Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Under the Sea

My most recent finished project is a smallish 'activity' quilt with marine animals hidden under waves. Inside the waves I tucked cellophane so they'd make a crinkle sound when folded down to reveal the hidden animals: a few small fish, a shark, octopus, manatee, turtle, sea lion, jellyfish and a small spotted ray.

For the reverse side I used a soft, fuzzy dark chocolate fabric and between the front and back I put some batting and tacked it down with some free motion quilting. All of the animals are appliqu├ęs from a yard of cotton fabric I found on etsy.

This project was a logistical challenge but it was fun. I first had to figure out the right order to do things so that I wouldn't have seems showing where I didn't want them, i.e. outlines of animals showing through the waves. I appliqued the animals onto the waves first, then sewed them to the fabric and then sewed the sides of the waves together. Once I had those done, I sewed some curved lines to the crests of the waves to hold down the cellophane. I did it freehand and I think in the future if I make another one of these, I'll use a wax pencil to draw the lines first so I have a a guide to follow for more tidy details.

When I had all of the wave details finished, I sewed the waves onto the lighter blue cloth background, then put the layer of batting between it and the brown for the back and started pinning, tucking in folded pieces of ribbon as I went.

All told, this one took me 9-10 hours, or just about as long as the baby's quilt did!


Ms Avery said...

As a knitter (and a fairly slow one), I am in awe of how quickly you can make these awesome projects!

Science Bear said...

You are so productive! I'm amazed at the quality too, they are so professional I'd love if you decided to include instructional posts on your projects (mixed in with all the science-y goodness of course)!!

Field Notes said...

Thanks MsA and Sb!

I'll have to think about that Sb - maybe even make some downloadable patterns too.

I'm between projects now so I should be back to sciency posts soon.

Science Bear said...

I'm quite excited about even the possibility of a downloadable pattern!! While I am barren by choice, it seems as though everyone else I know is reproducing at roughly the same rate as rabbits, so these projects are wonderful ideas :)

Science Bear said...

PS: you make hand sewing look WAY easier than it actually is! I'm just getting started and am having serious consistency problems.

Virginia Burnett said...

What a wonderful blanket! I'm so impressed! Ditto on Science Bear's request for instructions - I think most would even be willing to pay a few bucks for them as a PDF. The theme is so fun and adaptable - how about a rainforest quilt next? :)

Field Notes said...

excellent idea, Virginia! A rainforest blanket has a lot of possibilities and I think I might actually have fabric that could work.

I think making a pattern for others to follow would be a challenge! I'll have to at least give it a try =D

AmandaMay said...

This is amazing! When baby is done playing with it you can hang it on the wall, its just beautiful!