Hi, everyone! My “one month” blogging vacation turned into two months, and is threatening to become three, so I thought I had better break the ice and get a post written!
Today’s project is super fun. Have you seen the Tropical Leaf Blanket Collection from Twig + Tale?
I came across it when searching for an interesting pattern to make for a nature-loving friend’s new baby. This pattern collection is one of three leaf blanket collections from Twig + Tale. It comes in two children’s sizes and four doll sizes for each of the six leaf shapes in the collection. You can buy just the children’s blankets, just the doll blankets, or a bundle with all the sizes. I bought the bundle. Here is the line drawing of the shapes:
So far I have made three of the large child-sized blankets: the banana leaf, the fan, and the elephant ear. The patterns lend themselves to using new or scrap fabrics, so you have a lot of options. I bought quilting cotton from Pintuck & Purl for the elephant ear leaf, since that was going to be a gift, and searched out scraps in my stash for the other two blankets, which were for one of my kids. For batting, I chose an inexpensive Pellon cotton batting from Joann Fabrics that was large enough for several blankets.
These blankets were the perfect project after a bathing suit I had just completed that required a lot of fiddling to get the look and fit I wanted (hopefully something that will get blogged in the not-too-distant-future). There’s no fitting with these blankets, which are like mini-wholecloth quilts and are, in my mind, “quilting light (lite?)”–i.e. a great way to dip your toes into the idea of quilting. While not exactly the same as a quilt, you do get to try out pin basting all your layers together and quilting everything together as you sew the veins of each leaf.
Helpful tip for non-quilters: try out curved quilting safety pins for the pin basting–they’re easier to use than regular safety pins.
The process doesn’t take very long once you get started, and I found it fast and fun enough that I didn’t want to stop until I had finished each blanket. The directions are filled with lots of great tips, so you will learn something and have success whether you are a beginning sewist or more advanced. The only place I really deviated from the directions was that I sew a line of topstitching around the edge of each blanket after turning it right side out, which also serves to close up the hole where I turned everything.
I also have to note that while I don’t love PDF’s in general (I’m a paper pattern lover through and through), this PDF was REALLY well-done and impressive. The table of contents is clickable, as are the links that point you to the various places you can find Twig + Tale on the web and get pattern support. The PDF includes inspirational ideas and tips for using scraps and even saving paper as you work with the pattern. It’s clear that a lot of thought and planning went into creating this–enough so that I would try other patterns from this company, even if they are only available in PDF form (their Women’s Trailblazer Vest is really tempting me).
The best part of all, though, is when you finish sewing each leaf and look at it for the first time as a finished object: it is SO COOL!!! It really looks like a leaf, and seeing it in whatever fabric you chose just looks so good. I think my favorite of the three that I sewed was the banana leaf, made using scraps of canvas and poly/cotton vintage sheets that I pieced together. I just love it!
This particular one is going to be used outside quite a lot, and those scraps are perfect tough fabrics for the job. Yay, stash-busting!
I’m not often excited enough about a pattern to want to try most of the options right away, but I really want to make more of these blankets. I had to take a break to do a few other projects, but I think I *need* a monstera leaf for me…and maybe a paw paw. I kind of think we might need some of the doll-sized blankets, too, for stuffed animals as well as for other uses around the house. Maybe monstera leaf pot holders? Who knows? Time will tell if I really do go back to this pattern, but I’m still excited about it, so that’s a good sign. I’ll report back if I do.