Essential sewing keeping me clothed and sane

Leigh’s Quilt


The single niece and granddaughter (not mine – my parents’) is having her 6th birthday this weekend. There’ll be 17 wee girls screaming and yelling and bouncing like headers in a bouncy castle on Sunday – so the more mature in the family are visiting on Saturday.

My very first ‘finished’ quilt was converted into a picnic blanket for my mum as a gift on Mothers’ Day by stitching a £ shop shower curtain to the back, adding a couple of ties and a re-naming ceremony. To her credit, she thought it was so good that it is now draped over a bed in her spare room. And who should come and visit, see the quilt and want to sleep in that bed, but Leigh?

This then gave me the idea of what to give Leigh for her birthday this year – her very own quilt – she has enough pink plastic toys and tiaras anyway.

The quilt has actually been finished and ready for a while now but I couldn’t show it any sooner in case Leigh saw it here. I think I might be safe – but Kerry – don’t show Leigh until Saturday!

The block is a windmill (I think) – eight triangles sewed together, but there are easier ways to do this. Of course, it’s pink and purple and turquoise with a bit of green and blue.


There actually is a plan in amongst all that pink and purple – you might just be able to discern the diagonal bands of colour across the quilt.


All the left over triangles were made into a little pillow for her little princess head to rest upon and a short length of bunting to coordinate her bedroom.

The rest were used to make the quilt bigger with a border.

The back is a lovely green cotton with roses and would look just as good this side up.


I free motion quilted (rather badly) the layers. I started out with a design but ended up just sewing any old way. Heck, it holds the layers together and that’s what quilting is suppose to do.

And of course, you have to label and date the finished quilt for posterity……..


It’s not a huge quilt, it will lie on top of a single bed but not hang down over the sides. I thought this size would be a lot easier for a little six year old to drag downstairs and snuggle under on a sofa while watching TV.


But that’s not all……..

Apparently when she grows up Leigh wants to be a scientist and every scientist worth their salt needs a lab coat. My brother gave me an old one of his to alter!!! No really…an adult male size lab coat altered for a six year old girl! My heart bleeds for Mrs Mole. My instructions were that all I had to do was take it up and take it in at the centre back seam – no allowances made for the collar or anything, or armhole depth or chest width – nah! none of that mattered.


Starting point

As this is also a surprise I couldn’t fit the lab coat to the model so I asked for an item of clothing for fitting purposes. This is what I started with – unwashed I may add.



Mrs Mole herself suggested an personalised pocket, so paying attention to the master, that’s what I did and managed to rip the original coat while I was taking off the pocket. That’s life.


Alterted version

In the end, with armhole gussets and embroidered pocket and shortened and what have you, we have a small girl’s lab coat all ready for her to discover perpetual motion or what happens inside a black hole or the meaning of life or something quite significant like that and change our mundane lives forever.


Good luck with that Leigh – we’re all waiting for the breakthrough – no pressure, no pressure. I suppose if she changes her mind and wants to be an artist, she can still wear the lab coat as an artist’s smock.



18 thoughts on “Leigh’s Quilt

  1. beautiful. she is a lucky girl.

  2. Sometimes it’s actually quite rewarding to sew for someone else.

  3. You crack me up…so glad I don’t have to do this type of sewing, Ruth! Great job on that pocket working around those underarm gussets…what’s up with those? Why would any seamstress like working with clean clothes when stained ones are so readily available?

  4. Lucky Leigh! Well done on the lab coat alterations. I’m impressed with your stain avoiding technique (or was that just washing?)

  5. I love the colours and textures of the quilt; you’re getting very good at this.

    And a pillow and bunting too!

    I hope Leigh doesn’t expect her future birthday presents to match up to this one!

    • Always a problem with birthday presents and children have such good memories!
      Thanks Marianna, it’s fun to make something that will not be judged by recognised standards.

  6. Well I hope Leigh grows up to be the kind of scientist who cries and falls in love in the lab!!

    What a brilliant alteration. I bought one of those lab coats in a charity shop and wear it sometimes when I am sewing light coloured things, and pretend I work at the Chanel studio.

    And I love the quilt, especially the fresh green backing fabric.

    • Someone else who listens to Desert Island Discs?
      Your sewing studio IS like an atelier anyway Kate so you have every right to think you’re at a couture house.
      Thank you.

    • Yes, cry and fall in love as much as you like young Leigh. What a nincompoop that Nobel prize winning man was to express that. We need to do as much as we can to encourage women to stay in the lab. Well done Ruth for encouraging your niece’s interest in science.

  7. Oh my – wow! The quilt is so adorable and beautifully done. I’m sure she will treasure it. And the lab coat – you really did take a project! and it’s great. Nice auntie.

  8. Beautiful quilt and once again, you are the master of using up every bit and piece of your scraps!!

  9. You may like to look at

    (Love quilts USA also exists 🙂 )

  10. Wowsers! These are both brilliant! I don’t envy you having to alter the coat. Sometimes it’s easier just to make something from scratch. And the quilt is beautiful. I love the colours and the free motion quilting.

  11. Pingback: and counting… | corecouture

  12. Pingback: Trio of the Sun, the Galaxy and a Heart | corecouture

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