Well before he was even 18 months old, my first son would
point and hoot at every truck or digger he spotted through the window from his car
By three, he could distinguish
backhoes from front end loaders and correct me on the finer
points of cranes and forklifts.
was ready to move to a big boy bed, I knew I had to make a construction themed
quilt for him.
I found there to be so little on the market for boys and definitely nothing
that would appeal both to his interests and my own modern aesthetic.
I'm pleased to say that Busy City, a pattern I created as a licensed designer for Empty Bobbin Sewing Studio
, does just that. It is inspired by the quilt
I designed and
made for my construction crazy four year old. It includes so many of the things little people notice all around them in the busy city.
The pattern shows you how to create paper pieced vehicles, buildings,
trees, and more arranged in various ways to create unique, customized quilts and pillows.
It includes 35 block
patterns which are the same size, so they can be used interchangeably, allowing you
to personalize every project in the book. The pattern includes instructions for a twin sized quilt, a baby quilt, and two pillows. (Thanks to Shea for letting me use her photos.)
Each project is designed to be customizable in a number of
Not only can they be made with
just the blocks you choose, the blocks are grouped by level of
Quilters who are less
experienced with paper piecing, have no fear! Detailed paper piecing instructions are included, and you can begin with the simplest blocks or choose to use only those blocks in your project.
Those more comfortable with paper piecing can
tackle the more detailed blocks, although all the blocks are suitable for intermediate
The baby quilt and pillows are quick projects that use
just a block or a few blocks, and of course the heirloom twin
quilt uses 35 blocks. All the block patterns are included on a CD, so you can print out just the ones you want to use in two size options. There is no need to photo copy or trace patterns. Yay!
The projects are so easy to
tailor to your child’s specific interests.
If your little one is into farming, you can use the tractor, pickup truck, and barn
The house becomes a farm house and
the trees an orchard.
If he is
interested in race cars, you can make a pack of cars in different colors and
include the tow truck and ambulance on the sidelines.
You can make a charming little neighborhood of
houses and trees with a school bus.
The possibilities are as numerous
as the children for whom you sew, both boys and girls! I made this 12 inch pillow cover for my new niece.
Each block pattern is paper pieced, with additional
templates to create wheels and treads which are appliquéd onto the completed
By using black fabric with white
polka dots, you can mimic the look of tires while using a single piece of
fabric for each wheel.
I used fusible
web and machine appliqué, although you can pick the appliqué method of
I'm so excited to partner with Empty Bobbin Sewing Studio
to publish this pattern. It is especially fitting because Shea was the one who first encouraged me to create a pattern for this quilt. My response was, "No way." Ha! But that seed of an idea stayed with me, and once I had the pattern writing experience and the appropriate software, this pattern grew. Here is a list of places
you can purchase Empty Bobbin Sewing Studio patterns. Busy City is shipping to stores now and is already available at Pink Chalk
, I Don't Do Dishes
on etsy, Hyggeligt
in Canada, and locally at the Bernina
store on Metcalf and Sarah's Fabrics in Lawrence, KS.
Update: Busy City is now available for purchase as a digital download from Empty Bobbin. Download the pdf here.
As always, I would absolutely love to see what you make with my pattern. You can email me or upload a picture directly to the flickr group
Those of you who are still reading definitely deserve a shot at a free pattern. Leave a comment, and I will choose a winner, at random, Saturday morning. Does someone come to mind when you look at this pattern? What blocks do you think he or she would like best? For a second chance to win, hop over to Shea's blog where she is also offering a giveaway. Giveaway now closed.