Friday, 10 February 2012

The tale of the electrifying quilt

A tale of good and evil

The relevance of this title and the above chocolate beast will become apparent. 

So, hot on the heels of my first quilt, I went straight onto planning my next. This included speculating about colour schemes on Twitter. The lovely Florence politely inquired about the progress of my original quilt, you know, this one from LAST FEBRUARY. You see, that quilt has been in the back of my mid for some time. I lost some vital pieces for a while, giving me the perfect excuse to down tools. But when I found them and then realised the batting left over from the last quilt was the perfect size for this one, there was no excuse. (It is worth mentioning that I have a last couple of copies of this quilt pattern here).


I had thought I would make a few more blocks, but even at cot size, it was perfect for a single bed and it seemed a waste to make it bigger only to have to fold it up. I had a fair bit of trepidation about sewing all the blocks together, I think I managed to stretch the voile whilst sewing the curved pieces, it wasn't the ideal fabric to use, but I love it so, I just had too. The blocks were quite irregular, but after a bit of trimming I was surprised that they all fitted together OK.

good cat

Lying it on the floor ready to layer together made it a magnet for the animals, again. I appreciate my posts have been a bit puppy heavy lately. She still has novelty value and it's quite hard to do anything without her appearing an inch from my nose or feet. This strikes me as a s good time to explain why the quilt is electrifying.

bad puppy

I sew at our kitchen table, carefully packing everything away when I finish, it's a bit of a faff, but anything to avoid the kids knocking over a pot of pins of finding the dog eating my scissors. However whilst sewing the quilt, I looked down for the dog who is usually sleeping and inch from my toes, to see her chewing the power cable of my sewing machine. I won't share with you the bad words I said to that dog (my husband has since suggested I could write a whole blog post dedicated to my imaginative and often derisory names for the dog, but I think I know it would offend.) Thankfully she was fine, however the power cord is broken through and I'm not convinced it is safe. So I am left searching for an expensive replacement pedal for what was a cheap sewing machine when I bought it over 10 years ago. Maybe this is a good excuse to upgrade?


Anyway, rant over. Here is the finished quilt, my favourite bit is the shape made by the red and blue pieces, it really stands out making me realise that I must think harder about contrast in my next quilt.

this is the bit I like

My least favourite part is the quilting, even though I prefer minimal quilting, it's such a tedious part of the whole process. I only sewed around the circles of the flowers, that was enough. One part I really like though is hand stitching the binding, hiding away the rough edges and framing all that work. It's so very satisfying. I used a strip of this Anna Maria Horner fabric, as I wanted something quite, but not completely, plain. I love that if you look closely, you can see the cross-stitch pattern which varies along the length, perhaps I should have embroidered a bit of it. Next time.


This quilt was always intended for my daughter and as she recognises the fabric, I had it carefully folded when doing the hand-stitching so that she couldn't see it. When sat side by side on the sofa, she spotted the fabric and said 'I recognise that fabric, what are you making?" my vague white lie prompted that expression on her face I saw rather a lot of around Father Christmas time. One of not quite believing what her old mum was saying. I didn't manage to finish it before she went to bed, but was just sewing the last few stitches as she shouted down for a hot water bottle. I promised her something else that would keep her warm and unfurled it on her bed. The response was rather overwhelming (I don't really expect a 7 year old to find a quilt that exciting, even if it has taken a year to make and nearly killed off the dog in the process).

an army of pink toys, be afraid

Here it is on her bed, along with her impressive army of cuddly toys, this isn't even all of them - do all kids have this many? I think her little brother may be forming an equally well manned army of toys in the room next door. They all have hilarious, confusing and constantly changing names.

So, some valuable lessons learnt here. Don't take too long to finish a project, or you may never. Listen to the wise words of your friends, and puppies are evil destroyers of random expensive household objects fluffy.

17 comments:

  1. Apologies if there are typo's in this post, I managed to delete it and had to retype the whole thing again (why did I make it so long?!). By the end I lost the will to do an extensive proof read!

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  2. It looks as though the quilt was worth the wait, it's beautiful! You are guilting me into finishing the quilt I started for my daughter last summer....better get going x

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    1. yay - do it, it feels great when it's done!

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  3. Does look gorgeous! You did pick a tricky pattern to include voiles in too but pulled it off beautifully! Your dog is an enabler!

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  4. our puppy did the exact same thing to the cable to my pedal foot{he also chewed through the power cable to my laptop! - bad dog} i too was trawling the internet for a replacement, but my hubs managed to fix it for a couple of pounds, you can buy a small plastic box from a diy place, cut through the wire where she chewed & then put the wires into this box & hey presto it works again! sure there was a bit more to it but not much, it just makes the cable slightly shorter but is very much cheaper than a new machine!

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    1. Puppies are bad. Great tip on the rewiring, will look into that, I could lose a few inches on the lead, thanks!

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  5. It is gorgeous Kate!! It looks so warm and inviting, perfect for a cozy girl bed!
    I am ready to finally finish my own AMH quilt it is huge and I'm hand quilting which is taking me
    f o r e v e r lol!

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    1. oh you must have the patience of a saint! I'd love to see a picture when it's done

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  6. the quilt is fabulous, I love the design. I havent yet attempted any quilt makin yet but I would love to make one for my kids. Shame about your sewing machine, lucky your dog didn't fry though!...and yes my kids also have the most ridiculous amount of teddies....and yet family and friends still keep buying more every xmas, birthday...aggghh

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    1. Well, this was my first(ish) quilt so give it a go, it's not as hard as I first thought. hmmm maybe your kids are also forming a toy army!

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  7. Great post, glad to here that puppy is still breathing. Would you believe that I have a cow that loves to chew electrical leads! (Yes she also has been zapped)and is still breathing. I totally agree that putting the binding on a quilt is one of the most satisfying pieces to do. It must be the overall accomplishment of the coming to the end of the quilt.

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    1. a cow! oh that's a much better story and a more impressive house pet, well done!!

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  8. Very funny post and the quilt is gorgeous! Love the fabric!

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  9. I love this quilt so much! I'm making one of AMH's similar quilts (Spinning Stars Quilt in a queen size) soon, and I'll be using much of the same fabrics you used. Innocent Crush is one of my favorite lines of all time. Now that I've seen how well the blue and red woodcut prints go together, I'm regretting the two that I chose that will play a similar role in my quilt. I know these fabrics will look beautiful together no matter what, but you are right about those two fabrics going together especially well. Anyway, your quilt is just stunning, and congrats on finishing it up!

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  10. That's fabulous - so lovely and jolly, just what a good quilt should be, I think. All those curved seams!

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