Time and distance is a very bitter pill; I cannot be there. It breaks my heart, actually, so I did the next best thing - I sent him a piece of me. I heard from his daddy-to-be that they received this little monster quilt in record time:
Christian termed it "off the hook"; I think that's a good thing...?!
(Colors in this photo from my laptop are much truer than the yellowish toned pics)
I am notorious for sewing by the seat-of-my-pants. I hate math, so I never measure, and I hardly ever use patterns for anything. I pay for this bad attitude later with odd seams added on to make up for whatever I was too impatient to plot out in the first place. This time, I bit the bullet.
Sort of - because I didn't know how to transpose what I had figured here
to what I would need here. :(
To save money, I bought a fuzzy blanket from Goodwill instead of batting. I double washed it, and laid it out.
Next, I laid the backing piece on top, and trimmed it to fit:
I printed out my references:
And decided to do something about my 42 year old pin cushion disaster - the one that someone being "helpful" many years ago had pushed every single pin down as far as it could go into the cushion. Grrrr.
I bought a new one, along with the heavy embroidery thread to quilt it with, and grapes for snacking.
It was inspirational to have all the pins standing tall and perky ready for easy plucking!
I'm glad this perfect pin cushion is documented, because within about 24 hours of this photo Asia showed up (child #4 and daughter #2) and immediately began smashing all the pins down as fast as she could. Mystery solved: now I know who perpetrated this crime originally.
On to cutting out the 9 blocks that would feature a little monster.
I laid the blocks out about a million different ways before deciding on which color should go where.
After cutting them out, I ironed on a thin pelon backing. This is the magical element to making the applique process coming up easy as pie. That is, once you hit upon a monster that makes sense.
See unfortunate monster upper left: Cool retro pattern fabric is the wrong color green and looks gross; especially with the weird green nostrils, lavender muzzle and brown eyeballs. Gak.
Next is something that morphed into an awkward zebiraffe that just doesn't work. Man!
Finally, the cute little stripped shorts monster sporting a green retro crewcut.
Here is how he ended up:
When Asia saw my early attempts, she quickly referred me to the cutest ever array of little monsters you could just eat up with ice cream! That girl has a super nose for design. Thanks, Asia!
On a roll now, here is what replaced the nasty retro green guy:
His bow tie is like a real tie (3 dimensional) attached, and about half the monsters feature an element that the baby can play with, fuzzy hair or moveable arms or ears, the tongue on the fish, etc.
All the pieces are backed with iron-on pelon, and then machine zig-zagged to the block that was also backed. This prevents puckering and stretching and allows for smooth and error-free appliqué even on tiny details like little eyeballs or thin areas like lips.
Close ups of the remaining squares.
The flower folds back to reveal layers inside.
Moveable ears and arms on this pouty-faced guy:
The tongue moves, and the fin folds back (underside = blue):
Fuzzy paisley bed-head hair:
All the blocks were quilted with an exaggerated stitch of the extra large embroidery floss, doubled.
Fringed turtle necks on well-dressed monsters are all the rage:
The binding was done correctly for the first time in my life: I cut the different fabrics on a 40 degree diagonal and pieced them together at random lengths in 4 or 5 different colors all the way around. The corners are mitered.
*(Thank you awesome Youtube tutorial that FINALLY features a woman who doesn't yak your ear off but gets right down to business in a superdeedooper easy to follow method! See it for yourself here)
I get it that the backing fabric is not beautiful, or even the right color-wheel green, fine. Have you seen fabric prices lately?!