In amongst all my Otley Show entries etc last week, I also made a quilt…
My God-daughter celebrated her 18th birthday at the weekend, a couple of months ago messages came back via my daughter Helen that she would love it if I made her a quilt for her birthday. I was well chuffed that she wanted one of my quilts and started planning it immediately.
I’d saved a photo from facebook of a simple but effective quilt pattern that I felt could be made from precut fabric packs. It was ideal. Rachel wanted a purple quilt, I fancied making it from batiks and when I looked on line I spotted a gorgeous Bali Cracker called Hummingbird, it’s all purples with a bit of teal. Perfect!…only all the UK shops I found were out of stock!
I found some on line together with a charm pack of 5″ squares at Sandcastle Batiks on Etsy, it was a really good price compared to UK prices, I enquired about shipping and Janet messaged back, she was horrified at the price she was having to quote. It was still a reasonable buy from my point of view so I went ahead and bought it…what I hadn’t factored in was the 20% import duties I would have to pay before delivery!!! When I opened the package it was beautiful fabric, but what cheered me up no end was a personal note from Janet, she was so shocked by the shipping costs that she had added some extra squares from the hummingbird range, isn’t that lovely, it made my day!
Having waited for the fabric to arrive and then waited for a chance to buy a plain fabric for the sashing in Leeds I was basically left with a week to make the quilt, and it was last week, like the week before Otley Show!!
I laid out the 5″ and the 10″ squares on the floor, choosing the mainly purple ones first and then adding the ones with a bit more teal.Some of the 10″ squares looked a bit busy, I wasn’t quite happy with it yet.
I remembered that I had some plainer purple batiks that I had ear-marked for another quilt, I tried them against the others and it worked, I just used two squares each of three different purples.
Once I was happy with the lay-out it went together fairly quickly, I sashed the sets of four first and trimmed them down to 10″, then it was just a matter of working my way across the blocks. It wasn’t quite big enough at this point so I used the scraps to make a border. I laid it out on the lounge floor to spray baste it. I love seeing it at this stage, all beautifully smooth.
I think this is the biggest quilt I’ve quilted so far, it’s certainly my best so far! Machine quilting is definitely a matter of practice makes perfect, whilst I’ve still got a long way to go, I’m happy with my progress. I think it also helps that I’ve worked out a pattern that suits my skill levels so far. I stitch a sort of scroll/leaf shape, the important bit being the wave ends in a point, it gives me a regular point at which to stop without causing a wiggle!
I stitched the binding on and hand-stitched it down, I’ve never quite had the confidence to machine stitch it down and I don’t mind hand-stitching it, a couple of hours day dreaming and it’s done!
My last job was to hand-stitch a label for the back. I used a variegated purple embroidery thread and just back-stitched my message. I tend to do the stitching by eye, rather than writing it in pencil first as somehow it comes out better that way.
I gave her it at the weekend and she loves it 🙂