Happy Christening to you…


Hello once again my lovely readers,  here I am back in the driving seat of my own blog again, and back with some more sewing goodies.

Our very good friends were having a double christening last month for their daughter Florence and their son Berkley. So of course I immediately thought – what a good excuse for some more sewing loveliness. Or some more sewing practice anyway!

I first thought it would be nice to sew them each a small quilt. But A) I have never sewn a quilt before and it looks a little bit complicated… and B) by the time I had stopped faffing about sketching ideas and thinking what to do, I only had 2 weeks to make both of them… and C) I didn’t have enough fabric kicking about and going to buy more would seriously cut into the time I had free to get started… so… I decided to do some nice patchwork/applique framed pictures.

Idea number one came from a thank you card I had seen a while back with cute animal heads poking into each of the letters of the word thank you.

So, one sunny afternoon,  I begun sketching and scribbling…



I decided to use the back of the paper insert from the photo frame for my pattern sketch so I could ensure the finished article would fit in the frame. Then I began cutting and sticking and sewing…


Then I backed each piece of patchwork with tear n stitch and set to with free machine embroidery to sew the letters. Then I cut out each animal shape in fabric backed with bondaweb and stuck them down ready to machine embroider. It was a beautiful day, far too nice to spend cooped up indoors sewing, so I took my machine outside, extension lead through the kitchen window and sewed them up on the table outside in the sunshine… I’ve never thought to do that before, it was a very pleasant way to spend a day I can tell you, and the wind only blew everything away sending me chasing giraffes and bears and penguins around the garden once or twice!



Once I had finished them all they looked like this, now I just had to sew them together and pop them in a frame.


Ta Da! Except not entirely ta da… as by the time I sewed them together, somehow my calculations with seam allowances had gone a bit awry and it was too big for the frame… doh! Not to worry, I had another bigger frame in a cupboard luckily for me, and so used this instead. But I had to then add a border to the patchwork pieces, which was not really in my plan, and I had no idea how to do it neatly… so here it is sort of bodged and not done very neatly… but hey, now it fits the frame and you will be SO dazzled by the beauty of the embroidery that you will barely notice the wonky border now will you?

So then, onto Berkley’s picture and for this I decided to do something a little different. My friend is a big fan of wildlife and safari animals in particular, and I know that mum’s favourite animal is a hippo, so I thought I would adapt a pattern I found for a safari quilt down to picture size.

And without any more back up frames to hand, it had to fit the frame this time! So I thought, rather than doing each square individually then sewing together, I would sew all the squares together first, make sure they fit, THEN add the applique… bit more risky as then if the embroidery part goes wrong then I have messed up the whole thing, not just one square but hey… what could go wrong?

So I cut out and sewed together the background pieces, including a border, then cut out the applique pieces…

cut up applique pieces

much mess and tiny bits of bondaweb and fabric later…

Then I lined them up ready to embroider on…


Then it was time to pop on my brand new shiny free machine embroidery foot and off I go…


The new foot is fab, rather than having to drop the feed dogs, this foot sort of jumps up and down and allows you to move the fabric wherever you like when it jumps up and releases it. And also it makes you feel like you are less likely to accidentally stab your finger with the needle than when I just used the machine footless as for Florence’s picture. It took a bit of getting used to using the new foot, but now I love it. Just a shame it is not a clip on foot and I have to rummage in my sewing machine box of bits for my Janome wee screwdriver each time I need to put it on or take it off.


And finito…

With a couple of days to spare I had them both finished and ready for the big day:


I hope they will look on them often and know I am thinking of them as they grow up. I certainly had a lot of fun making them! Maybe one day I will get around to making some matching quilts!


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