I started learning how to quilt last year, and consider myself a novice. I made my first quilt by hand last summer, and the Christmas quilt mentioned in this post last autumn. It was always my hope and dream to make quilts for my family to use and love, and my plan for 2016 was to complete a quilt for each of my boys (the first of many I hope). Jacob was very interested in, and enthusiastic about having a quilt made for him, and since the beginning of February I have been working on his quilt. I finished it late last night, stitching the binding at the kitchen table when everyone was asleep, and I gave it to him this morning.
He had requested a quilt in greys, greens and camouflage, with a stag's head appliqued on a central panel. The overall feel of the quilt was to be as though made by an old trapper over-wintering in a log cabin in the wilds somewhere. With this vivid description I could see the quilt very clearly in my mind's eye, and although the end result has some mistakes and a few wobbly bits here and there, I really don't mind; these 'irregularities' probably fit the brief!
The fabric came from various sources; an old camouflage jacket of Jacob's which I filleted, saving the breast pocket and a cuff, with the idea of incorporating them into the quilt. Billow Fabrics was an excellent source of quilting cotton, and eBay also provided rich pickings. The 'running hare' fabric was a tote bag from Habitat which caught my eye in the January sale. The wadding is Hobbs Heirloom cotton. The 'tartan stags' backing fabric (the 4th picture in the collage, above) is a brushed cotton duvet cover, bought online. The quilting is simple diagonal lines, hand stitched in green quilting cotton.
Photographing a 70" square quilt outside in a stiff breeze this morning was something of a challenge, but a few clothes pegs secured the quilt to the garden fence, and the brushed cotton of the quilt's backing fabric found purchase on the weathered wood of the old garden bench, holding it securely whilst I took a few photographs.
After photographing, it was smoothed into place on Jacob's bed, where it looked instantly at home. I have mentally handed it over to him now, and don't mind if it gets crumpled, or has tea spilled on it, or lands in a heap on the floor. It is there to be used, and loved.
There was not one part of making this quilt that I did not enjoy. Everything from discussing it with Jacob, to choosing the fabric, cutting and sewing the blocks, piecing the top, even the tedious business of basting the quilt sandwich; each step was absorbing and interesting. Someone told me that a well made (i.e. secure) quilt will last a hundred years. That fact fills me with untold pleasure. I hope Jacob will continue to use his quilt for years to come. I know I will make other quilts for him, but I have a feeling that this first quilt will always hold a warm spot in his heart, and in mine.