I live and craft in England (or perhaps “live to craft...”?). I love colour and I love pretty things.
I must have been a magpie or a butterfly in a previous life, such is my attraction to colourful and shiny stuff (aka, pretty, shiny things).
This blog is my attempt to make sense, and keep track, of what I make.
confessions of a fabric obsessive
My Daughter’s Quilt – pre-approved by our cat
Yes! Another quilt completed!
I possibly shouldn’t show you this until my daughter’s received it, but she may not get it for a while and she will be able to see it on here so I’ve decided to take you (and my daughter) through the development of this quilt and add in some photos as well.
There was quite an intense thought-and-planning process behind my daughter’s “going off to university” present. It’s a quilted patchwork bedspread/throw specially requested to cover up any mess when friends come to see her.
She didn’t want:
- thickly quilted
She did want:
- something big enough to cover a lot of chaos,
- that she would still be happy to use years after she graduates,
- easy to wash,
- and doesn’t bankrupt her Mother (that’s me) with expensive fabrics.
Large patchwork pieces were fine, perfect stitch in the ditch wasn’t necessary, my choice of fabrics would be great as long as it was colourful. She particularly liked this Rainbow Stack of Coins Quilt that I made, as she loved the rainbow effect and wanted a similarly broad spectrum of colour.
This was my plan and the fabric selection that I started with:
I ended up leaving out two fabrics altogether, and reducing the size of the rectangles to almost square in order to squeeze in as many different patterns and colours as possible. The deep red at the bottom of the photo is the backing fabric.
I designed this to be layers of fabric with no wadding/batting so that it is light enough to carry, small enough to fit in a normal domestic washing machine and light enough to maybe use in the summer with a sheet when a duvet is too warm.
I intended to stipple quilt, or at least do wavy lines, but I sewed about half of it with random wavy lines and it didn’t look right, so I unpicked it all and started quilting again. I was determined not to stitch in the ditch this time, so I top-stitched along the rows instead, in one direction, and I am happy with the result (although the perfectionist in me wants to pull it all apart and restitch the entire lot).
The rectangles intentionally don’t match up at the corners and I think that the top-stitching in just one direction pulls it together.
Of course I had to sew her name into the quilt (I know that this is a different colour to the photo above, I had to mess with the colour balance so you could see the stitching in this one).
All of the fabrics in the quilt top and back were a polyester and cotton mix (poly-cotton sheeting is a lot cheaper than cotton quilting fabric, and I had a very strict budget) so I looked everywhere for poly-cotton bias tape (I’m not quite brave enough to make my own bias tape yet. Give me time).
The only poly cotton bias tape that I could source came in chocolate brown (all good as brown was the only colour apart from black and white not in the quilt so far) and in 10 mm width (very narrow for only my third experience of binding a quilt).
I didn’t want to spend weeks hand stitching the binding (this was meant to be a going to university present, and she’s been there for just over two months), so I chose one of the few embroidery stitches in my home sewing machine and zipped the binding on in one night, unpicking when bits that didn’t look right and hand-finishing all the stray ends.
Of course, after I’d sewn it all together and put it through the washing machine I remembered that I had wanted to add a quilt label that spelt out her name in colour (yellow, amber, scarlet, mauve/maroon, indigo, navy. The first letters of each colours spell Yasmin) as a little visual pun.
I still need to work out where to hand-stitch this.
All in all, a lot of thinking and a lot of planning.
I learnt that:
- Chain piecing is really fast
- I must remember to write down my ideas for quilt labels on my plan
- I must sew the quilt label to the backing before I put the whole thing together
- basting with safety pins is not an option for me
I can honestly say that I am happy with the way it turned out and I will be happy when my grandchildren turn to me and say; “Did you really make that Granny?”. (Note to daughter: no, I’m not jumping the gun mentioning grandchildren, I have two children who are now adults, I’m bound to have some grandchildren in the next 20 or 30 years 🙂 ).
I suppose I ought to think of a name for this quilt too.