Hey! A quilt!

Sewing inevitably generates scraps, and I’m loathe to throw away anything bigger than a hankie….. I’ve never felt the urge to quilt until I became pregnant last year and then decided I needed to cross the great divide and make something for my little babe to roll around on.

Over the years my garment colour choice has become more cohesive and so I had a very substantial collection of fabric scraps in blues, whites and reds, the perfect gender neutral colour choice that also made me very happy (after all I would be the one staring at it for years to come).

I was most inspired by a fabulous scrappy picnic blanket that Jenny made for the first Melbourne Garden Party, and lacking skills in precision cutting and patience I decided a similar layout would be best for this beginner quilter. 

I sewed simple strips of lightweight cotton fabric into blocks, until I had enough for a big square play quilt approx 1.2m square. I found it most useful when playing around with the pattern layout to take photos on my phone of my favourite combinations. It was then easy to piece together the blocks, with the pictures to refer back to. 

The back was pieced from heavier denim and furnishing weight cotton scraps also from my stash.  As I was close to 38 weeks pregnant by this time it was ready to be assembled I took the easy way out with spray basting the front and back to the cotton batting (there was no way I could kneel for the length of time needed to pin this thing together) and quilted very simple freeform horizontal straightish lines along the midline of each stripe plus the seamline of each piece. There were so many things I didn’t realise about quilting, the first being to start in the middle of the piece and work outwards, rather than from an end. 

I had enough blocks to make a smaller change mat, and actually quilted this first in order to practice my quilting technique. I decided lots of very close random quilting lines would look very cool indeed, not realising how damn long it would take. Hence the much less intense quilting pattern on the big mat!

I didn’t manage to get either bound and finished before my little love arrived, and it did of course take several months before I made myself finish them. The change mat was completely machine bound – a more robust but less pretty finish for something that would get washed quite frequently. The larger quilt was hand bound for a much nicer finish.

They are of course quite imperfect (starting with not even being square!!) but I do love them so – the backs as well as the fronts. I love the fabric combination, and the memories of garments I’ve made during my sewing trajectory. I’m in no rush to do it again mind you. Still very much #teamgarmentsewing!

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