When life gives you scraps (or indeed, when your eldest sister gives you a vast hoard of unwanted fabric)…. make quilts.
A couple of months ago my eldest sister gave me 4 overflowing bags crammed full of fabric she no longer wanted… and I am the sort of girl who finds it hard to say no to anything sewing related or woolly so happily gave it all a home.
Some of our friends had just had a baby and I wanted to make them (well baby Ivo) a little quilt, and thought I’d set myself the challenge of just using fabric from “the hoard”.
I ended up cheating a little, I bought some plain white fabric for the sashing and the Amy Butler fabric I used for binding was a Christmas present from a few years ago (but as it was also from my sister I felt it wasn’t cheating really)
Both the patchwork of the Churn Dash blocks and the quilting were sewn by hand. Initially I quilted the pattern 3/4 of an inch apart but once I’d finished quilting I thought it looked a bit on the puffy side so went back and quilted between the gaps, which I felt looked much better.
The pattern of the quilting is called Baptist fan and it’s probably my favourite quilting pattern, it feels lovely running your fingers over the ridges of the fabric.
If I had done anything different it would have been to have made sure all the fabric had been washed first. Normally as soon as I bring home new fabric it gets a good soak in the bathroom sink with soap flakes. This helps remove any size on the fabric which is hard going on the fingertips if you are sewing by hand.
Quilting the fabrics that hadn’t been washed was a whole lot harder than when the fabric has been washed so I’ve learnt my lesson (looking at my very sore fingertips the lesson has been learn the hard way!)
I used pure wool wadding inside the quilt, yes, it is more expensive, but as far as I’m concerned it’s my favourite wadding to use and gives a lovely result. It’s wonderful to quilt through, no resistance to the needle whatsoever (which is something I find happens with anything synthetic).
I really do like the combination of back fabric and binding fabric. I guess they aren’t everyone’s cup of tea but I thought they looked nice and bright (though am worried Ivo’s first words will be “mummy, please pass me a pair of sunglasses, this quilt is so bright it makes my eyes hurt)
Once the binding was swen on, I just bunged the quilt in the washing machine and washed it at 30 on a gentle cycle. Then laid it out flat in the garden on an old towel.
You can see the Baptist Fan pattern more clearly on the back. If I don’t include pfaffing and poodling time, it probably took me a week to sew the patchwork and a further week to hand quilt it.
Thank you so much Nicky for all that fabric… as you can see it is slowly getting used.
Somebody (mentioning no names!!) is in the bad books… not only has he plucked the above quilt more than I realised (some repair work needs to be done) he was also caught having a stretch on Ivo’s quilt when it was drying in the sunshine ….. and if you think “poor old Bernard, he just wants his own quilt”, he already has two of his own thank you very much.