When people ask me what craft I least enjoy, I tell them patchwork and quilting. Without hesitation. I just don't have the patience for it, and all of my past efforts have been epic and utter fails. I absolutely boggle at some of the quilts I've seen - amazing, beautiful, intricate ones that look like they'd take a lifetime to complete. Obviously made by very serious quilters with superhero-like quilting abilities, abilities that I am sadly lacking.
My effort above (if you could even call it *that*) was more an exercise in using up some gorgeous cotton fabrics my friend Sarah handed over to me, before she moved house, and other bits and pieces about the place. Amongst other things, Sarah gave me some lovely florals which I was hoping to make into pretty bloomers for Sophie, but Sophie has gained a dress size since I last made her some duds, and I couldn't quite squeeze a size three pattern onto some of the pieces I was given.
Knowing my dark history with patchwork and quilting, I was determined not buy a single thing in order to make this up. I was ninety percent sure it would end up in the bin.
Besides the fabrics Sarah gave me, I also had some fabric scraps of my own that have been cramping my style for some time. Spots and stripes in reds and blacks-and-whites that I've just gotten sick of looking at. All of the pieces were cut into five inch squares, sewn into rows, and then the rows sewn into a big rectangle.
I didn't use batting, instead I used an old cot blanket of Sophie's. It's not a very nice one, actually - it's not soft and scrumfy at all. It's more like one of those horrid hard things that are used in hospitals which feels like it's been through an industrial washer ten thousand times, which is probably why I never used it when she was a baby. For the backing, I again raided Sophie's old cot linens and just used an old, clean sheet.
When it came to quilting it, I googled up on machine-quilting. I was no way going to spend hours hand-quilting my inevitably funny-looking quilt, so machine quilting was definitely the way to go. The general consensus was that I would need to use a walking foot. Errr, a what? What the heck is one of those?! Whatever it is, it was going to cost me thirty to eighty bucks. Nup, no thanks. I just ran it through the Janome the way I sew everything, using generic foot 'A' (although I did use a quilting guide tool that came with my machine, to help keep the seams straight. Mostly.)
Then I bound around the edges with some more fabric from my Sarah, before throwing it into the washer and line-drying it to make it all puckered and wrinkly.
As you can see, the colour and print combination suck, and will serve as a constant reminder as to why my favourite colour is any and all shades of grey.
And because of that awful blanket I used instead of batting, it's not turned out to be one of those nice, squishy quilts you lie under, but rather one you sit on. Good for picnics, or living room tea-parties with the friendlies, or just general swanning about on without any real purpose at all.
It's not quite worthy of the trash, but comes close. (And just to clarify, I'm still talking about the quilt).