Friday, December 11, 2015

Meet George!

This is one alligator you could pet!

Say hello to George!

You're probably wondering why an alligator? Well, a friend of mine wanted a wall hanging quilt for her grandson. Her note says 'Louisiana, alligators, fleur de lis, bayou, ocean'. The first thing that popped into my head were those three piece alligator statues that are put into ponds.

Always thought those were cool! So why not in a quilt? 

First to make a swamp/bayou. Finding olive green, beige, and turquoise fabrics in the stash, I cut a strips, then subcut into 2 1/2" squares for the background. With those on the design wall, I started cutting paper for body parts. 

Since I wanted to piece the parts into the background, I opted for straight lines. Gives him a bit more modern look. 

And of course, he needed a spiny tail and back!

Made with different sized Prairie Points, the little triangles are sewn into the seam.

In the head, I used Dale Fleming's technique in Pieced Curves So Simple, (affiliate link) for the eyes. Starting with the head pattern (of high tech scrap paper!) cut into three pieces,

the eye sections were turned over and put on the back with tape (another high tech item!). The eyeball section is cut out with a seam allowance, 

clipped and pressed, and with a bit of glue, applied to the black fabric for the eye. Stitching is done on the fold.

Now both eyes are done,

but he really needs eyelids, which where folded rectangles stitched into the seam. Sorry there's no picture for that, as I just sewed them in without measuring or pinning. It was a 'let's see if this works' kind of moment - and it did!

As for how the body parts were pieced in, I'm going to save that explanation for another post. It's an interesting technique I discovered, and warrants further trial. Give me some time to play around with it a bit more. - Update - the tutorial for free form piecing is now available!

George does have little shoulder and hip parts that are appliqued on. My son said he looked like a fat snake until I put those into the design. But I got tired of piecing by the time I got around to those, so that's why the applique.

After giving George two extra layers of batting in his body, the quilting was kept really simple. Turquoise Glide thread makes the water surface, and George is stitched-in-the-ditch, even along the spikes so that they would stand up a bit. And a little bit of paint in the pupil gives George life!

Pet him all you want - he won't bite!

Have a great day quilting!


  1. This is such a cool design! Great idea and execution!

  2. George is brilliant! and cute, I mean scarry, grr. He will be loved.

  3. Brilliant design - love your quilt!!

  4. Very creative! And I love how you included praire points and those pieces on his face... absolutely great!! Thanks for sharing!!

  5. Looking forward to your explanation of setting in the body parts! Really great wall-hanging!

  6. Oh my goodness? You are one clever quilter! George looks fantastic!

  7. Incredibly creative!!! George is fantastic!!!

  8. George is a very handsome fellow and your details on him make for an incredible quilt. Wow. That little boy is going to be thrilled to call George his own!

  9. Clever the way you did this - he will love it - it's very boy friendly.

  10. What a fun quilt! You did a wonderful job.

  11. Wow Susan!!! That is just the cutest quilt! Thanks for sharing.

  12. George is absolutely adorable. So glad you shared this.


Thank you so much for just made my day!