Saturday, 29 August 2009

Balloon Animals

I have been working on a cot quilt for my niece, Kate, for a few months now. The baby is due in 2 weeks and I reckon I will have it finished by then and can share it on this blog. The quilt is made up of 9 blocks, each with a hot air balloon applique. Each balloon has a small pocket (the basket) beneath and my idea was to have a little animal/dolly in each one that could be removed and 'played with'. I had previously made a cot quilt for Kate's daughter Olivia who is nearly 2 and thought Kate might want to use that one again so I decided I would make more of a 'wall hanging' this time. Olivia could play with the 'balloon animals' while mummy was seeing to new baby, or the animals could be stored till later and the quilt just used on the cot.
I ended up over complicating the balloons by embroidering elaborate 'rigging' all over them (hence the few months it has taken to make!). But this did give me plenty of time to mull-over how I would make tiny enough 'creatures' to go in the little basket pockets.
A couple of weeks ago I came across some amazing little toy things on Flickr which looked like just the job. This led me to the wonderful blog of 'Molly Chicken' I have seen quite a few lovely and inspiring blogs over the last few months but this one takes the biscuit. The absolute cuteness of everything! She is an incredibly talented person and is happy to share all her ideas on the blog with really useful tutorials. I would strongly suggest a visit when you have a decent amount of time to spare, there is so much to see! You will laugh, you will ooh and ahh, and you will drool!!
So I based the little animals on her 'love bird' and followed her tutorial.
Jacob helped me a bit to come up with 9 different attemptable faces, especially the bear. The panda and elephant were the first two I tried and I have to admit I was a little disappointed. I just couldn't get that 'cuteness' factor that Molly Chicken did so well. The panda just looked like he had been mesmerised! But after a while I got into my stride and by the time I got to the wee mouse I think some cuteness was definately creeping in!
Each one is made from one of the printed fabrics that I used as the 'sky' in the background to the balloons. You can mix them up or match them to the correct squares and they do look lovely waving from their balloons! But you will have to wait to see the whole quilt till baby arrives! Meanwhile you can get to know the happy animals...
Except this cat looks a bit grumpy. And here's the surprised, and slightly hairy (I'd run out of black embroidery thread and was using wool), panda!

Here are the vicious wild animals! Lion, bear and elephant.

My 2 favourites - Bunny and Mouse!

Oh no! Not another owl...
I just can't help myself! With his little friend 'Molly Chicken'! (in honour of).

1 comment:

  1. Oh, they are just wonderful, you are so into your creative side - I love them - and I know that Olivia will love them too. What a wonderful idea.

    Olivia loves her quilt and it is on her bed, so don't think that one will be shared by the new baby. Will go off and visit the web site and cooh and ooh and ahh over the little animals x