I have two stitch-a-longs on a three weekly cycle, an embroidery one and a hand quilting one. I’ve decided on the Sunday in between I’m going to do a post on a quilt kit. To begin with these are going to be Raggedy Ruff kits as I’ve fallen for so many and they are languishing in my to do pile!
Raggedy Ruff is the Etsy page of designer Andrea Walpole. I’ve stitched one of her quilts, the Spring Woodland Wreath one. They’re beautiful designs with lots of free motion embroidery and applique, the detail in her designs is amazing…
I follow Andrea on facebook and I’ve fallen for several kits over the time since I finished this one. When I say quite a few, I’ve got two lampshades, a clock, a stool, a pheasant panel and another quilt to make without even looking in my box of kits. I think the problem is they still terrify me a bit, despite having completed the quilt already. They are such beautiful designs, I don’t want to mess them up and I’m still not that confident with free motion embroidery…I still have to remember to breathe!
So I’ve decided every three weeks I’m going to post my progress on one of the kits…and once I’ve got through those there’s several other kits waiting to be done!
The first one I tackled is called Suzie the Cat, it makes a 6″ by 9″ panel with a cute black and white cat looking through some flowers. I’ve had two black and white cats in my time, I’ve always gone out saying I want a tabby cat, and always come back with a black and white one – I just couldn’t resist a kitten basically! First there was Suky, then Oliver!
I decided I wanted to make the panel into an oblong cushion, so I added a couple of squares of co-ordinating fabrics with the plan of adding a couple more flowers.
As this was a fairly small panel I decided to experiment a bit. Andrea doesn’t use any adhesive in her panels, she cuts out using freezer paper and just holds the pieces in place and stitches them down, on the quilt above I did use tiny dots of fabric glue to just help a little. This time I decided to try it with bondaweb, it would keep everything secure, the downside being that it reverses everything. I decided with the flowers it didn’t matter and with the cat I attached the bondaweb to the fabric and then ironed on freezer paper with the design traced on, so the cat was the right way round.
Here’s everything in place with the outline stitching starting…
It was then a matter of doing free motion embroidery in variegated grey, black and white for his fur. The eyes are the tricky bit, trying to get them equal and not mean looking! I added a couple of extra flowers to spread it out onto the extra length at the sides…
Having stitched the panel I then found a cushion pad hidden behind a cupboard, it was slightly bigger than I had anticipated so I added a strip of batik on each side. In my stash I found some amber and purple batik which went beautifully so I used it for the upper and lower borders and added a narrow strip either side of the panel as some how it looked more finished then.
Having slept on it I felt it now needed more flowers to cover the extra fabric on the sides, I’d already cut two extra flowers so I knew I didn’t have anything left from the kit, I rummaged in my scrap box and found a dark and a medium purple batik and a light gold fabric, this is actually the back of a patterned fabric but it works pretty well.With these I added another four flowers annd it really finished the piece.
I also added a touch more green to his eye as one looked slightly out of shape.
Once I was happy with the panel I made it into a simple cushion with a button fastening at the back. I’m really pleased with how it’s come out, I think the extra flowers work well to make it into a longer panel. It didn’t take long at all either!
As for my bondaweb experiment…it was easier to stitch, but my machine did grumble when it had three layers of bondawebbed fabric plus background plus stabiliser! I can see it would also complicate things if you’re trying to reverse the image. I’ll be good and stick with the instructions next time!
If you fancy having a go at one of these designs follow the link at the top to her Etsy page. It’s worth following her on facebook too as then you get heads up if she’s putting any kits up for sale or starting a new quilt…but you do get tempted too!!! The kits are great, everything is well labelled and there’s just the right amount of fabric too. Her instructions are good, as she says at the beginning it’s a matter of take a deep breath and go for it!
If anyone fancies joining me for a kit-a-long, leave a message at the bottom and I’ll organise something.