My bearhouse nr. 6 quilted rabbithouse

September 15th 2014   the bearhouse project .........

In the last post I said I want to make a quilted teddybear-house and I've been thinking a lot how to design and make it.

First let me show you the lovely fabric I found:

Now it was time to make a choice!  I have chosen 4 colours already and must add some more.....I did iron the fabric (steamed it).......

How do I design a quilted bearhouse?  Good question!  At this moment I think I'll make a kind of box of which I can lay the sides flat or make them standing and close them...a combination of these it will be. Next question was: the size???  Mini I think.

I have no templates from squares and tried.....and tried again....and again...   to make them from thicker paper. Finally I found this back:

I knew we have one and as you can see it is an oldie but it works! I made this quarter and it is 3,5 cm / 1,4 inches. It was my -how many? -  attempt to make one with equal sides but here it is! I will never use scissors for that again, just my knife!

When I started this quilting-page I also said it might be fun to follow me and the mistakes I make. I've never made a secret of the mistakes I make and the things I learned from them.

Mistake nr. 1 and 2:
the corners are not precisely opposite and I don't like the stitches either

I used a stitch someone suggested to me but if I use it with paper templates inside it is not neat at all in my opinion.
Searching the internet I found examples from basted stitches and I thought: oh much space...
will there be openings between them? it strong enough?......but I tried and here is the result:


much better!!!!  Hurray!
Next I thought was: I'm hesitating....sewing-machine or by hand?  As it will be mini I decided to sew by hand. Takes
more time
 (also because I'm a complete beginner with patchwork/quilting)  but why should I hurry?!

I remembered that years ago I had tried to design a pattern for a quilt.....found it back.....and I liked the way I 
did this using this
 kind of paper and colours. Very relaxing! At first I thought to use this pattern for my bearhouse but the complete
 pattern has 400 this one and not this time : ))))  But if you have trouble designing a pattern 
maybe this method can be of any help?!

Besides, I want to make a BEAR-house and I need to add decoration so it will be better to keep the basic quilts 
simple to be able to add decorations.

At this moment I'm also still thinking about how to make a box from soft fabric but I think I figured it out and will 
show it to you later.

This week I will draw all the blocks on the fabric, add the seams and keep those equal (I finally understand WHY!)
and when all done I shall start sewing all together. Looking forward to do so!

If you follow this project please come back in a couple of days! Thanks!


September 18th 2014.

As always I've changed my mind! When I was surfing on internet I discovered stitchery quilts and I love them! 
What a great idea for a bearhouse!
Now I'm trying to make a combination. First thing I did was using larger blocks to be able to decorate them.
Next thing? I started decorating.

I made a template in this shape

I needed this shape

carefully I stitched them to the fabric  and I did draw a line 

making a window.........
I have stitched it on the other fabric

and decorated!

and I made a door the same way; to make the tiny windows I cut holes in the fabric and made little stitches around them to avoid raffling. The door-knob is an antique glass button (thank you Lotte!)

The bearhouse is....a bearhouse so in my opinion it must not be made "too neat" .....and using the stitchery I can make it this way and I really love it. I design while stitching and don't make a design before I gives me a feeling of total freedom : ))))))

At this moment 4 blocks have been jointed and I need 2 more, but first I'll finsih the stitchery because there will be an "in between layer" and I don't want to do the stitchery thrue that layer. As soon as the 4 blocks are ready I will go on with the other blocks.

So far so good again!


September 19th.

When I decided to make a box-shape I already wondered: how will the sides stand up? First I thought I could add card-board or something like that, however, I want to quilt....and can't quilt thrue card-board. 
Today I bought some very thick felt (appr. 0,5 cm / 0,2 inches). It bends just a little. I used it in the first block to find out if it was possible to quilt with my sewing machine. It can be done. What I already hoped for came true: it makes the block a bit stiff and I need that. Completely stiff? NO! 
As it is a bearhouse, for me it is no problem if it feels soft; it will stand and I must start somewhere with this first project! I am learning....... : ))))

What did I do today: 

I added blocks with the sewing machine

using pins to keep everything where it must be

first I ironed the seams open
to go on with ironing the seams in one direction

I ironed the seam from the back side

and cut the edges to make all more neat when I turn the fabric to the right side

as you can see: I failed! the corners are not neat.....must do this better!

I have added the thick felt (it is inside)

here you can see the felt and how I use the ladderstitch to close the opening
the back shows how I "tried out" quilting with the machine; it can be done; as the squares on the front side are not equal you see this on the back side when you quilt.....ofcourse....

front side....little bit crumpled at the right......oh...oh...!

  Now I have been exploring all this it is time to start a new and better block! 

Attempt number 2 : ))))))))))))  and I'm still having a lot of fun!

Wondering why I don't take lessons?  they cost at least 90 euro for the first all materials.....and it seems to be a continuing story, the lessons I lessons right now! Maybe, one day......?!  Don't know.....

Off to the block now!   Thanks for your visit!


Sunday September 21st.

The new block is done:

now.....much better!  not perfect but better! this block has been stuffed and closed already.
It was time to go on:

time to sew the blocks together (36 little squares)

I ironed all seams on both sides......did you notice afterall I decided to lay the seams open?
on top the outside of the block and beneath the inside

sewing the outside and inside together but luckely before I started I thought NOT to close the seams between the blocks because if I did so I could not turn inside out anymore.....

done! I used pins in the seams to keep everything where it belongs......

stuffing each block with felt; I made the felt smaller than the block because it is thick AND the blocks must be able to move.....

Once again so far so good....phew!  it was a lot of work, nice work.

 What did I learn?

- I must pay more attention (again) to the seams and make them all my enthousiasm I had forgotten this. It is so much easier to stich everything together when the seam are equal!

- I must have patience.  If I work calm the results are better. Now I understand why quilters can work on a quilt for years!

- I want to keep on practicing to make the small blocks fit neat.

- I love to quilt...THAT'S good news!

Next things to do are closing the openings of the blocks; add a bottom and a roof...I want to make a speical roof....will show you later; I want decorations on the inside of the bearhouse; I must make something to close the door (creative ideas in my head....enough of them!).

The next days I hope to find time to go on!

If you follow this project please come back in a coule of days to see the progress!

Take care and be well!


Tuesday September 30th.

It was a bit quiet here but that doesn't mean I haven't been working on the bearhouse! As a matter of fact the house itself has been finished..............
Here is a sneak preview:

closing the seam by hand

Decorations.....what you probably won't see on the picture is that I quilted the seams between the blocks

Decorations.....what you probably won't see on the picture is that I quilted the seams between the blocks

after a lot of brain-storming I decided to join everything together with was quite a job to be honest!

First I had to add the lace on one go on jointing the was hard to hold the blocks in my hand and stitch at the same time but I succeeded!

The front of the house. I added decorations, found a lovely rabbit-bead in the local shop and after a lot of brain-storming again I found a way to close the "door" .....

Did I say rabbit-bead????????????? YES!  as always I have changed my mind! No bear this time.....but I still call it my bearhouse (?!)
I am almost ready making a tiny rabbit for the house. It will get a hammock - if I succeed! 

No pic's from the completed house yet......I'll keep you waiting just a little bit longer!

Off to the rabbit needs ears......

October 3rd 2014.

Finally, this project is finished!

The house measures appr. 12 x 12 cm / 4,7 x 4,7 inches and the rabbit is 6,5 cm / 2,6 inches standing. Rabbit is made from mini-fabric and the head is disc-jointed; the limbs are thread-jointed.  Stand alone......

Rabbit has a little carrot made from felt and there is a little pillow in it's house made from felt and decorated with embroidery and paper roses.

No hammock!  The house is too small in my opinion.

Here are some pictures:

Hello????  who's there??

welcome in my house!

It was fun and I learned so much! I'm still thinking about a frame but will find out how to make one and still being able to quilt.

I call this my shabby-chic rabbit-house now : ))))))))))

In the second-hand shop we found a nice wooden closet with a facet-mirror inside! We are going to re-decorate it; it may take some time. In the meantime I'm thinking about......what next?!

Thank you for following this project! I hope it was as much fun for you as it was for me!

Be well!  ..............I'll be back!


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