22 February 2012


Our Fluffy cat laid claim to a work in progress that should have been wrapped up for Christmas day but wasn't.  I didn't realise quite how long it would take to hand quilt and sew a border round a large quilt.  So the cat got to lie on the UFO a little bit longer and my boy had to wait.

Until yesterday.

This may not be to everyone's idea of a comfort blanket, but actually it's rather jolly and vibrant close up. And the contrast between the crazy skulls and roses is quite comedic. Even though it looks much smaller in his hands than it did in mine, the boy likes it very much

Thank goodness.

This is a very simple quilt.  Even so, I learnt a lot from putting it together,  For a start, it's not the machine work that takes the time, but deciding on the fabric layout and cutting accurately.  I learnt especially that quilting is not a cheap pursuit when you use new materials - as the cost of cotton has soared, so has the price of fabrics and wadding.  I tried out some cheaper fabrics, but they didn't cut the mustard, so were wasteful in the long run, unless we go back to Hastings for Pirate Day.  It reminded me of a lesson I've learnt making other things - that if you are going to invest precious time in making something, then you want it to be the best you can afford, especially if you want it to last a good while.

I looked at lots of quilts and fabrics before I finally decided on this simple giant log cabin style and I discovered another couple of things.  Firstly, there are many quilts that I don't like; and secondly, so what?  Because anyone who bothers to reconfigure bits of fabric, and experiment with colour and shapes, and hand quilt yard upon yard of lines up and and down and around, must surely be doing it for pleasure, their own or someone else's.  So here's to the memory of getting back ache cutting out and stitiching; fretting over whether it was going to look good; handing it over with a bit of love; and hoping that one day he'll enjoy looking back at the memento of his skateboarding days.


Jane Housham said...

Oh I think that's marvellous, and I agree with all your sentiments about quilting. My son has the patchwork quilt on his bed that I made when I was 17 (he's 16) and was in France (somewhat miserably) being an au pair before I went to University. It's very simple, just hexagons in dark cotton with small patterns -- he seems to like the fact that I made it. I'm sure your son will treasure this quilt that you made especially for him.

Jane Housham said...

Forgot to say, your cat looks WONDERFUL

Joanna said...

I have a couple of daughters who at one time or another would have killed for that quilt! I love what you have done there. And your cat looks awesome.

Annie said...

Haha! I love it! And I'm sure he will cherish it.

I used to be a bit of a purist about patchwork, only using scraps left over from other sewing projects or cloth reclaimed from old clothes and sheets, but I came to understand a while ago that it is all that effort that is the point not what fabric you use ... stitched with love sums it up for me (though I still refuse to pay for new quilting fabric but that's because I'm broke!) :D

Val said...

It's Brilliant ..awful (in the nicest possible way) but brilliant lol ....I didn't see the skulls in the pattern to start with and then fell about... I have a 9 year old who wears pink striped socks with skulls at the top (she sneaked the skull bit past me...I thought it was an abstract pattern whilst the rest of the family rolled their eyes and chortled...I should just make her a rose patterned skirt to wear with them) That is a lovely thing to make and keep..hard work by the sounds of it but extremely rewarding for both of you. The nearest I've got to quilting lately is listening to Jill Paton Walsh's
"A Piece of Justice" great fun!

Ivy Black said...

That is just stunning. I love it!

The Dotty One said...

It looks great Colleen - I'm not surprised he is pleased with it! I love the fabrics!

Anonymous said...

I love this. It reminds me - in its wit and irreverence - of Grayson Perry's foetus quilt in the V and A quilts exhibition.

Hope you're well,


Liz said...

You did a great job (quilting always looks so complicated, I'm in awe of anyone who can actually make one) and I love your choice of fabrics.