Monday, 28 April 2014

Peter Rabbit Quilt...


My third finished quilt!!! It's full of mistakes... sorry, things to improve next time, but I LOVE it!!! Actually, there are only three Peter Rabbits, so I probably should rename it to the Beatrix Potter quilt. I've always adored Beatrix Potter's books... the intricate drawings and imaginative stories, all packaged up in those cute, tiny books. 


This quilt started with the gorgeous Beatrix Potter fabric, acquired from a friend who was de-stashing. Picture a large tub full of beautiful quilting fabric and two females politely sharing... hmmm. My daughter scored the Beatrix Potter fabric, but my pile of material was larger.

Fast forward a few months and I was asked to turn the fabric into a quilt. Each character was outlined with a black square. Without measuring, I began cutting just inside the squares. Problem was, towards the sides of the fabric, it became obvious that the squares were not squares. Why is it that patterns are not consistent across the width of the fabric?

So I just eyeballed the squares. Not sure why I didn't measure as I cut... next time I will. I squared up the finished blocks which made some of the outside strips a little wonky, but it doesn't seem to have affected the overall look.


The strips around the characters are ALL from my scraps basket. I've mainly chosen blues and mauves, with a few contrasting colours thrown in. I cut the strips 1.5" wide and sewed them in a log cabin type formation. There is no rhyme or reason to the placement of the colours; just what I thought looked OK at the time. I know lots of log cabin blocks have a light / dark design, but mine's random.

The purple sashing, also cut 1.5" wide, is from my stash. I know it sounds like I have a rather large stash, and I do, but I often make things up as I go, as with this quilt and I don't like having to interrupt the process by driving to a fabric store. Shopping from my stash, is much more convenient.


Here you can see one of the biggest problems I had. I wasn't very careful basting the quilt and so there's lots of puckering on the back. I've since basted my strip quilt, (but not yet quilted it) and am much happier with the result. With the strip quilt, I taped the backing fabric to the carpet first. Feel free to leave suggestions as to how to improve the basting. The backing fabric is also from my stash.


I had one block left over and so chose the wonkiest one for the label. It's just hand stitched as the final step. I should have been more organised and sewed two of the sides into the binding, but didn't think of it till after the binding was finished. The binding is also from my stash and is sewn on by machine. When the photo was taken, I hadn't yet written on the label, which I just did with a fabric marker.


This is rather a small quilt, measuring 34" x 43". Even though this quilt is really too small for a single bed, in reality, Little Mister doesn't take up the whole bed, so the quilt will be plenty big enough for now. It'll also be a good size if he wants to take it out on the lounge to snuggle under. 

Little Mister has his own Peter Rabbit, known by the name of Hop Hop. Hop Hop goes to bed with him EVERY night, so the theme of the quilt is perfect for him. His little face beamed when I showed him his new quilt... Little Mister that is, not Hop Hop.


If you follow Threading My Way on Facebook, you'll know that I began the actual quilting quite some time ago. Various other projects came up and the Peter Rabbit quilt was put aside. When I began again, I'd forgotten the settings I'd altered my machine to. I knew I'd decreased the presser foot pressure a lot, but couldn't remember just how much. I couldn't find the answer with Google, but I did find something else that was much more important.

On my previous two quilts, the Zig Zag quilt and the Scrappy Blocks quilt, the top layer always seemed to stretch and bunch up a little, even though I was using a walking foot. The same thing happened when I began sewing the Peter Rabbit quilt, so I decreased the presser foot pressure, which helped a little, but didn't eliminate the bunching.

While trying to find out the settings, I came across a site which showed quite clearly that I was putting the walking foot on incorrectly. There's a little lever at the side which needs to go over the needle screw and I hadn't done that. You'd think that I would have read the directions that came with the walking foot, but not so. Seems so obvious now, but things always do when you know how they should work. Never mind, lesson learnt!!!


With my walking foot put on correctly, quilting suddenly became much easier and the top fabric lay nice and flat. I did also decrease the presser foot pressure just a little.

Every now and then, after moving the quilt through the throat, (Is that what you call it?) the stitches became smaller. After much unpicking, I eventually realised that the little lever had been pushed up off the needle screw.... another thing to watch out for.

Something else I discovered was that it seemed easier to push the quilt away from me through the throat, rather than pull it towards me. (Not when I'm sewing, but when I'm turning the quilt to change the direction I'll be sewing in.) I'm not sure why this would be so.

I'm thrilled with the bright, fun colours in this quilt. My eye is drawn to the colours and not so much to the bunching from an incorrectly installed walking foot. I suppose I could have undone the initial quilting; about one sixth of the quilt, but I didn't. I know Little Mister couldn't care less and quite frankly, neither do I. It still looks good (well, I think it does) and I know I've learnt heaps. I really am enjoying climbing the learning curve of quilting.

My Peter Rabbit quilt will be joining the 160+ quilts in the ongoing Quilting & Patchwork link party here at Threading My Way.

.. Pam

49 comments:

  1. Hi Pam! Your Beatrix Potter quilt is most beautiful! I love her illustrations, too and they are so perfect for a quilt! You have picked great colours and I think it's only good that the 'pictures' are not the same size. If the blocks are different size and even more wonky, it gives more artistic look. I can imagine how excited little Mister is with his NEW quilt! x Teje

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  2. your quilt is beautiful.......... I always say 'I don't do perfect...... if that is what you want.... go and buy it' it's yours,and you love it ! lol
    Tilly

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  3. What a fantastic quilt! I always love quilts that can be made almost entirely from your stash. I love the Beatrix potter fabric and the bright colors you picked. The orphan block on the back is a great touch. I always baste my quilts on a hard surface and I use basting spray. It works well for me. Have you washed the quilt? I've always found that a trip through the washer and dryer is an easy way to hide puckers because the whole quilt gets crinkly. That's my favorite part of a quilt!

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  4. Adorable! The illustrations are so sweet and I like the scrappy blocks!

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  5. OK I want you to repeat after me ... "Design. Decision." --- say it out loud. Now say it again. Now yell it (if nobody else is around, 'cos that would make you look kinda doofy). DESIGN DECISION! Learn it - love it - live it! I think Peter Rabbit is just beautiful but more importantly, Little Mister loves it. It's finished, you learned lots of things, you used up a bunch of stash and some lovely fabric, and you made something pretty darn wonderful for a little guy - how can any of that be less than fantastic? You did good!

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  6. I LOVE this quilt. It is so well done. I see no mistakes, just beautiful work that turned into a lovely quilt. ;) -Brittany

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  7. It's gorgeous! I'm loving that you're sharing the little things you learn along the way.

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  8. absolutely gorgeous. Well done.

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  9. It is wonderful that you are sharing your experience of your journey! Live and learn while creating--What a beautiful quilt-it is wonderful!

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  10. Beautiful finish!! I don't know this for a fact (I'm a newbie too) but I'm guessing even after we have been quilting for 20 years, there will still be things we might have done differently after finishing a quilt :)

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  11. If I made perfect quilts, I'd never have finished one! The quilt is beautiful. It will get lots of love that will wear it thin with the owner never seeing all the "mistakes" you see.

    I have some Potter fabric as well waiting to be made into a quilt. I love the idea of doing the mixed strips on it.

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  12. Love the Beatrix Potter fabric. Did you ever consider making a pocket for Hop Hop to cuddle in on the quilt? Somehow it would be quite fitting.

    And I can't see the mistakes. I think we are all overly critical of ourselves. We just need to step back and appreciate the hard work and learning.

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    1. I love your idea of a pocket for Hop Hop!!!

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  13. I LOVE YOUR QUILT!!!!. It is so colorful and happy. You have such a great eye for design with placing the colors as you made it....Thank you for sharing about the walking foot.

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  14. Pam it's a darling quilt. I can't see any mistakes at all. I love Beatrix Potter and all the characters. My son's favorite was Jeremy Fisher and my daughter loved Mrs. Tiggy Winkle and Jemina Puddle Duck the best when they were young children.

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  15. I love Peter Rabbit and I love your quilt! This is beautiful...I love that the those squares look like the the little books!

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  16. MIstakes or no mistake, tis quilt is adorable! My daughter went through a massive Beatrix Potter stage and she could not have enough of naughty Tom Kitten :)

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  17. I think it looks wonderful! The puckering will disappear in the wash. I'm intrigued how you can pull it towards you to quilt ? Did you have your feed dogs lowered? You shouldn't when quilting with a walki g foot

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  18. What a wonderful quilt, Pam! I love Beatrix Potter, too, and I think the characters are so sweet. Little Mister will certainly enjoy many happy days and nights with this creation and, perhaps, pass it down to his Little Mister or Little Miss someday!

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  19. Love it! You are getting to be a pro at this quilting! :)

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  20. It's gorgeous! I love Beatrix Potter.

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  21. Великолепная работа!!!

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  22. Pam, The quilt is fabulous! The Beatrix Potter illustrations really stand out against the colors you chose.

    I don't really have any quilting tips since I haven't done very much but I know my mom uses a spray adhesive to "baste" her quilt layers together before quilting.

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  23. It's a wonderful quilt Pam, made with love and care for a special person, can't see any problems from here :)

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  24. Very nice! I made a similar style...it was from a book my GD liked and I made the character (3" tall) and instead of a pocket, I put a snap on the backs of the characters and a snap on the quilt for her to snap them on or take them off. She loves it. being interactive is the icing on the cake for the kids!

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  25. How seet! I love Beatrix Potter and I just finished a baby quilt with Beatrix Potter fabrics!

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  26. I'm sure your "little mister" will love his special quilt! And others are right, washing and drying will take care of the little puckers that you see (although others probably will never notice). Thanks for linking this one up to Anything Goes Monday too!

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  27. Beautiful quilt and I'm glad the walking foot is working better for you now! I have one for my vintage Singer but it doesn't really seem to work that well. I like the name of your quilt too! Thanks for sharing.
    Freemotion by the River Linky Party Tuesday

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  28. I do love baby quilts. And this is no exception! Those panel pieces framed in a rainbow of solids - brilliant! Such an adorable quilt!

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  29. It'd beautiful. I had a Beatrix Potter book set when I was a child so I have a soft spot for Peter Rabbit. Even so this is really lovely !

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  30. it's so charming! I just love the softness of it.
    Re basting. After placing the three layers together, I flip it over and smooth out the back again, it's always a bit puckered looking as batting kind of pulls it. Then reflip to front and again smooth gently with my hands. I get out my square and make sure the right angles are correct, then pin. I don't like spray baste chemicals. Like painting a room, the prep work is most important.
    LeeAnna Paylor
    not afraid of Color! lapaylor.blogspot.com

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    1. Thanks so much for the info on prepping. I'm learning that I need to take my time with this stage.

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  31. aw, this quilt is too cute! The bright colors look amazing with the story panels!

    Thanks so much for sharing at Needle and Thread Thursday!

    :) Kelly @ My Quilt Infatuation

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  32. wow!! I think this looks SOOO good!!! Lovely! also, featuring at my weekend Create Link Inspire features.. I've spread the news all around my social media and tagged you ;o) Would love a reshare or two ;o) Emily@nap-timecreations.com

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  33. Just brilliant Pam!! You must be so proud - it's an awesome quilt!

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  34. OMGosh, I LOVE this. So precious and well done. I especially like all the simple fabrics, although bright and colorful, they let the peter blocks stand out.

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  35. It's gorgeous Pam, congrats! Thanks so much for sharing on craft schooling Sunday!

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  36. Pam, your quilt turned out lovely! I love that Peter Rabbit fabric--it's so charming! :)

    Thank you for linking up to Fabric Frenzy Friday!
    -Lindsey
    Fabric Frenzy Friday

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  37. This is darling! Thanks for linking up to Inspire Us Thursday!

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  38. I like your quilt and if your family is anything like mine...no one will notice the puckering or any other flaws that we are only able to see. If you don't point them out, I would assume you did it intentially. Log cabins are my favorite patterns.

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    1. Thanks, Joyce. I no longer see any flaws when I see the quilt spread out on a bed.

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  39. So pretty!!! I love Beatrix Potter - this is a gorgeous quilt!

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    1. Thanks, Bethany. This little quilt has been SO well loved. Makes me a happy bunny.

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