Tuesday, November 14, 2017

Animal Quilts by Juliet van der Heijden (and a Paper Pieced Rhino)

About four years ago, I taught myself how to foundation paper piece (FPP). It was confusing, frustrating, and challenging. I had only just begun to learn quilting, and I was eager to learn every technique I could. I made Badskirt's Sew Out Loud block for my friend Katy (@imagingermonkey on all the various social media stuffs) with the words "slave to the needle" embroidered on it. If you know Katy, you would totally know how perfect that was for her! Anyway, even though it was an entirely maddening experience, I was completely hooked and began to FPP every chance I got.

One of my favorite FPP designers, Juliet van der Heijden,  has recently written a delightful and charming new book called Animal Quilts. In it are 12 animal FPP patterns, instructions and helpful hints so that even the very beginner can handle stitching up a stunning new quilt. I was thrilled to be asked to join the blog hop for this book, but not so thrilled that I had to choose just one pattern to feature. I wanted to do them all, but time wouldn't allow it. SIGH!

 They are all so unique and gorgeous! The monarch butterfly on the cover immediately jumped out at me, but I thought that it would probably be done a few times, so I flipped through the pages again, trying to decide which one to sew, which one would challenge me, which one would be unique.

The highland cow was a strong contender, and it's not hard to see why. Isn't he amazing?? I'm going to make this one anyway. In fact, I'll probably sew my way through this whole book (it's that good!) I'm fairly certain that's what Paul has been doing, actually! (See schedule below for Paul's information. You won't want to miss it!)

 I LOVED the highland cow, but eventually decided to do the rhino pattern.

He was everything I dreamed of: challenging, unique, quirky, and charming. I started working on him at Aurifil's demo table at Quilt Festival in Houston. Lots of people stopped by to watch me work, admire the book, learn, ask questions or exclaim over how tiny the seams were in some of the pieces.

{the eye: some seams are only four 1.5 length stitches long!}

{messy business!}
Because I was continuously starting and stopping, I wound up making a several mistakes and had to redo five sections. I think it was worth it, though. I love the way it turned out. 

I am working on a second one right now, it's his eye you see pictured above.

When this pair is finished, I will quilt them with a layer of batting and muslin, then turn them into pillows for my dear friend Elizabeth. It's her birthday today and these are exactly perfect for her. 

I hope you will stop by the blogs and/or Instagram accounts of the other hoppers below. There are some gorgeous pieces being featured (and more photos of the book and quilt patterns!) 

Happy Sewing!

Monday 6th November – Juliet from Tartan Kiwi

Tuesday 7th November – Annabel from Little Pincushion Studio

Wednesday 8th November – Chris from Made by Chrissie D

Thursday 9th November – Quilting Daily
Friday 10th November – Matthew from Mister Domestic 

Monday 13th November – Kate from Quilt with Kate 

Tuesday 14th November – Kristi from Schnitzel and Boo (That's me!)

Wednesday 15th November – Angie from Gnome Angel 
Thursday 16th November – Paul aka Evildemondevildog
Friday 17th November – Sarah from Sariditty