Wednesday, 1 January 2014

Quilts of Christmas past

Happy New Year to you all. I hope you've had a wonderful few days and are now full of positive resolutions for 2014. I'm sticking with just my Christmas Eve resolution of being organised for next Christmas in good time! That's not to say I don't have lots of other plans and hopes and ideas for the coming year, but my particular resolve is the Christmas organisation one. I think the others will happen with much less resolve required! So I'm afraid I don't have any amazingly motivational New Year gems for you.

But if you are in need of any New Year inspiration, Sam and I organised a New Year's Eve quiz yesterday, for extended family entertainment while we all tried to stay up till midnight (children managed the staying awake bit much better than grown ups!). One of the quiz categories was quotes (I love quotes), so here are a few of my favourite (inspirational) quote questions from yesterday.

Which Nobel prize and Oscar winner said: "You see things and you say, 'why?' But I dream things that never were and I say, 'why not?'"

Which children's writer said: "If you have good thoughts they will shine out of your face like sunbeams and you will always look lovely."

Which Russian said: "Everyone thinks of changing the world, but no one thinks of changing himself..."

Who said (and this is probably my favourite, favourite): "Don’t waste your time looking around for something you want that can’t be found, when you find out you can live without it and go along not thinking about it".

And lastly, who said: "Imagination is more important than knowledge." 

But enough of the New Year resolution talk, this was going to be a week of quilts, so back to it. While hunting for (but not so far finding) photos of my previous elephant quilt, I found some other photos of quilt presents from last year.

I think this particular quilt was one of my favourites ever to make.

I made it in the same way this dolls quilt was made:

Scrap Buster Month « Sew,Mama,Sew! Blog
Find details here on my Pinterest.

But on a larger scale, and with lots of random shapes rather than the more uniform version above. I just spray glued the 3 layers of the quilt sandwich together right at the start - white sheet on the top, wool blanket in the middle and vintage sheet for the backing. The key is making sure your 'sandwich' is all very secure at this point. Then I had fun using up scraps of lots of my favourite bright fabrics, picking one at a time, sometimes cutting them to a particular shape and sometimes not, and just sewing them, one at a time, on to my quilt sandwich. I just sewed them with an ordinary running stitch, so the shapes all have raw edges.

Apart from the fact that I got to use up lots of lovely scraps and to make it up as I went along, the other reason this quilt was so much fun to make was that the method really lends itself to creating flaps and pockets and hidden goodies within the quilt, perfect for a young child's quilt.

This heart is hidden under one of the squares, which is only sewn down on one of its sides.

The flap is made up of 2 squares sewn right sides together before sewing the one side down on the quilt.
And here's a pocket, so with 3 of the sides sewn down. There's a little bird attached on a long strip of fabric, which tucks away to hide in the pocket.

I vaguely remember the green square above being a flap too, with a big, juicy caterpillar hiding underneath for the bird to find and peck at! Sorry, no photos of it, you'll just have to use your imaginations.

This mouse is another creature hiding...

 I've got a feeling there was a snail somewhere, and I think a butterfly too. But it's the kind of quilt you could hide whatever you wanted away - animals, fairies, insects, dinosaurs or maybe just words, perhaps even in a story.

Sewing the shapes on creates the quilting lines, so you get lots of interesting shapes showing through in stitching on the back. And then once you've finished sewing on the scraps all you have to do is bind it. This quilt seemed to lend itself perfectly to multicoloured binding, made up of all the different fabrics used.

I've got half an idea for a quilt along the same principles going round my head at the moment. The same general principle but in a larger and more grown up way. Not sure how soon it will happen, but hopefully soonish.

I'll be back with another quilt tomorrow.

P.S. I was going to give you the answers to the quote questions here, but I'm feeling partly tired and partly mean so I'll wait till tomorrow to tell you! Maybe you know some of them already? And if you've got any good resolutions - make more quilts this year perhaps?! - pop them in a comment if you feel like sharing them.


  1. Only know the Dahl quote, am so uneducated!

    1. Can't believe you don't know my favourite one - your children are having a deprived upbringing obviously!


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