Crochet Family Finished Handmade Handmade for Kitty Kitty Quilting

Pink rainbow ripple {handmade for Kitty}


When Kitty came home from nursery on Wednesday I asked her oh so casually if she could just pop upstairs and put a couple of cardigans on her bed.  She headed up and the rest of the family tried to creep subtly after her because there right in the middle of her bed, wrapped in a big pink ribbon with a bow, was her new pillow cushion.

Space for the Butterflies - an eclectic handmade life

So much for saying that I was shelving this project until January; I’ve finished it instead.  And I’m so pleased that I have because I absolutely love it.

Space for the Butterflies - an eclectic handmade life

Space for the Butterflies - an eclectic handmade life

Space for the Butterflies - an eclectic handmade life

Space for the Butterflies - an eclectic handmade life

Space for the Butterflies - an eclectic handmade life

Space for the Butterflies - an eclectic handmade life

But then once Kitty decided that it was going to be hers (about thirty seconds after I finished darning in the final ends of the crochet front and she scooped it off for a hug), I had a certain amount of encouragement, persuasion and insistence to carry me along the way. So on Monday morning Elma and I dived into the fabric stash and pulled anything I thought could even possible work and then we all sat on Pip’s bedroom floor and narrowed our choices down to a generous handful of colours that seemed to go well with the colours in the crochet.

The original plan was to use an orphan star block that I made as a sample for a baby quilt I made for a friend as the starting point for the back.  It’s very cute because it has a baby Kitty handprint in the middle and someday I’m going to do something amazing with it but the more I played with it the more I realised that the colours were just a bit too strong and it was competing with the ripples, not complementing them.

With that put to one side Kitty and I just started playing around with the fabrics and I watched to see what she pulled to the front.  If I’d thought about it I probably could have guessed; it was the very tail end of a fabric covered with cake and chocolates and jelly and ice cream and she loved it.  So we fussy cut six little squares and then I sliced up the rest of our fabric selection and set to making six very scrappy little log cabin squares for the back.  It’s a real mix of fabric.  Some are from a few fat quarters that were companion pieces to the cake squares, some you will have seen crop up in other projects over the years and one is a fat quarter that I must have bought just because it was a great green and finally broke into for a couple of strips.

Space for the Butterflies - an eclectic handmade life

I know I sometimes feel that my house is a little over run and that perhaps I should pare down the craft supplies, but I really love that I made this from start to finish from things found around my house that were spare and entirely without any plan.  That’s as near as you get to making something out of nothing isn’t it.

But as for the details, the cake centres are 3″ and the strips cut to 1 1/2″.  There wasn’t any particular rhyme or reason to the piecing, the strips sat on the corner of my desk and Kitty sat in my lap and picked up whichever one she fancied next, our only rules that we tried to use each pattern at least once, and none of the patterns could touch each other.

Space for the Butterflies - an eclectic handmade life

I piece log cabins using whole strips and cutting them to size afterwards rather than trying to cut everything beforehand which is great for some impromptu piecing and makes my sewing look so much more accurate.

Space for the Butterflies - an eclectic handmade life

After three rounds of logs the squares were wide enough but not quite tall enough so I joined them vertically in pairs and then added an extra strip top and bottom to finish it all off.

Space for the Butterflies - an eclectic handmade life

With the back completed I joined all of the leftover strips and ‘lasagned’ them to make the little inner pillowcase flap, with a little extra strip on the end to get the length right, and then finished off the inner edge with some pretty bias binding that was poking out of a bag on my desk.

Space for the Butterflies - an eclectic handmade life


Space for the Butterflies - an eclectic handmade life


Space for the Butterflies - an eclectic handmade life

And then came the challenge.  I sat and trip to work out just how I was going to put it all together.  It’s a pillowcase, and frankly it’s embarrassing how long it took me to figure it out and how long it took me to go and get a pillowcase off the bed to help.

For the record, to make a pillowcase with an inner flap,  you first sew the inner flap to the ‘front’, right sides together.  Then to make the case itself, layer the ‘front’ right side up, the ‘back’ on top of it, right side down (so right sides together) and then fold the flap up and over the ‘back’ to make a sandwich with the ‘back’ as the filling.  Then sew around three sides and when you turn it the right way around again you will have a beautiful pillow case with all the seams tucked away where you can’t see them.

Space for the Butterflies - an eclectic handmade life


Space for the Butterflies - an eclectic handmade life

My ‘back’ was actually the crochet front but it works just the same.

Initially I intended to sew it together so that none of the edges of the crochet were hidden in the seams so that it made the most of those lovely ripples but while I think I’ve just about worked out in my head how you would do that, I couldn’t make it work with the inner flap and the other bits and bobs that were already in motion so I sewed to square off the points, lining up the edge of the fabric with the low point in each ripple row.

Space for the Butterflies - an eclectic handmade life

The sewing itself was really very easy; I put the walking foot on my machine, used my ordinary straight stitch and always sewed with the cotton fabric on the bottom.  It came together like a dream, apparently crochet sews easily.

Space for the Butterflies - an eclectic handmade life

And for the final touch, Kitty had been asking for buttons, longing for buttons and pleading for buttons.  When I put the pillow into the case it looked good, but not quite perfect, the crochet is so very drapy and flexible that it was trying to pull away and it just needed a little something to anchor it in place.  Ten minutes with my button jar and a sewing needle and three small buttons were attached, perfect to hold the crochet in place.  I didn’t make buttonholes or button loops or anything complicated, I just choose buttons that are small enough to push through the existing trebles.

Space for the Butterflies - an eclectic handmade life

Kitty was away at nursery when I finished, with Elma drawing on the etch-a-sketch and Pip planning stealth manoeuvres to get his high chair and himself nearer to my desk and those oh so yummy looking pins, which was why it was wrapped up and on her bed.  Her reaction was everything we could have wanted; a scream of excitement, a dive onto the bed to give it a huge cuddle, and, perhaps most tellingly, she went to bed with her cheek on the crochet side. According to her is is her pink rainbow and it’s hers. Definitely hers.

I’d love to tell you that it fulfilled my ultimate purpose of having a nice cushion to lean against while reading Paddington but alas, Kitty was not going to part with it for all the world and I was duly provided with her usually pink spotty pillow instead.  And if that doesn’t say true love and adoration, nothing else could.

Space for the Butterflies - an eclectic handmade life

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  • Rachel @ The Ordinary Lovely 07/05/2015 at 8:53 am

    It’s perfect! Absolutely perfect! And thank you so much for all of the sewing machine advice. I’ve spotted a John Lewis one that will be perfect for what I want to do. My birthday is in August so I’m holding fire until then. I always get asked what I want and never have any ideas so this will be a perfect treat. Time to start a Pinterest board for all of the things I want to make 🙂 I’m very excited x

    • Carie 07/05/2015 at 10:00 pm

      Wonderful – i can’t wait to see what you get, it’s going to be brilliant! Mine is getting a little creaky and it’s nice and basic but I wouldn’t be without it for the whole world!

  • Eline @ Pasta & Patchwork 07/05/2015 at 10:08 am

    It is BEAUTIFUL. I’m so impressed with it and I’m glad that Kitty is too, though how could she not? As you spotted on IG I’ve succumbed to ripples too, though I never would have thought to team it up with a patchwork back for a pillow case. It’s really, really beautiful and I might just nick the idea for the back of another blanket I’m doing (because you can never have too many blankets, or indeed craft supplies, lying around).

    • Carie 07/05/2015 at 9:59 pm

      Aww thank you – and yes it works really well for just trying out patterns. I was surprised how well the crochet zipped through the machine to be honest and it’s definitely tempting if there were a blanket pattern I wanted to try but not commit to the whole thing – do a cushion sized swatch and you’re sorted!

  • mandycharlie 07/05/2015 at 10:33 am

    I love it! An amazing construct of engineering, art and sheer talent. I also love it because… – remember the green fabric, we obviously have the same taste.

    • Carie 07/05/2015 at 9:58 pm

      I know – I can’t remember whether I bought it before or after you made the dress – it came from the same shop but I have more than a few fat quarters still in their celophane from shopping trips so I can’t exactly place it!!

  • mandycharlie 07/05/2015 at 10:35 am

    p.s. go to the bottom of the blog post for a photographic snap back.

    • Carie 07/05/2015 at 9:38 pm

      How tiny was she!!! For those not quite in the picture, Mandy is Kitty’s godmother and at the end of the picture she linked to is a very very tiny Kit aged about 9 months in a new dress from her Godmamma

  • Kim 07/05/2015 at 11:46 am

    Love it!

    • Carie 07/05/2015 at 9:37 pm

      thank you lovely 🙂

  • LauraCYMFT 07/05/2015 at 7:34 pm

    Gosh that is gorgeous! I wish I had the skill to do something like that!

  • LauraCYMFT 07/05/2015 at 7:34 pm

    Gosh that is gorgeous! I wish I had the skill to do something like that!

    • Carie 07/05/2015 at 9:34 pm

      thank you – it really isn’t difficult it’s just a question of time and a bit of practice!

  • Coco 07/05/2015 at 7:53 pm

    I just love this, all of it! The process, the fabric, the finished product. Thanks for sharing the story!

    • Carie 07/05/2015 at 9:34 pm

      Aww thank you very much 🙂

  • Claire @ Clarina's Contemplations 08/05/2015 at 12:35 am

    So gorgeous… I just love the crochet/sewing combo! You never cease to amaze me Carie!

    • Carie 10/05/2015 at 9:14 pm

      thank you 🙂

  • barnraised (Jen) 08/05/2015 at 6:08 am

    Now thats a lot of work! And a lot of love. It’s beautiful.

    • Carie 10/05/2015 at 9:14 pm

      Definitely more work than I was originally planning – but it’s worth it!

  • Ann 08/05/2015 at 8:02 pm

    Gorgeous, sweet, vintage… lovely! I adore things that remind me of childhood. Beautiful job.

    • Carie 10/05/2015 at 9:12 pm

      thank you – Kitty still adores it so I must have done something right!

  • Jenny Benton 09/05/2015 at 9:01 am

    What a great little story – and a lovely girlie pillow!

    • Carie 10/05/2015 at 9:10 pm

      thank you – I’m really pleased with how it turned out 🙂

  • Sian 09/05/2015 at 9:36 pm

    Absolutely beautiful! I keep meaning to start on a patchwork project involving baby clothes but am a bit to scared to start!

    • Carie 10/05/2015 at 9:08 pm

      I think I’m going to do that one day with all the clothes that are too worn to sell or save – but as my sister and I have a travelling library of baby clothes I think we’d need to collaborate to make sure all the kids got bits of the clothes they’ve all worn!

  • sally 13/05/2015 at 12:07 am

    It’s beautiful, your colours on the back are just perfect for it.