Last year, I made a Clifford quilt for Max for his 2nd birthday for his big boy bed. When my mother-in-law saw how much Max loved the quilt, she asked if I’d make one for my niece G. for Christmas (which falls right before her 2nd birthday and her move to a big girl bed). I consulted with my sister-in-law on what my niece would like, and we decided G. would love an animal theme. Farm, circus—whatever, it was all fair game. The only requirement was a hippo—G.’s favorite animal. I had made a small animal-themed quilt for my friend Kate several years ago, so I re-used many of the appliques that I had found in the book B is For Baby by Suzonne Stirling: the zebra, the hippo, the tiger, the lion, the kangaroo. I also found some good ones in 100 Applique Motifs by Deborah “Ismoyo” Green, like the elephant, the sheep, the kangaroo, and the porcupine. For the embroidery (the owl and the butterflies), I turned to the classic, Sublime Stitching, by Jenny Hart. And finally, I searched online for images to make the rest of the appliques, modifying them.
I used the satin stich on my machine to do all the appliques. I also did some raw edge appliques for the flowers and the bird cutouts (those are from a piece of fabric I picked up at Hobby Lobby a few months ago). The quilt looked a little flat the first time I laid it out, so I punched it up with some embellishments, like giant polka dot cut-outs and flowers. I also added some blocks made from strips pieced together. But my favorite thing to do was the hand-embroidery embellishing. I love sewing and applique, but there is something so relaxing about the rhythm of hand embroidery; it’s a great way to chill at the end of the day.
I never did a final measure, but the blocks are each 12 inches (4 across and 7 down, except for the two places where I did 12 x 24 blocks, just for variety) and the border is 5 inches. I had so much fun making this quilt! I’ve got another year until my own little one, Georgia, is in a big girl bed, and I’m already thinking about it . . .
Have a great holiday, everyone! A shout out to all of you who bought Sew Retro as a gift this holiday season. Remember, if you want to buy a signed copied directly from me, you can do so right here, and if you want to keep up with business announcements and the like, head over to Facebook and like the Sew Retro page and my business page.