It’s been a long time since I did any quilting (the last occasion being a mini quilt for my bears), but back in March I decided I wanted to make a quilt for my fella’s nephew. He’s nuts about Dr. Who so the theme was easy to choose, and I bought some great Dr Who themed fabrics from Spoonflower. That was a while ago… the fabrics arrived and I put them away safely and as I’m off sick at the moment I finally got round to paying them some proper attention.
Having already learned the hard way that you should always iron fabric before cutting it (see here) I spent quite a lot of Wednesday morning with an iron in one hand and a frown on my face. It was worth it though as I got the squares cut and stitched together pretty easily after that.
As you can see, I decided to use the patterned fabrics sparingly, and used a plain cotton (in a shade called 30s Yellow, from this seller) which I thought showed off the patterns nicely. By the end of Wednesday I had sewn all the squares together and the quilt top was finished.
This morning I hauled my poorly self up to Hobbycraft in search of wadding/batting – they’d had a rush on, I was the fourth customer before 11am to buy some! I also picked up some red cotton to use as the backing.
After yet more ironing I laid out the back, the wadding and the top and basted them together with pins before taking the whole lot down to the studio…
…where I discovered that quilting on a small machine, in a small space, is tricky to say the least, and requires quite a lot of faffing around. I had to roll the quilt up so that I could get it on the machine, and keep rolling/unrolling as I went along. Plus more faffing as my desk butts right up against the wall of the studio, so I’d get so far and have to (you guessed it) roll the damn thing another way so I could keep going.
Another problem I had was that I can’t lower the tracks (dogs?) on this sewing machine, so they kept gripping the backing fabric. As a result it’s not quite as smooth at the back as I would have liked, but probably no one except me will notice!
Several hours, and almost 200m of cotton thread later, the quilt was finished.
Pretty quick, but that’s because there’s not that much in the way of quilting. I stitched in the ditch across the whole thing, then sat back and looked at it for a while trying to decide what to do next… and went for the very simple option of criss-crossing each of the yellow squares whilst leaving the patterned ones alone. Partly for aesthetic reasons, and partly because this quilt is for an eight year old, and I could just imagine him asking why the dalek has got lines all across it. As it stands I think it works really well: the red thread shows up beautifully on the yellow fabric, and there’s nothing to detract from the Dr Who-ness of the other squares. The edge of the quilt is simply the red backing fabric folded over the front and hemmed (not as neatly as I wanted in places, because the backing wasn’t perfectly flat). Simple, but striking
This will now be folded up and kept safely until Christmas, and I will have to report back then and tell you what young Archie thinks of it!
I’m glad this little project is finished, it’s given me a bit more confidence with quilting, and also taught me the limitations of my sewing machine. The quilt I started making earlier this year (see here) is still languishing in pieces, but I will have to finish it at some point, and it’s going to be a much bigger quilt than this. I need to get over my fear and use my mother’s scary industrial sewing machine instead, as it’ll be really important to keep the backing fabric from ruching up on such a large quilt, and I’ll also struggle to get the whole thing through my little machine as I’d like to use fleece as the backing fabric for extra snuggliness and I don’t think the little machine will cope with the additional thickness. I’ll report back in a few months as I need to shelve quilting once more and go back to some of my other projects first.