Today I have the privilege of sharing one of my favorite projects EVER! This was made for my sweet little 2 year old boy. Sadly I don't sew for him quite as often as I probably should, but this time I more than made up for the time I've invested in sewing beautiful things for Ty.
|Snapshot of the insanity and the love a mother can have for her sweet boy (did you notice the growing baby bump).|
Louise at I'm Feelin' Crafty created this incredible design of the 'Gator Quilt (purchase pattern here) and I was lucky enough to get to pattern test. The alligators are made using a method called paper piecing (which is such a cool process). Paper piecing makes for really exact blocks since you sew your fabric right onto the paper.
I've had never paper pieced before, but I've spent many hours watching youtube videos and pouring my attention into books so this was an extra special experience. There aren't instructions for paper piecing, but if even me as a beginner can make it work, I'm sure you could too.
The great thing is that if the big quilt seems too daunting, you can always choose one of the individual alligators to work on. Using that alligator block you could always build a quilt around that one alligator or you could make a cute pillow.
There were diagrams throughout the pattern so you knew how pieces were supposed to be arranged. After I printed off the patterns, I cut them out and put them in a ziplock bag according to the size of alligator (large, medium, and small). Once I was done cutting out, I used the diagram and went through with a colored pencil and did an outline on every little piece so that as I was working I wouldn't have to constantly refer to the diagram. This worked really well for me considering how many pieces there are.
I was so nervous that since I was a beginner, I would be dumb about my consumption of fabric, but Louise wrote the pattern so that you won't be tight on your supply. After I had put the top of the quilt together, I was able to use some of the extra aqua to do the binding on the quilt. There is still enough between all of the fabrics to make a striped pillowcase (I cut about 3x as much fabric as I needed for the binding).
Since the quilt is only 54 wide I was able to get the backing fabric from IKEA and not have to piece it (that meant I only needed 2 yards). I used the stripes on the back as a guide to quilting the whole thing together.
I basically kept to the exact architectural design of the quilt, except that I moved the small alligator on top from the left side to the right side. This made for better use of the white space to add the words "See you later alligator, in a while crocodile." I mapped out the exact pattern blocks dimensions and locations in my silhouette program, and then I got to work designing and moving the fonts around until I got my desired look. The design was cut onto freezer paper and once that was done, I could iron it on and fabric paint.
Instead of using a paint brush, I used the rag method to apply my paint so that it wouldn't go on too thick and my paper wouldn't shift. This made for even application of paint and actually a pretty quick dry. So that I could get it all done fairly quickly, I sped up the drying process by using my blow dryer (it seems like that's about all I ever use it for). The worst part of the whole thing was heat setting the paint. It felt monotonous after all the other exciting things I'd done on it.
I've learned so much and tried so many new things through blogging, and I'm grateful for blogging so that I have deadlines to actually get things done and I don't just dream my way through unfinished projects and excess crafting supplies. After almost two years, I've gone through 2 bottles of textile medium (used to make fabric paint) and one huge roll of freezer paper. If you like fun stuff like customizing looks through paint, the textile medium and freezer paper are well worth the investment (which is minimal in comparison to output).
June 9th- I'm Feelin' Crafty
June 11th- A Quilter's Table
June 13th- Marci Girl Designs
June 14th- I'm Feelin' Crafty- showing off other Testers work!
June 16th- Wombat Quilts
June 17th- Wholesome Midwestern
June 18th- Shaffer Sisters
June 19th- Crafty Shenanigans
June 20th- I'm Feelin' Crafty