing tips and techniques for making the quilt process go quicker and smoother.  If you’ve got time, head over to her blog here.  If not, you will still find pleny of tips and techniques in her book.  You can find her book on Amazon or at the Martingale shop site.  If you’d like a signed copy of her book, go here to order one from her shop.  In her book, you will find 12 quilt designs with lots of movement and that will work with a variety of fabric styles.  Many of the patterns use precuts and scraps.

I thought this one looked interesting – I could use up one or more of my jelly rolls on this quilt, I think.


Martingale - Fabulously Fast Quilts (Print version + eBook bundle)

I thought this quilt below gave a new twist on the chevron quilt we’ve seen so many of.  This one is made with strips, though, instead of triangles.  Could be a Quilts of Valor quilt, a boy’s quilt, a Fourth of July quilt, etc….

Martingale - Fabulously Fast Quilts (Print version + eBook bundle)

Many thanks to Martingale for providing the above books and to their photographer, Brent Kane, for providing these pictures!  You can find any of the above books at Amazon or directly from the Martingale shop.

As a side note, I did not get the following book to review, but I thought some of the quilts in it were cute, so I wanted to share some of them with you.  I don’t have any little kids to make these quilts for, but I find the NEED to buy this book.  😉

Martingale - Animal Parade  Martingale - Animal Parade

Martingale - Animal ParadeMartingale - Animal ParadeMartingale - Animal ParadeMartingale - Animal ParadeMartingale - Animal ParadeMartingale - Animal Parade