So I finished the playmat and thought I’d share pictures of the finished mat and the steps I took to get there. In case anyone is interested.
This was, in a lot of ways, easier than the first patchwork I did because it used much larger squares and wasn’t hand quilted. That said, figuring out how best to sew everything together and deciding how I should quilt something so chaotic was much harder. I’ve learned a lot from doing this so hopefully the next blanket I do – which I hope will make it to ebay – will be as near to perfect as I can get on my machine from 1895.
Laying out the design
I needed to design this quilt to be both baby-friendly and quick to make. Big, primary-colour patchwork panels seemed like the natural choice. I tried to used fun, girlie prints without making the whole thing too pink or too cutesy – hopefully I’ve succeeded.
This quilt was much harder to piece together than the last due to its irregular shapes and the fact that I had to manually fish the bottom thread up from out of the machine every time I wound the bobbin. My lovely machine needs a great deal of TLC following 3 patchwork quilts, 3 handbags, 2 skirts, 1 pair of shorts and a dress!
I layered the last two quilts by placing the sections in order, right side up, before folding the bottom section around the top to create what looks like a frame on completion. I didn’t think the squares of the backing fabric looked quite right next to any of my top fabrics though, despite their similar colours, so on this quilt I decided to try a different approach. Placing the ‘right sides’ of the front and back together, then the middle layer on top, I stitched three edges of the blanket and turned the whole thing inside out…
… which meant the final edge had to be hand stitched. Not ideal, but I think the overall finish was well worth it.
Quilting something as irregular as this blanket turned out to be quite a challenge. The first patchwork piece I did was quilted by sewing diagonal lines through the squares, radiating from the centre. The second was never properly quilted as I decided to sew buttons haphazardly across the whole thing instead. For the playmat though, I wanted to echo the big squares and simple shapes that I’d used and so decided to simply sew squares within the squares.
So the quilt was finished, and all that remained was slipping the toys into their respective pockets…
Due to time restraints, I only made two toys for the quilt – a simple ‘rustic’ looking teddy and the pretty rabbit lady I showed before.
And here’s the finished article… With a fuzzy duck and bear (that I had intended to use on a set of overalls re. Kaylee from Firefly) to add to the texture. The duck’s bottom is slightly below the lip of the pocket for the rabbit, so hopefully it looks as though he’s sailing on water…
And so comes the aftermath which Artemis – who is not as cooperative a model as Saffron – thinks is the world’s best bed.
I hope I haven’t bored you senseless with talk of quilting. If I have, very sorry.