I started making this quilt during the Christmas holidays of 2015. I was itching to do a hand stitched project, and found a couple of 'Moda' charm packs in the cupboard, which I thought looked okay. I used them quite indiscriminately, only adding pieces I bought specifically for this project when I realised it was going to take a lot more fabric (and time, and effort!) than I initially thought. I have not worked on it continuously; it has lain fallow for months at a time, but I finally finished it yesterday. Now that I know how much time, and work, it took to complete, I would have chosen my fabrics much more carefully, as some of the patterns and colours are not fully to my taste. This is all part of the learning curve of sewing and quilting, and a lesson learned for the future. Starting a project now, fourteen months later, I am much more choosy about fabrics. However, I am very happy with the quilt over all; it has a happy, family, colourful vibe, and has been a joy to stitch. My plan is for it to knock about in the sitting room, to cover cold legs in the winter, and provide comfort and warmth to out-of-sorts family members, or even those who just want to feel cosy.
I wanted to stitch a large hexie quilt, after my very first attempt at quilting when I made this, and wondered if horizontal lines of hexies would work, stitched on to a backing fabric. Alternating rows of blues and reds sounded bright and cheery, and as well as the aforementioned Moda charm pack (I think I used two packs, rejecting some of the fabrics as I went along) I used an old shirt of Derek's; a couple of fabrics from John Lewis, and a few pieces bought online, mostly from eBay.
I backed them on to white cotton with a small blue dot pattern. Truth be told, I am not mad on that fabric, but I wanted something fairly neutral, but not completely plain, and chose it in a rush one day in John Lewis. I stitched down the long strips of hexagons to the background fabric, removing the templates one by one as I went along each row.
The quilt ended up measuring about 60" x60" and quilting was hard on my fingers; with the haxagons being appliqued to the backing fabric, there was an extra layer to go through with each stitch, and my poor needle-pushing finger was in tatters. I can't work with thimbles, but found this handy little device which worked brilliantly, albeit after a little getting used to. For the quilting, I decided to simply outline each hexagon, using Perle cotton in white No 12.
Being less than crazy about the background fabric on the front of the quilt, I was very careful when choosing fabric for the backing and border, and really love both. I bought them from my local sewing shop, which is a small oasis of beauty in the otherwise arid desert of our local small town.
I decided half way through making this quilt (you can tell I was making it up as I went along, can't you?), that I would try some needle turn applique, and plunged in to making a written motif to run along the bottom of the quilt. I hadn't the faintest idea of what I was doing, but managed, after a fashion, to cut out and stitch down the letters. I found it so satisfying to have something to read on a quilt.
'I ignored the ironing and made this'. The ironing baskets full to overflowing with neglected ironing will testify to this being factually truthful, though in all honesty I ignore the ironing for most things. The family also snorted in recognition when they saw my efforts 'Yea well that's true Mum' was Jacob's summation.
Unfortunately it has not been possible to photograph this quilt outside. Where I would usually clothes-peg a quilt to the garden fence and photograph it 'whole', the weather currently is so stormy, and the garden fence so wet, that my newly finished quilt would instantly acquire a 'vintage' look. I will finish this post with a few more photographs of it on the 'big bed' as Jacob and Isaac used to call it, before they had double beds of their own. That's where quilts are really supposed to be, after all.