I’ve not made as much progress as I’d hoped over the last three weeks with my seaside quilt, mainly because I’ve been dress-making more as I’ve realized those four or five extra pounds I’ve put on during lockdowns have been mainly round my middle, so when I got my summer clothes out some don’t fit any more!
This is from the second quilt design book by Kathryn Whittingham. I loved making my cottage garden quilt from her first book and this one is proving just as gorgeous. Both books are available from her website, Patchwork Katy, they’re lovely books, with clear instructions and patterns for making a gorgeous quilt.
Three weeks ago I’d almost finished the boat, embroidered some of the smaller blocks and I’d prepared the oystercatchers block for embroidery. I’d arranged some filler squares but not stitched anything together until I could see how it worked out…
The boat just needed a bit of bunting, stitching the seagull, a few ‘waves’ and finally a little dog at the helm. (Being completely ignorant of boats, it might not be the helm, but it sounds good!! She’s at the front!) I stitched a white fluffy dog as it is meant to be Lucy, our little bichon frise. As she was my mum’s dog she’s not appeared in any of my stitching so far, so I thought it was about time I rectified that!
The oyster catchers took longer than I anticipated to embroider as there is actually quite a lot of stitching. I used a dark grey for the back-stitch on the birds, my thought was that it will show up on the black and not look too harsh on the white.
I changed some of the embroidery stitches from those used in the book, I edged the rocks with blanket-stitch as I thought it might give the idea of rounded edges on the rocks, I used a Weeks variegated thread for all the rocks, it’s a sandy colour mixed with a very soft purple which perfectly matched all the fabrics I used. For the pictures I’m mainly using fabrics which aren’t nautical. so there’s flowery ones, paisley’s, deer (the soft purple has actually got deer and trees on!!) The oyster catchers legs were meant to be in satin stitch but I could see me having issues with tension as I didn’t have a hoop handy that day, so I used chain stitch with a single thread, doubling them up for their knobbly knees and then whip-stitched them with a double thread.
One of my birds was positioned a little high, so he had rather long legs, I stitched him mid step so it’s not quite so noticeable. I’d made a similar mistake before in that I always cut the background a little bigger than required in case it frays a lot with handling during the embroidery process. I then forget when I’m positioning things to allow for the extra half inch. With a plain background it doesn’t matter, but I positioned the rocks right at the bottom and then when I positioned the birds I was looking at times how close to the horizon they were in the book…so one bird was quite a way above the rocks!
It made such a difference once I got the blocks ‘framed’ with the sashing. All the big pictorial blocks will be sashed with these two fabrics. I chose the bumbleberries blue right at the beginning but I wasn’t sure which to choose for the lighter outer sash. As soon as I tried the seahorse fabric I loved it, unfortunately I’ve only got a fat quarter so I’ve just ordered some more!
I sashed the boat at the same time and then started arranging the little square blocks. I picked up a bundle of red fat quarters from Hobbycraft so I don’t have to use the Christmas one, though I might pop a couple of reindeer in the quilt just because! Until I get into the swing of this colour palette I basically used Kathryn’s colour placement as a guide, particularly with red and dark blue squares. At the moment the red stands out a mile, but I know from the book they’ll be scattered throughout the quilt and there’s also some red pinwheels thrown in the mix.
I collected quite a few nautical fabrics for this quilt and I’m mainly using them for the little squares, fussy cutting sometimes to get a nice image. I’ve got puffins, lighthouses, boats, sand-castles…
Next I have pinwheels to stitch in red and blue, then a hermit crab picture and another beach hut to complete the row.
Hand Quilt Along Links
This Hand Quilt Along is an opportunity for hand quilters and piecers to share and motivate one another. We post every three weeks, to show our progress and encourage one another. If you have a hand quilting project and would like to join our group contact Kathy at the link below.
I’ll also be linking up with Kathy’s Quilts for Slow Stitching Sunday.