Well goodness me, is that the sun I see shining outside, lighting up the sky and making me feel decidedly cheerier after what started out as a very trying week: car in the garage, locking myself and the Munchkin out of the house, suffering a painful bad back being just the highlights. But hey, today is Thursday, which by my basic mathematics mean one more day to the weekend, one more day to a very expensively fixed car returning and one quilt finished which I can even go outside to hang on the line in the sunshine. I mean a quilt's not a quilt unless it's been a part of the obligatory washing-line-photo-shoot, is it?!
So this was me about an hour or so ago, feeling rather elated that I had only the final few inches of binding to hand sew. Faced with that sunshine and the chance to get outdoors, I was keen to get this quilt polished off this morning. I mean, I only have three more to finish for waiting customers and the small matter of two others on the go for myself! Life's never dull round here.
Before we go outside though, we're going upstairs to the top floor, not in the attic but just grazing the eaves of this much-loved gorgeous house we call home. Not sure we've been in here together before but this is our "Blimp Room" (so named after the Ikea bedding which aged three, the Munchkin declared had "blimps" on it!) It's next door to the Munchkin, in fact I'm rather hoping he might move in here before long as he'd have more room and I could hopefully get him in one of these rather nice old wooden beds rather than his "ladder bed" (another Munchkin-aged-three phrase).
So to explain, the Munchkin is turning another year older next month. Golly, where have the years gone? So I decided it was about time I made him a nice boyish quilt before he gets too teenager-y for this sort of thing and wants hideous camouflage bedding or something. As I mentioned, the Munchy has what he terms a "ladder bed" so it's high up and has enclosed sides, making it deeply unsuitable for showing you his quilt (along with the proliferation of untidy junk in his room). Hence, in the blimp room we find ourselves.
Yes, it's true I've made a quilt without any pink in it. Without any flowers in it. This is a decidedly boyish little photo shoot!
So, the Munchkin's quilt is based on "pinwheels", otherwise known as half-square triangles. Relatively simple to execute so long as you're accurate and get all those points meeting up. There is a good tutorial on this design in the second issue of the online Fat Quarterly magazine.
Each pinwheel block is a mix of a primary coloured polka dot fabric and a cute boyish fabric. There's a fair bit of Cath K cowboy, trains, boats and Stanley the terrier in there, along with a lovely Moda fabric with Spitfires on it (found recently at Fabrics Galore), a fabulous green vintage-style cowboy fabric I hoarded years ago and some dinky multi-coloured toadstool fabric sent to me by my sister just this week. Oh, and because the Munchkin's first love is cars, a couple of fabrics with cars on searched for and found on good old eBay. Oh and a 1930's style fabric in yellow with dogs. Think that's it!
I've backed it with cosy white flannel and hand bound the edges with a red bubbly fabric.
I wanted this quilt to have movement to it, so that it would interest the Munchkin whilst he's cosying up in it. So, I chose the pin wheels, lots of different brightly coloured cottons and was gearing myself up to have a go at free motion quilting it, you know, to give it that bunched-up, squiggly look. Then Fat Quarterly's blog came to my rescue with a technique for quilting in wiggly lines by altering a basic zig zag stitch on the machine. So, I gave it a go. I used a slightly smaller stitch length of three, and found the fabric bunched up a lot even though I used a walking foot but it has given a good old-fashioned wrinkly look to the quilt and I think the Munchkin is going to enjoy tracing those wiggly lines!
I would have made the quilt bigger if it was to go on this single bed but as it has to fit inside the ladder bed and cannot drape down over the edge, I have made it narrower.
Outside then, into the sunshine for a bit of washing line action!
I'm really pleased with the quilt, it's so bright and cheery and it feels gorgeously soft and no doubt it will be even softer once it's been washed (and loved!)
Here's the wavy line quilting which you can see more clearly on the back of the quilt. If anyone else does this, I'd be interested to hear your tips on how far apart it's best to space the lines and what stitch length you prefer.
Doggy decided it was time for walkies!
So, there it is, the Munchkin's first quilt, all ready for lots of snuggling! I can't wait to give it to him- patience, patience- though I guess I should be prepared for it being beaten into second place in the birthday pressie prize list by that ginormous box of "World Racers" Lego hiding in the cupboard!