I’ve just finished another quilt for care-leavers. These will be given out at Christmas Dinners for Care-leavers, an organisation started by Lemn Sissay, (our poet laureate at the moment). Following on from his experience of many years in care, he started organising Christmas dinners for young people who are leaving care, they have not just the dinner, but hairdressers, beauticians, entertainment, trying to give them a positive memory of Christmas. Making quilts for them came from a comment he made once that at times, all he wanted was a hug. Maggie Lloyd-Jones heard this and decided to start making quilts, as wrapping yourself in a quilt is a bit like giving yourself a hug. It only started just over 12 months ago, but it has snowballed and hundreds are being made around the country. The young people choose their own quilt from the pile supplied.
I made this top in early summer, but it sat there waiting to be quilted. We have another sewing day for the quilts on Saturday so I thought I’d better crack on with it – eleventh hour as usual!
It’s a design by Pat Sloan called Oh My Stars, a freebie, Pat is very generous with her pattern designs. The backing is a colourful feather design which matches the front perfectly colourwise.
I wanted to keep the quilting fairly simple and therefore quick, so why I decided to quilt round each star I don’t know – 8 pointed stars are not quick to stitch round due to all the maneuvering of the quilt. It would have probably been easier if I did it with the free-motion foot, but I’m not sure how straight my lines would have been!
I decided to cross-hatch the rest of the quilt, adding extra lines round the stars whenever I reached one.I used a variegated blue and green thread – I think the area I tested it against was mainly those colours, I think if I did it again I would probably use white. Finally it was all quilted…
I just had to bind it. I pondered about doing a scrappy binding, but in the end I decided to use the feather fabric, it’s worked brilliantly as all the different colours almost make it look scrappy. I’m really pleased with the effect. I machine stitched the binding on, front and back – usually I hand-stitch the back down. I cut the binding slightly wider than my usual and stitched in the ditch from the front. Most of it worked out OK – I only had to redo a couple of areas where it had missed the binding. I still prefer hand-stitched binding, so this hasn’t converted me over.
I’m hoping to make one more quick quilt for the care-leavers this year, but if I don’t get it done in time it will go on next years pile. If anyone would like to join us then have a look on facebook for Quilts for Care-Leavers, if you’re not on facebook then leave a message below and I’ll put you in touch with one of the organisers.