sit & play among the clouds …

by Nova on July 18, 2012

or snuggle & snooze among them too.

This little play mat come snuggle quilt  was such a joy to make  &  as much as I tell myself one day I will attempt free motion quilting the truth is I just can’t resist as much hand stitching as possible on quilts & adore the softness they bring.

A  square(ish) piece of yarn dyed Essex linen in the denim colourway (i really like  the textured look of the yarn dyes, you can see it better in this wip pic) with organic cotton clouds floating through.  I love these prints & colours from Umbrella Prints & I love the name of the range too ‘elephants love water’ (and they really really do!.)

I appliqued the clouds in place by hand but the thought of needle turning all those cloudy puffy corners was a bit much even for this hand stitching addict, so I used a method similar to the dryer sheet method except I used some thin cotton instead of dryer sheets.

The  flaps around the edge of the play mat (or maybe they are elephant ears…? or bits of cloud…? ) have hidden within them  little bells that tinkle gently & there’s a little patchwork  pillow with ribbon tags to twizzle &  to rest a weary head on after all that playing .  The flaps  will also serve as handles to drag the mat around and there is a message stitched on the back of each one for the recipient but I won’t show those  as these clouds haven’t floated off to their new home just yet….


Finished size  – approx 40″ x 42 ”

Cloud fabrics  – Elephants Love Water by Umbrella prints

Base cloth – yarn dyed essex linen (linen/cotton blend) by Robert Kaufman in denim



{ 28 comments… read them below or add one }

Dan R July 18, 2012 at 2:19 pm

Super cute. And I’ll have to give that applique method a try. I did something similar with fusible a while back and it turned out a bit stiff for my liking. But this seems perfect.

I just used a bunch of the essex linen in denim, and it really is quite nice. Some kid is going to love it!


Heidi @ Fabric Mutt July 18, 2012 at 3:12 pm

This is just adorable. I love the colors you chose, and the pattern is so perfectly baby and yet perfectly modern at the same time. Love it!


ruth July 18, 2012 at 5:05 pm

it is beautiful!


Desiree July 18, 2012 at 5:18 pm

Oh Nova! This is gorgeous, you talented lady.
That essex linen is as scrumptious as your scrumptious design. AND I made your scrumptious lemony cake yesterday … there’s a theme here somewhere, I just know it …


Tezzie July 18, 2012 at 5:21 pm

So sweet and stylish.


Leila July 18, 2012 at 6:02 pm

It is beautiful Nova, love that you added bells that is a genius idea!!


Jo @ a life in lists July 18, 2012 at 7:52 pm

EEEEPPPP! I love this! So so gorgeous. I want one all of my own right now. Such a wonderful idea to make the little cushion to go with too. I’m sure I totally need a taggie blanket…


Mayfieldhope July 18, 2012 at 7:55 pm

Looks so ace nova….your stitching is perfect. X


Fiona July 18, 2012 at 8:07 pm

Nova, it’s absolutely lovely!!! Too too special. Love all the ‘hidden extras’. Almost makes me want to have children….


Laura July 18, 2012 at 10:28 pm

That’s absolutely gorgeous! I’ve used the fusible-web version of that applique as well, and it really does give great results. the tags on the edges are such a cool idea – lucky recipient!


atouchofdomesticity July 18, 2012 at 10:56 pm

I think your quilt is just so lovely. The colours are so beautiful together, the bells, the soft deep grey, the plump clouds, the whimsical windy lines… I could go on & on! The pillow too. I really hope my memory (ruined by motherhood!) holds on to the colour combination as I’d love to make something similar myself one day (my ‘me’ time has also ruined by motherhood though, so I may be deluding myself!)


Flying Blind July 19, 2012 at 1:20 am



anna July 19, 2012 at 4:26 am

so beautiful! I love those fabrics together. and the little stuffed cloud, I want!!! :)


Jayne July 19, 2012 at 4:50 am

Too cute, love it!


Kelly Rodgers July 19, 2012 at 5:44 am

It’s absolutely gorgeous Nova. Love xxx


Katy July 19, 2012 at 8:29 am

Oh so cute, love the idea of the ‘ears’ and the stuffed cloud too!


ina July 19, 2012 at 2:50 pm

I love it! ;p


Kirsten July 19, 2012 at 5:39 pm

Such a perfect use of these lovely fabrics!


Suzanne July 19, 2012 at 10:34 pm

What a sweet quilt and pillow. I am sure it will be well loved.


Dana @ Water Penny July 20, 2012 at 3:09 am

I need to applique some letters and I will try this! Yay! I had been puzzling over how to do it and so happy I stumbled across this blog before spendings hours researching and experimenting!


Rachel at Stitched in Color July 20, 2012 at 4:43 am

So sweet, Nova! The tabs sticking out are the absolute best. Well done!


flowerpress July 20, 2012 at 9:40 am

This is so beautiful Nova :-)


sophie July 21, 2012 at 5:05 am

The perfect quilt and pillow combo!


Asmita July 22, 2012 at 2:28 am

pretty pretty pretty. This has certainly given me some ideas for a quilt my daughter wants with rain, clouds and a sun peeking out! thank you.


Alisa July 22, 2012 at 8:15 am

Wow it’s so fantastic! The ELW colours sewn up together look fab. Lucky kiddo!


Melissa Kelly August 24, 2012 at 7:10 pm

This is awesome! I love the idea of the bells in the little flaps :)


Jesse Lu November 27, 2012 at 11:42 am

This sweet little quilt is the inspiration for a baby quilt I am making for a new one who’s about to arrive either tonight or tomorrow. I love the bells detail!


katie April 27, 2013 at 7:52 am

So cute! Now I wanna start a new quilt with the clouds and the raindrop quilting I did in the background of this quilt:


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