Portrait of a turtle mini quilt

Stoffel Stoffel quilted

Something fun and small this week. I’ve been too busy moving and preparing my fieldwork to sew much this week. Therefore I’m going to use the opportunity to show you some of my older projects. I will continue doing this when I am in Kenya because I will have limited supplies to sew there as well. In this way, the temporary goodbye to all my crazy projects won’t be too hard. Also, it would be interesting to see how much I’ve learned. Never be ashamed to show your old projects, your heart and soul is in it and you did the best you could at that moment. Also, we all learn from seeing each other learning progress.

What to give a tortoise who is always cold? Exactly! A mini quilt under which he can rest his weary soul and flee from the world. So that’s what I did. Stoffel is a stuffed toy one of my best friends got when she was a baby and he kinda is a friend in his own right by now. He is also the mascot of a book review site I share with my friends (Bookworms United). The turtle on the quilt is named Lilly and she is his great love. I made this quilt for Stoffels birthday because I always enjoy making new renditions of well-known things such as a quilt for a turtle. If you can’t make stuff for your stuffed toys and pets and such, for whom can you make a quilt I’d like to think.

Where to find a turtle quilt pattern?

Well, at fandom stitches! An awesome collective which makes fanart paper piecing quilt patterns of nerdy stuff. How awesome is that, I’ll tell you: very. You can find them here: fandom in stitches. This specific pattern you can also find on the website of the designer, Liljabs: Liljabs designs. This is a Finding Nemo pattern. But there are many more patterns based on movies, music, books and television series and more! They also host SAL‘s where one can work together on an awesome Harry Potter bookcase quilt for example. There are so many patterns on this site I plan to use in the future.

The workings of fantastic shiny fabric

Showing you this part because it shows the fabulous shiny fabric I found for the body of the turtle. My mother has a never-ending stack of fabric that keeps surprising me. I am so happy she lets me use the fabric because ‘she’ll never manage to use everything herself’.

Detail head Lilly the turtle

The turtle itself is made with the paper piecing technique. For that, I sewed the pieces of fabric on cotton nappy liners. Nappy liners work brilliant because they are see-through and you can draw on them, which means you can directly transfer the pattern from a book or so. Also, they are easy to sew-through, even by hand. I sewed the turtle by hand, so this was an important feature. Doing paper piecing with paper would be terrible when hand sewing I think because then you have to push through paper with every stitch.

Adding a border to a quilt

A border can help to make your quilt larger and is a nice way to bring your design together. Also, how I added the border in this quilt, it looks like the turtle is a framed picture. That effect works very well for a mini quilt in my opinion.

Adding a border to Lilly the miniquilt

How I quilted this quilt

After the border was added I basted the quilt with pins so I could quilt through all the layers. This is a vital part of the process because that is what makes a quilt a quilt. Also, quilting through all the layers keeps all the different layers in place. In the picture below you can also see I quilted hearts in the background. Lilly is the true love of Stoffel the turtle, so hearts felt suitable.

Quilted hearts Lilly mini quilt

Sadly there is no close-up picture of it, but you can see below I also quilted Stoffel’s name in the border – he never tires of hearing his own name. Also, I quilted some patterns on Lilly’s shell and I quilted around the whole turtle.

The finished quilt!

And here is the finished result! I added eyelashes because Lilly is a girl. The green border was chosen because that matched with the green in the shell.

front Lilly mini quilt finished

And a picture of the back! It looks like a mess, so that shows you all that the front of a quilt can look perfectly alright with a messy back. Take that quilting police.

Back Lilly quilt finished

Lastly a picture of the lucky receiver. the little turtle under the quilt is Stoffel. He, and to an extent my friend because they live in the same house, were both very pleased with the mini-blanket and he isn’t cold anymore.

Stoffel with Lilly

Do you want to see more turtles or paper piecing?

See my DeviantArt or Instagram (username: bella.g.bear.art) for more artwork and WIPs. You can also follow my blog by clicking on the button on the left or by filling in your email address. There will be a monthly update at the end of every month and a new blogpost every Sunday or Monday.


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