Stephanie joins us today with one of my favorite projects for kids from Present Perfect with some great added touches! – Betz
How much fun is this bright, colorful turtle! I am an inexperienced quilter but I love handmade toys and softies so I jumped at the chance to sew up a big floor pillow. Reading is one of my son’s favorite things to do, so he immediately grabbed a book out and tested it out. He was not thrilled when I told him I’d made it for someone else – I think there will definitely be another turtle on my sewing room table soon.
Hexie the Turtle Floor pillow is from Betz’s book, Present Perfect. I love sewing books, and there are lots of unique, fun ideas for sewing up gifts in this one. Hexie has a buddy pattern in the book too – a tiny little hexagon turtle – that would make a perfect stocking stuffer.
Sometimes when I make projects from sewing books, I find myself missing the full photographs and large diagrams that you find in blog tutorials but this pattern was very easy to follow and had plenty of diagrams where they were needed. I love that the book has full-size pattern pieces (and an envelope to keep them in) so I could just easily trace instead of wrangling my printer’s copy function to blow them up.
For a size reference, my son is 2.5 and wears 4T clothes; the turtle fits him well with room to spare. This would make a lovely baby gift too – it would be so fun to take pictures of a child on it as they grew each month and year!
Like I said, I am a beginner quilter, but I had no problem piecing the hexagon top. I used my rotary cutter and rulers to make sure all the cuts were precise and then basted each joining seam between the triangles before I sewed the entire side. It was much easier to seam rip an inch or two and make sure that everything lined up nicely. It surprised me how easily the top came together, I was thinking it would be much more challenging! Once I had the entire top pieced, I just stitched in the ditch, following all the seams. To quilt the back pocket, I simply did diagonal lines going both ways, creating diamonds. This is the quilting pattern the book example used too, and I think it’s perfect since it subtlely mimics a turtle’s shell.
One change I made was adding in an extra color on the shell – the hot pink is a bonus instead of using more of the turtle’s body fabric as the pattern directed. I love bright colors and wanted to tie in all the colors from the floral print.
Another change I made was in the tiny details. The pattern calls for a decorative button on the top of the shell and two for the eyes, but I’m planning on gifting this to a friend’s little girl who isn’t old enough to be trusted with buttons yet. Instead, I used English paper piecing to make three tiny hexagons and appliquéd them on.
The quilting and interfacing make the finished product feel and look really professional but the stuffing and soft cotton keep it huggable. I’ve already hidden Hexie away so my son doesn’t try to permanently claim him, and I’m really looking forward to choosing some special books to tuck in the pocket before I wrap it up this Christmas!
This post is part of the Betz White Sewing Collective series. Content is written by compensated contributors expressing their own views and opinions.