Cotton Tails and a Baby Quilt

DIY bunny quilt by Sartorial Seamstress, featuring appliqued bunnies with embroidered faces and faux fur tails.

Well…this year of blogging has certainly gotten off to a rip-roaring start. I intended to publish this post a couple of weeks ago, but my laptop went on the fritz. One new laptop later, and I can get back to my regularly scheduled programming!

DIY bunny quilt by Sartorial Seamstress, featuring appliqued bunnies with embroidered faces and faux fur tails.

I’m sure this will come as no surprise to anyone, but garments are by far my favorite things to sew. I’d say they make up about 90% of my sewing. However, as much as I love sewing garments, projects like this bunny quilt just make me so happy. I feel like I get to be creative in a different way than when I’m sewing garments. Also, projects like this are usually gifts, and I love making gifts for family and friends.

This quilt was a gift for my best friend’s new baby, whose nursery just so happens to be done in bunnies, pink and gray. So, the obvious choice was to make a quilt with cute little gray bunnies on it.

DIY bunny quilt by Sartorial Seamstress, featuring appliqued bunnies with embroidered faces and faux fur tails.

When I make an appliqued quilt like this, I don’t use a pattern. This means a lot of sketching and planning. Luckily, the basic pattern pieces for this quilt are 12”x12” blocks with two-inch boarders in between and a four-inch boarder on the outside. My initial plan was to use pink polka-dot fabric for the bunnies’ stomachs and ears, with matching gingham for the boarders. Well, you’d be surprised how difficult it is to find polka-dots and gingham in the same shade of pink!

I decided to stick with the polka-dots for the bunny details, but I needed to switch gears for the boarders. Fortunately, my mom has the best eye for color and prints, and after some convincing, I agreed that this pink floral fabric would actually look better than gingham (that may not even exist).

DIY bunny quilt by Sartorial Seamstress, featuring appliqued bunnies with embroidered faces and faux fur tails.

With fabric in hand, it was now time for the most difficult part – designing and drawing the bunnies. There are 12 blocks, so I decided to draw six different bunnies and use them each twice. I searched the internet for rabbit images that were not only cute, but also simple enough silhouettes that I would actually be able to draw them. Drawing has never been one of my best skills, so a few of these little guys took quite a few iterations to get right.

Once I had the finalized bunny patterns drawn out, I could finally start on the fun part – assembly and appliqueing the blocks! I used an every so slightly purple-y gray for the bunnies and placed them on bright white blocks. For a step-by-step tutorial on how I create my patterns and layered appliques, check out this blog post. I walk through each step and provide a supply list.

Everything was just hopping along (sorry…I couldn’t help myself), until it came time to do the faces. I knew I wanted to hand embroider the noses, mouths and whiskers. What I was getting hung up on where the eyes. I thought buttons could make for cute eyes…although now that I think about it, those could have been a choking hazard…not ideal for a baby.

Before having this realization, I purchased several different colors of buttons and laid them on the bunnies YIKES!! They looked terrifying. If you’ve ever seen the move Coraline, then you know button eyes aren’t great. And these were an even more terrifying nightmare fuel.

Ok, so buttons are terrifying and a choking hazard…noted.

In the end I decided on what should have been the obvious choice – embroidered eyes with little eyelashes. Aahhh…much better.

DIY bunny quilt by Sartorial Seamstress, featuring appliqued bunnies with embroidered faces and faux fur tails.

The last bit, and some may say most important, were their tails. I used a faux fur, which I cut into circles about four inches in diameter. I then hand sewed a running stitch around the edges and pulled the stitches to slightly gather the circles into the little pouches. I filled the pouches with stuffing, pulled the stitches tight, tied them off and sewed them onto the bunnies. I think the tails are my favorite part.

DIY bunny quilt by Sartorial Seamstress, featuring appliqued bunnies with embroidered faces and faux fur tails.

Once the blocks were complete, it was time to assemble the quilt top, cut the batting and backing, assemble and quilt. I used a very thin, 100% cotton batting and quilted around the blocks and boarders with my machine.

I’m tickled pink with how this quilt turned out, and projects like this are always such a breath of fresh air. They really do remind me of how much I love sewing. I also made a friend happy, and that’s always a wonderful bonus.

Until next time,

Happy Sewing!

PS…Sorry for the wrinkled appearance of this quilt and blocks. I ironed them a LOT, but to no avail. I just could not get the fabric ironed flat.

DIY bunny quilt by Sartorial Seamstress, featuring appliqued bunnies with embroidered faces and faux fur tails.
DIY bunny quilt by Sartorial Seamstress, featuring appliqued bunnies with embroidered faces and faux fur tails.

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