Thursday 12 February 2015

Robot Appliquéd Quilt Blocks

I've started another quilt. This one's been in the planning stages for quite some time, and finally, I've made a start on the sewing. I plan to incorporate nine robot blocks into a single bed sized quilt for a young boy.

So far I've appliquéd two robots to the base blocks. Once all the robots are appliquéd, I'll make the blocks larger, most probably with wonky strips, log cabin style. I've only ever seen square log cabin blocks and my blocks will be rectangular, but I don't see any reason why this would be a problem.

The facial features are hand sewn, the eyes with a backstitch and the mouth with a whipped running stitch. I love how the mouth looks and it's super easy. We learnt the technique as young kids at school. When I make the next robot block I'll take photos to show you how. 

Instead of using embroidery floss, I used a variegated crochet cotton for the eyes and Perle cotton for the mouth. The crochet cotton gave the effect I was after, but I thought just knotting the thread to start and finish might be too bulky and so I learnt starting and finishing techniques without knots. I'd be lost without Google...

My youngest son has designed all nine robots, each one having a different occupation. The top one is obviously a waiter, and the second a horticulturalist, gardener or landscaper. We wanted the figures to be robot like, yet unique. 

The waiter has turned out exactly as envisaged and I LOVE him!!! Last year I did a variation of the waiter when I made robot wine waiter cushions. There's a few very small pieces, so a little fiddly, but not at all hard.

I might yet tweak the gardener. I've already changed the body. Initially I had this in a print fabric, but it didn't work. Maybe I'll change the neck to the lighter mauve. What do you think?

After adhering all the pieces to the base block with double sided fusible webbing, I outlined the edges with scribbly stitching. I've also seen it referred to as wonky stitching or sketchy stitching. Most examples I've seen have been done with the feed dogs down and free motion embroidery. I do mine slightly differently - with the feed dogs up and using my regular presser foot. I also haven't added batting at this stage. 

Again, I'll take photos when I do the next robot. It's really easy to do and I do love the look. 

On paper, the gardener looked female and friendly. Not sure why, but she looks more like a he now and rather mean. Maybe it's the dark purple. I don't suppose it matters if there's one robot who's not as friendly looking as the rest.

Two blocks down, seven to go. I have three unfinished quilts - all at different stages. The robot quilt is NOT going to linger like the three incomplete ones. There's a deadline to be met with this one. Never-the-less, I'm pacing myself, so there's no rush at the end - a minimum of two blocks per month. It was going to be one block per month, but I missed January's goal. From now on, it'll be two each month. Sandra, you're a good influence on me!!!

I'm not sure how I'll eventually quilt, but most probably not on the robots. Maybe free motion quilting around the robots. Suggestions welcome.

Think I'll start on the chef and the mechanic next. And, in the not too distant future, I'll make the template files of the appliqués available to you, so you can make your own robots.

... Pam


  1. I would love to see how you do the machine stitching! I am thinking about using perle for quilting Hannah's baby quilt. How is it to work with?

  2. Those robots are brilliant Pam, what a talented family you are. Spiky free motion quilting would be very apt for the quilt when you get to that stage :)

  3. These are gorgeous, so much fun for a young boy's quilt. Really looking forward to seeing it progress.

  4. The stitching is perfect here. Love how it worked for the waiter's springy looking legs.

  5. I thought the gardener has a gentle smile. He/She looks friendly to me! :) I can tell this quilt is going to be fantastic!

  6. HAHA the purple one looks like a maid (not THE maid) from Jetsons - she looks like a she to me! I wouldn't mind asking her to bring me a slice of cake - I bet she'd sit down with me and have a nibble, LOL! The waiter looks very efficient - like he could serve dinner for 10 and then go help the kids with their homework - I'd hire him on the spot :D

  7. LOVE the robots. So cool. Can't wait to see the end result. Or your progress lol


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