The Things That Matter quilt is pieced, backed, trimmed, quilted, bound and labelled. The girl secured her Gold Mathletics award whilst I was sewing the label on today and promptly reminded me that I was in breach of our agreement. So the quilt was handed over, and tomorrow I shall sneakily wash and dry it while she’s at school. It’s looking very one-dimensional at present and really needs that lived in, loved, and laundered crinkle. So I shall be washing it at a slightly higher temperature than I feel comfortable with, and will tumble it regardless of how much of a good drying day it might be outside. What’s needed here is a bit of shrinkage.
What follows is a whistlestop tour of its production. I started at the end of January, if memory serves me right, and it’s all but done today 17th March.
Making the top. I used 34 fabrics for the piecing, about six of which were in my stash, the remainder were shiny new fat quarters. Yes, I probably have enough left to make a cot size quilt in stripes. Yes, you surely could do it with rather fewer fabrics. I followed the quiltingdad wonky log cabin tutorial and it worked pretty well for me.
Sashing presented a couple of issues for me. Firstly, I made a rooky geometry error and ended up with half my strips being too short. Luckily the shop had a scant metre of fabric left on the bolt and I could buy a rescue from my own stupidity. Secondly, once each 12.5” square was sashed, it become too big to trim to size using my square ruler. So there was a lot of squaring and swearing at the cutting mat on the kitchen table as I wore grooves into the cutting mat and wore out the blade on my rotary cutter.
Making the wadding “sandwich” and tacking all three layers together took much, much longer than I’d expected. Sewing it to the living room rug didn’t help. The effort paid off though. My wadding is bamboo, as I think natural fibres are safer for children’s bedding. The backing fabric, chosen by Small Girl, is Robert Kaufman Spot On Extra Wide in Aqua, which had the glorious advantage of being wide enough for me to cut the whole piece sideways. Thanks go to my parents who generously paid for wadding and fabric, and to my mother’s Good Housekeeping Encyclopaedia of Needlecrafts which guided me through the long process of getting the three layers ready to quilt, and the hand-quilting itself. I used an entire small reel of tacking thread before I even started quilting.
Quilting was by hand, and very minimal. The wadding specified stitching no further apart than 8”, I quilted the centre square of each panel, a larger square a couple of rounds out, and up and down the entire grid of sashing. There was enough going on in the quilt-top without adding in a lot of ambitious machine quilting. I used Guterman Sulky thread, in various shades of pink and cream.
Binding was more straightforward than I’d anticipated. I don’t have a link for a tutorial for making the binding but there are plenty out there. I used left over 2.5” and 3” fabric strips, trimmed them to 2.25” and made double-fold binding. The strips were cut on the straight grain and I joined them diagonally to reduce bulk and stress. Then I folded the 5.5metres of pink ribbon in half lengthwise, right sides out, and pressed it. Finally I rolled it up, which was a mistake (the binding twisted as I worked it). I found a great video on ShinyHappyWorld for binding the quilt and followed it to the letter. I have mitred corners!
Labelling was fun. I love the look of the ticker tape quilts, where edges are left unfinished, and wanted to use this idea for my labels. Being somewhat of a control freak cautious by nature, my version of “unfinished” turned out to be a machine embroidered border with an outer pinked edge, and back-stitching being used to secure the labels. On the right hand top corner is a rogue fairy, and who doesn’t need a rogue fairy under their quilt to encourage sweet dreams? This was my tiny gesture towards a pieced back. The label proper is on the bottom left hand corner. The quote is from Debi Gilori’s book “No Matter What”. I’m also going to attach a “Stitched with Love” label that I won over at GrosgrainGreen ‘s Sew Grateful giveaway, but I need to wash the quilt before I can tell where to sew that one.