Despite having decided only last week that I need more clothes for the winter, common sense won over and I realised it would be less stress on myself if I made various presents first, I’ve got a cardigan, a shirt and some mini bags to make, plus a few Christmas decorations….first on my list however was a quilt for James, my son. It’s his birthday in the middle of January so you just get Christmas and New Year out of the way and all of a sudden it’s next week so a bit of advance planning is required. It’s actually his 21stbirthday. He celebrated his 18th bigtime and in our family you get the big celebration for one or the other, so he won’t be expecting anything major. He asked me last year to make him a quilt after he saw Helen’s black and white one. The problem was he couldn’t decide what colour he wanted and didn’t particularly enthuse about any design I showed him.
A couple of months ago I ordered a book on Amazon called Say it with Quilts, I bought it for a gorgeous pansy quilt design, but another quilt design I liked was called Sunny and Hazy, it’s a chevron design, I love the way it was quilted down the chevron pattern. I immediately thought of James as it’s not a traditional quilt style.
The next issue was fabric, he’s a typical 20 year old lad, into cars and loud music (well he calls it music…) he certainly wouldn’t want your typical flowery quilt fabric! I decided to look at batiks, I realised that the pattern was made from triangles cut from 10 3/8″ squares, so a layer cake would be near enough with a few fat quarters to top it up. At the Harrogate Quilt show in August I chose a gorgeous layer cake from Bali Batiks and a co-ordinating set of six fat quarters, Helen helped choose the colours we thought her brother would like, I love them, sea blues and greens with browns too.
This week I decided to set to and start it. I cut out all the triangles and then started arranging them on the floor as it’s the only flat space big enough. At first I spread out the very light ones and the very dark, but it just didn’t look right, then I tried having a chevron of light triangles, still not happy, it just didn’t sit easy on the eye. In the end I took all the very light ones out and arranged the chevrons in colourways and I’m much happier with it.
I’ve just started sewing it. I ended up posting a question on a quilting facebook page as although the book gives instructions, they’re not aimed at a novice! What concerned me was how to sew the triangles in such a way that when I stitched the lengths together, I won’t lose the points of the chevron. Someone finally explained how I need to line up the seam line, not the edges, so I end up with little ‘tails’ at either end! It’s worked most of the time, they’re not all perfect but I’m getting better! I’ve stitched three lengths so far, I’ve about 8 to go before I stitch the lengths together to make the quilt top.
It’s going together fairly quickly, what’s delaying it now is Bonfire Night (5th November) so there’s lots of fireworks going off and my old dog Zac hates anything that goes bang, my sewing room is upstairs which is out of bounds for the dogs, I haven’t got the heart to leave him downstairs on his own so it’s hand-sewing this evening with him sat as near to me as possible!