Monday, 24 June 2013

To Ireland with love [a finished quilt]

It's finished. Actually finished! And in time....

This quilt started as place mats, and grew a bit - you can read through the conversations I had with my father in this post here - at one point, when asked what colours the recipient liked we got the answer "I don't know. She wears a lot of scarves".....

In the end he did pull the fabrics we ended up with (with assistance) - 7 batiks in oranges, green, browns, blue and black, and Mum picked the background fabric, Floral Elements from Art Gallery. He also picked the layout which is from Gen X BOM (but made bigger). I love the negative space and it meant we could create a large double bed quilt in just a couple of months.

I knew that if I did the same block over and over I would get bored and the quilt would not get finished, so I picked a sampler style - 15 different traditional blocks from a variety of sources - the Gen X BOM, the Farmers Wife, Jelly Roll Sampler Quilts...., each made twice but with different combinations of fabrics and colours. I used about a meter of each fabric, a bit more of the bark brown for border and binding, and seven meters of the yellow.  The finished quilt is 106" x 106".
the colours in this photo are quite close to reality -
the background really is yellow-y

The backing nearly pushed me over the edge. Dad didn't like any of the backing fabrics I could find, so we ended up going for a super king size flat sheet. When it arrived it was 100" x 120". I might have said a rude word.... so I cut it apart and pieced a stripe. I could tell Dad wasn't convinced, but by this time he wasn't really being given much of a choice.

Linda and I basted the quilt. It did not want to go together smoothly. The backing was STILL too small. I might have said another rude word. Or two. We finished basting it and I cut a strip off the length, got home, forced the quilt under the sewing machine and stitched the strip onto the offending side. Then I re-basted. And got to the corner. And it still wasn't big enough. I said another rude word. And then grabbed a piece of a random fabric (used on the front of the quilt - not entirely random) and stitched it on. Dad is even less keen on these two little additions but they are tiny.

Quilting it went quite smoothly. I did a large stipple in the empty areas and a smaller stipple in the backround round the piecing, leaving the batiks unquilted. We basted it Monday night and by Wednesday I had  finished quilting and on Thursday it was bound and finished!

I still need to make a label, and write a letter which explains where the blocks have come from. But at the beginning of the quarter I put this on my Finish Along list with barely a block made, and in just three months I have a completed (large) quilt. I'm quite chuffed, and despite the odd additions to the backing, Dad also seems thrilled. In just a couple of weeks time it will be heading across the Irish Sea to its new home. About the same time that I will be linking up with Leanne!

she can quilt


Ada Kopitopoulou said...

It turned out lovely. I love the back with the stripe. Very arty!

Leo said...

wow - it turned out beatiful - and you finished it so fast. Did you get any sleep at all? Quilting , binding - it all takes so much time.

Leanne said...

This is beautiful and I personally love the backing including the random additions to make it work, sort of a nod to historical quilts made from what was on hand. What a stunning persent and a fantastic finish.