A different kind of patchwork

A friend of mine from high school recently had a baby girl. I don't know all of the details, but my friend has some pretty serious health issues, and ended up on bed rest for several weeks. I can't even imagine how boring that must have been, so I wanted to send her something special for her baby girl. I had a layer cake of Farm Fresh and decided to try creating an oversized Disappearing 9-Patch block. I used the 10" layer cake slices as the basis for the D9P....and I hated it. There wasn't enough variety in this fabric line to give the quilt a sufficiently scrappy feel. I hadn't sewn the D9P blocks together yet, so I played around with it on my design wall and eventually decided to just chop the blocks up some more. I cut each of the blocks into 4 pieces and mixed them up until I had this:
Unfortunately, the animals in the largest print were chopped up a bit. But I like the overall feel of this layout a lot more. I quilted this in the ever popular orange peel style, and it was a lot of fun! I chose to quilt it free motion, which I think was a lot laster than using a walking foot. In the process of researching this quilt style I developed my own way of achieving this design, which seemed a lot easier to me than some of the other methods out there. I have another  baby quilt in the works right now, so hopefully I can snap some in-process pictures to show how I like to quilt the orange peel.
The above photo shows the quilting pretty well, although the photo is a bit dark!
I used the DS Quilts pink dots (from JoAnn's) for the binding. The colors went so well with this line!
For the backing I used three more DS Quilts prints.
I really like the softness that this quilt has because of the widely spaced quilting. I will definitely use this quilting design again soon!

Gifts for the A Family

As I mentioned in my last post, I sent gifts to a few friends' families for Christmas this year. The A Family has 3 kids, a big sister, little sister and little brother.
For the big sister, I made the children's messenger bag from the Oliver + S Little Things To Sew book. This bag is one of the reasons I bought the book. I love the simple design and the pattern even includes 2 sizes. The adult size would make a great gift as well!
I used a laminate from Anna Maria Horner's Loulouthi line for the outside of the bag. The lining is a print from the DS Quilts line at JoAnn's. I was in a bit of a rush to finish all of the gifts that I planned, so I used premade bias binding and chocolate brown webbing for the strap.
I really like this pattern, and I won't hesitate to use it again. I chose my fabrics and cut them out in about an hour one night. When I actually sat down to sew up the bag, it took me less than 1.5 hours! I also love the compact size of the children's pattern, I think it would make a great purse.
DSC_0054 DSC_0057
The only change I made was to add velcro to the 2 front pockets shown in the photo. If I sew this bag again, I may play around with way of closing the main compartment as well.
For the little sister I made the Teddy/Baby Carrier, also from the Little Things To Sew book. The fabrics are all from Summersault by Erin McMorris.
Perfect for a front carry:DSC_0086
Or a back carry:
I couldn't resist, I made Addy the same carrier. :) These came together *really* quickly, and the pattern was great! DSC_0090
Finally, for the little brother I made a play mat that doubles as a toy sack.
I wanted to keep the design simple so that he could use his imagination. I fussy cut the buildings from a few fat quarters that I had stashed away. The rectangle of "road" in the upper left corner is a parking lot. I've been told that little boys love to park their cars when they play. DSC_0096
I wasn't super happy with how the toy sack looked when closed, but I ran out of ideas and didn't want to deconstruct the entire play mat. My hope is that the play mat is so well loved that it has no time to be used as a toy sack. :)
Along with the kids' gifts, I sent my friend a holiday table runner. If you want to see a pic, check out my last post.
My friend and her kids all loved their gifts, and I really enjoyed being able to surprise them with something special for Christmas. Feeling the gratitude of friends is the best gift I could ever ask for!