Wednesday, August 7, 2013

Busy City Pattern

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 seat.  By three, he could distinguish backhoes from front end loaders and correct me on the finer points of cranes and forklifts.  When he 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 ways.  Not only can they be made with just the blocks you choose, the blocks are grouped by level of difficulty.  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 quilters.  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 blocks.  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 block.  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 your choice.
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, Superbuzzy, 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.

23 comments:

Michael said...

For a future grandbaby!

sharpie said...

LOVE this! As will my construction working husband ;) What a great great concept.

Leanne said...

My oldest would have loved this quilt as a child, I expect that there are many young boys I know that I could use it for. Congratulations on having a published pattern.

Katie B said...

Awesome!! I've admired this design for a long time. My nephew would love this, especially the digger.

laura said...

This pattern is awesome! i have 3 little boys who ADORE all trucks. i'm excited to get a copy of this!

Angie from Dear Spring Green said...

Oh my goodness! This is honestly the most adorable pattern! I would love to win this pattern to make a quilt for my 3 year old son. He loves race cars and all things with wheels! I promise to learn to paper piece so I can use it. :)

tabbiegirl said...

Absolutely adorable - and so original! I would love to test my paper-piecing skills with this pattern.

Carla said...

I am so happy that you took the plunge to publish tis pattern, Alex. I've always admired it. I"m thinking of a certain little boy who would just love this, so I would love to win!

Sonia B said...

I have often thought of the original quilt since you first posted it, but never had the confidence to try it ony own. With three little boys, these designs would be perfect. And I love your ideas to create different themes. Thanks for the chance.

kelly lautenbach said...

I remember when you first made this quilt and I was in awe of it. I still am. I have a grandson who would LOVE this quilt! :)

Megan said...

I love this quilt design! It's so hard to find cool quilts for boys.

Jennifer said...

I would love this for my 16 month old son! So awesome!

LethargicLass said...

I would love to make this for a friend's son... what a fantastic idea!

Federlily said...

Wow! I love this pattern. I have a 19 month old who would go crazy over all of the little trucks. The scale is just perfect. Pleasing for both mom and son.

stitchingandbacon said...

I love this! Is it weird to say that I would make a semi-truck pillow for my couch, just because it is awesome. That layout is just perfect... so appropriate without seeming to be just for a baby.

Chrispy said...

my son would go nuts for this. fabulous design.

Julie said...

I was so excited to see this quilt published as a pattern. I have loved it ever since you should tge original quilt. I have a five year old little guy who would love this and who still needs a proper quilt for his bed, whivh by the way is a race car. He loves anything with wheels. He especially loves tractors and Honda's. Because his daddy had a red tractor and he also works for Honda. Anyway I am thrilled your patterns are published and
would be thrilled if I am lucky enough to get picked. Thanks so much

Lee Anne said...

I love this pattern...my little grandson helps his "Papa" put away his Big Truck at night....he would love this quilt! Congratulations ...you are a great designer!

Becky Butler said...

I have 2 little boys who would absolutely adore this pattern! I've admired it for ages!

Jenny @ Anything Pretty said...

I know I am too late for the giveaway...but I just wanted to let you know that I am super excited that this pattern is out. It is perfect for Carter's big boy room and I may have asked Shea a couple of times about the timeline because I knew it would be perfect. Now off to find fabric!

CitricSugar said...

Congrats - that's so awesome! I saw it on Bobbins and was giddy for you. :-)

Vicki said...

So cool. I'm excited for you about having this quilt made into a pattern! It looks great and having 2 sizes makes it even better. :)

RedHeadShannon said...

Just purchased Busy City from I Don't Do Dishes! Thanks for the opportunity to get it. It will make some little boys very happy. And I got a black friday deal!