Wednesday, 4 March 2020

Gifts for my new granddaughter

Gifts for my new granddaughter

Since I last posted, I've been continuing with embroidery. I made a number of things for my then grandchild-to-be. My granddaughter Laleona was born 7 weeks ago to my youngest daughter; her first child. It looked like it was going to be an elective caesarean section and the date was pencilled in but then the staff decided she could have a natural birth. This nearly didn't happen and she had to be induced. She spent extra time in hospital because of possible infection. Anyway all's well that ends well. Laleona was 3.45kg  (about 7lb 10oz) at 38 weeks. I spent a few days in London from the day Laleona was born but didn’t pass on my makes at that time (they weren't finished - after all a baby wasn't going to need a playmat!). The baby had a bit of a rocky start over the first couple of weeks and was readmitted to hospital but is doing well now. Helen's husband had 4 weeks paternity leave so I didn’t want to intrude - they needed to find their way as a new family and I wanted to allow the two new parents to settle into their new norm . I planned to return at the end of A’s paternity leave but my embroidery retreat timing meant that I couldn’t go until a few days later by which time Helen was becoming more confident. This time I saw Laleona’s eyes open which was lovely. 
Laleona's birth day

I thought it reasonable to share some of the items (I didn't take photos of all of them) now that they have been passed on. I don’t have decent photos though - I thought I’d get some in use by the baby but that hasn’t worked out so far! She hasn’t started tolerating a bath until very recently - and still doesn’t enjoy it. I hope to get better photos next time I visit in mid March.

Day 3

I made a few bits and pieces before the baby was born. We didn't know whether she was a boy or girl until she was born so nothing gender specific. In any case, my daughter isn't keen that everything should be pink now. Once I knew it was a girl, I slipped in a pinkish bib

The theme given to me was jungle/safari. The parents-to-be didn’t want to know the sex of the baby (because of A’s family history they were fully expecting a boy) so a little girl was a delightful surprise for them. Laleona means 'the lioness'. I stitched a couple of nice lions, as part of the jungle theme, onto things - but they were definitely male lions. I had to search rather far and wide for a lioness pattern once I knew the sex and the name.

I made more bibs (no point in showing them - just dribble bibs made on my sewing machine) and embroidered a couple of hooded towels. These I posted to Helen as they could be of some use. I had intended to make the hooded towels from scratch but found it difficult to source the towelling so when I saw plain hooded towels in Asda I bought them. I had never embroidered onto towelling before but followed decent instructions. The hardest bit was keeping the bits I didn’t want embroidered out of the way while keeping the design straight. They look rather nice but the disadvantage of using a purchased towel is that the back of the embroidery is visible inside, rather than being covered by a layer of towelling as they would have been if made from scratch. As the design is an applique design of a little lioness rather than a stitched out design, I hope it won’t be too scratchy against her head. There are two and both were finished (this photo is just after construction) but I can't find a photo.

This is Laleona in the other towel after her bath - a WhatsApp photo
My main project was a jungle theme quilt which became a play mat and a couple of play cubes. I hope they will come into their own when Laleona is a little older! I have other things planned but not quite yet.

The play mat and first play cube photographed just before I packed them into car; the second cube was added en route after I made it at the embroidery retreat

Showing the backing fabric

I had originally planned to make a cot quilt but on learning that such things are not ‘allowed’ - and I didn’t want to make one for show rather than being used - Helen and I decided that a play mat was appropriate.

I made up blocks which I sewed together with strips of fabric between and around. I mainly used Designs by JuJu safari animals - all but two blocks (the tree frog and the palm tree), where I used designs from Lynnie Pinnie.  Most of the designs were applique. The designs were placed onto a 7” block, which I made up to my own requirements in my software, with fabric, batting and stabiliser and I also used my software to stipple around the animal. The tree is not an applique design - the design was embroidered onto fabric backed with crinkle fabric so it rustles when touched. I cut the stabiliser out of the seam allowances but otherwise left in it place - it’s polymesh which is light and flexible. For the joining squares, I had just enough tree fabric left from an earlier project but decided it was what I wanted to use for the backing  - I was fortunate that the local quilting shop where I bought it had just enough left for my needs. I decided that as the mat was going on the floor an extra layer of padding was in order. I wanted to add a teether and a couple of joining rings so decided to add the backing fabric (and extra batting) right sides together and bag out, with the ribbons and teether  in place. I didn’t think I could make it work as I imagined with a binding. I was happy with the result - I then quilted the layers together by stitching in the ditch between some but not all of the blocks and between the blocks and the edge border.  I didn't edgestitch as I didn't like the look. Yes. I was happy with the finished result. I do have a photo of Laleona lying on the mat - sent via Whatsapp so I’m not sure how it will come out. There are a few others.

I bought the teethers, crinkle fabric etc from Tactile Treasures. I also got some mirror - originally I was going to have the mirror as a separate detachable item (might still do) but in the first instance decided to sew up a play cube with the mirror in one face. I used play cube instructions and embroidery fires from In The and the 6” cube and ribbons from Tactile Treasures. I initially had problems stitching the mirror - my machine did not like it at all.

I found out that I was stitching with a sticky protective backing and a front film covering in place! No wonder my machine rebelled! I had only bought a small piece so decided to order more - and was delighted to receive a bit extra ‘for practice’ from Dawn, who had been very helpful with her responses and suggestions. The designs were all reverse applique, which I hadn’t tried before - but they went well. I used the animal files except for the mirror where I used the circle. I was pleased with the result.

So much so, that when I was on an embroidery retreat at the beginning of February, I decided to make the 5” play cube, too. Again, I used the same files and instructions, this time deciding on the numbers 1, 2 and 3 and three shapes.  I was able to stitch up each block relatively quickly with the practice I was getting. I had taken fabrics for this project to the retreat, but changed my mind when I got there and bought a set of coordinating fat quarters instead - I  think these worked well.  The inside of the reverse applique was a cream on cream design. This time, with pressure of time, I forgot to add ribbons, teethers etc so it is just a plain block.

I went back to sewing bee last week, so there might yet be some dressmaking coming up!! I feel my sewjo returning, slowly but surely. So far I’ve just been finishing some items, repairing some others, making some alterations etc.  While I was clearing my room, I found an unfinished child's waterproof jacket in pink, from a previous class to teach stitching waterproof fabrics. I believe it's for age two. I plan to finish it, with Rory's help - and I have quite a while in which to do it before Laleona needs it! 

I'm still enjoying machine embroidery though - no fitting issues and it can be done in small chunks of time. 


  1. ahh, how lovely, and congratulations to all, xx

    1. Thank you, Susan. We're hoping to visit again soon - just so long as the Corona virus allows!

  2. Congratulations Anne on becoming a Grandmother - welcome to the Club! So sorry you probably won't be heading back to London to see the baby again......what a disappointment for you.
    Take care of yourselves and enjoy photos on line!!

    1. Thanks, Joyce. This is my first granddaughter and Helen's first child - but I have two grandsons ages 10 and 8. You're right I can't see any of them in person for some time to come - modern technology is fabulous to keep separated families in touch. I hope you are well and keeping safe

  3. Best wishes for your grand daughter. Love your gift of bibs, very beautifully designed with the art of embroidery digitizing.. wish to have one. Thanks.

  4. Hello, Inter-blog web awards event has started. Now join the web event, win an award with your website, announce the content of your site to your relevant blog readers and get visitors. Get your site listed on our global toplist named "Google Awards" and win promotions and prizes. Your site is beautiful. You are invited to this wonderful contest. With the support of our sponsors, we organize our activity competition between blogs with your support; We want to enter the new year with an award and become a brand.


  5. Stupendous blog and extraordinary content are quite impressive to read and easy to understand. Keep sharing your thoughts. Get to know the worth of the car with us. Don't sell it cheap Ezy cash for cars Brisbane pays the top offer for your car with real market value

  6. Wow, wonderful post. Thanks for sharing. Sell Your Old car to us! Yes, we offer the best value for your non-running car because we realize its worth. The best thing about cash for damaged cars Gold Coast is that they sell your car in an eco-friendly manner.

  7. Great information you shared with us I really thank full to you for this content is very helpful for me to keep up this hard work. You want a car but budget problem cash for cars have solution of this problem don’t worry you just sell your old vehicle cash for car sunshine coast we give valuable price to our customers Brisbane wreckers

  8. There are a lot of articles on this topic but I think your article is best you explained it very well. The presentation you provided was attractive. I really appreciate this effort. Thank you so much. Are you searching for the best rental cars service in Dubai? We provide the best services for luxurious rental cars you can contact us easily.
    lamborghini rental dubai


Thank you for taking the time to visit my blog. Please leave a comment. I welcome each and every one. I value criticism (constructive of course! ), love hints and tips and would appreciate suggestions for future direction.

Gifts for my new granddaughter

Gifts for my new granddaughter Since I last posted, I've been continuing with embroidery. I made a number of things for my then gr...