Category Archives: Quilty gifts

Bookshelf Mini Quilt

My friend Cathy, mother of Rachel and Louise, turned fifty recently and I had to commemorate the occasion. Cathy is an incredible writer, so I decided to make her a bookshelf mini, which hopefully she can hang in her writing shed.

Rainbow Bookshelf

Rainbow Bookshelf

I loosely followed the tutorial by Don’t Call Me Betsy and was fortunate to have lots of selvages, sent to me completely gratis by the lovely Alison of Little Island Quilting. (Speaking of Alison, go buy her book, it’s hilarious!)

Book titles

Book titles

The titles are fused on using double-sided fusible and then top-stitched.

I then took this baby to the longarm (which I have used embarrassingly little since forking over all of my savings) and went to town.

Quilting Detail 1

Quilting Detail above the shelf

Quilting Detail below the shelf

Quilting Detail below the shelf

AND! For the first time in nearly five years of quilting, I made a quilt label! My sources tells me it’ll fade because all I did was laser print directly on the fabric without any kind of fixative, but I left it to soak in water for a full day and there was no running or fading, so I’m hoping it’ll stay put. Names unskillfully removed via photo editing to protect the innocent.

Quilt label

Quilt! Label!

My Submission For Blogger’s Quilt Festival

I know there hasn’t been an awful lot happening here on the blog in terms of quilting. This is not to say there isn’t much quilting going on – au contraire, my friends – just that there hasn’t been much photographing going on, which I intend to address in short order.

In the meantime, here’s a bit of a rehash from earlier in the year for my submission to Blogger’s Quilt Festival, under the large quilt category.

I’m still madly in love with this quilt that I made for my brother earlier in the year, in homage to a baby quilt I made a few years ago.

Totem's gradient quilt

Totem’s gradient quilt

Totem 2

Totem’s gradient quilt

I’m also in love with the oversized grid I made for the back and am doing something similar (though slightly more logically sized) with a rainbow quilt I’m working on right now. More on that soon.

Giant squares for the quilt back

Giant squares for the quilt back

Things I am not in love with are my camera and my photography skills. Things I am bored with: talking about it.

I don’t recall the exact measurements of this quilt, but it was somewhere between huge and massive.

The Whine and Cheese Quilt

“The colour of their  bedroom? Uh… sort of yellow? And wine?” said the 16-year-old son of our friends, for whom I was making a surprise silver anniversary quilt.

  1. Are you sure?
  2. Ugh, really?

This quilt was already starting out from the very far corner of the depths of the dog house, because the combination of yellow and wine has never even entered my resolution.

But off I went, rummaging through my stash to find yellow- and wine-coloured fabrics that actually went together. There wasn’t much there, I didn’t think, so off I went to the Dutch fabric market in Freising in the hopes of finding something to go with what little I could find, and found nothing except for background fabric, of which, it would transpire, I bought a questionably small amount.

I was planning to make Tula Pink’s Fade to Pink quilt, except for it needing to be yellow. AND wine. Have I mentioned? About the yellow and the wine? Ugh.

But off I went, reassessing what I had in the stash and buying a massive amount of fabric from Doughty’s Online (great shop), partly for the front and mostly for the back, of which, it would transpire, I would use very little, because the yellow? It was brown. Which I now have in my stash, a stash in which it has no brown to keep it company, because, as lazy daisy says, brown is not a colour.

So I started cutting, and things were looking pretty awful. I had to rearrange a few times and to replace some of the fabrics that just didn’t seem to work together.

The first try was just wrong. The brown. No.

The second try was getting there in terms of the colours, but the darks seemed to overwhelm the lights and the whole thing looked unbalanced. Still the brown’s fault.

The third try had all my bells ringing.

And then I started piecing, and though I wasn’t wholly convinced, it was kind of, sort of looking not terrible.

And then I pieced the top together, and huh. It was kind of okay!

basic top

That’s not terrible at all!

The original pattern is for an 80″x80″ quilt, which would be a little too small, so I had to come up with some creative expansion—I should say this right now: I don’t like quilts with borders—at which point the background fabric shortage reared its ugly head. Luckily there was another Dutch fabric market in Munich, so I rushed off to get some more fabric from the same vendor, only to discover he no longer had it. I wept. Then I bought three meters of a fabric with a different pattern, but the same colours.

When we moved into this house a year and a half ago, I popped into Ikea one day to get some shelving, and found a single yellow duvet set in their returns room. I didn’t have a plan for it but it seemed a good pattern and a good colour so I’d kept it in my stash and thought no more of it. The yellow seemed to work so I popped it out of the packaging, only to find out that it had a yellow-on-white pattern on the reverse! KISMET! I took it all apart and cut a few stripes of the yellow-on-white to make the border strip, then surrounded it by another wide strip of the background fabric, for a finished quilt top of around 95″x95″. In the end the original purchase ended up sufficing. It’s still a border and I’m still not a fan, but it’s subtle enough.

Then I went on holiday and tried to rouse some inspiration for what I would do with the back. I looked for inspiration all over Sweden!

And then we came home and I found it right there, where I had apparently left it!

From there it was a race to the finish. I had less than a week to finish putting together the back, quilting, and binding before the anniversary party. The back took nearly an entire Saturday, and I basted it that same day. I spent the entire Sunday plus three more evenings during the week quilting straight lines in the sashing. I attached the binding on the Wednesday night and started hand sewing the binding the next night. Four episodes of The Good Wife (Hey! SpyDaddy was on The Good Wife!) later, at 1:30am, I was halfway through. The next day we drove up to the party (five hours away) and I sat in the back of the car and did most of the rest. Things you discover when you sit in the back seat sewing: appalling shocks. I did the last meter of binding late into the night once we’d arrived. The next day I sprayed out the water-soluble markings and took it out for a bit of a photo shoot. (Tip from a champ: photographing yellow things outdoors is like one of those Facebook party invites that go viral and a thousand people turn up at your three-bedroom suburban house for the party your parents didn’t know you were having, except they’re bugs.)

But I finished in time for the party and you can add this one to the list of quilts that I didn’t much enjoy making but ended up not wanting to give away.

Finished top

Finished back

Finished back

Quilting detail


(They just called – they loved it!)

Totem’s blue squares

Totem's gradient quilt

Totem’s gradient quilt

Remember the blue squares baby quilt? I knew as soon as I finished it that I wanted to make a full-sized version at some point, and that point came sooner than later when my brother Totem (not his real name)(but close enough) laid it on THICK that he was due a quilt. He was less than impressed when he found out I had made a quilt for our nephew (post pending), and a quilt for Sherry, WHO ISN’T EVEN RELATED TO US, as he was quick to note.

Speaking of Sherry, did I tell you the Germ was nuts? It was my 40th birthday ten days ago and the Germ arranged for several of my friends, Sherry included, AND my parents to come and visit me in Munich to celebrate. File under things I did not see coming. At all.

Anyway, with my parents came an empty suitcase, in which Totem’s quilt was expected to make a return journey to Toronto. No pressure or anything, considering I had the thing about half quilted and was on a break because quilting sucks.

Too windy to hold the quilt up so I draped it on a tree stump

Too windy to hold the quilt up so I draped it on a tree stump

I started working on this quilt in November and it went through several iterations on my design wall until I settled on the final grid. Totem initially wanted a quilt in black/white/red, which is one of my least favourite colour combinations ever. Since I don’t have many reds in my stash, and certainly not enough of a variety to form a gradient, I suggested using blues instead, and he was down with the plan (did I just age myself there? I *am* forty).

Love these blues

Love these blues

I started with blacks and greys and moved on to creams and whites, followed by light blues and dark blues. I finished piecing the top on Christmas eve, and did the back in the new year, which was a scaled up grid going from black to white using the fabrics from the top. Here’s a tip from me to you – make your big squares no bigger than your biggest square ruler. File that one under do as I say, not as I do. It took AGES to measure and cut the back.

Giant squares for the quilt back

Giant squares for the quilt back

The quilting is some not-so-straight straight-line quilting, about a quarter-inch on either side of the seam line (about only because I don’t have a quarter-inch walking foot yet)(not-so-straight because that quilt is HEAVY).

Straightish-line quilting

Straightish-line quilting

I did the quilting in one direction a couple of weeks ago, before the birthday excitement befell me, and finished off the other direction early last week when I realized the deadline was looming. I spent the rest of the week binding, finishing that off on a long car ride this past Friday. For the binding I used a light blue polka-dot fabric, which I didn’t actually use in the quilt but that goes well with all of the fabrics I did use.


Rocking the stump to show off the pretty binding

Rocking the stump to show off the pretty binding

You guys? I’m in love with this quilt, which means that at some point in my future I’m probably going to make another one just like it for me!

Use it well, Totem – Love you!

Sherry’s Colour Block Quilt

Color Block top

I’ve known my friend Sherry since about 2002. She and I used to post on the Television Without Pity (RIP) forums and I’m not entirely sure when she and I started communicating directly, but for the past few years we have chatted online almost daily (sadly not the case since I moved to Munich as I’m not allowed to be on the internets at work). In 2008 she flew up from Atlanta to Montreal to travel a bit with me and the Germ, and in 2011 she and I met in Paris for a few days as well. So that’s about… 9 days we’ve spent in each other’s company in more than a decade, but I consider her to be one of my closest friends.

Back in 2011 she was having a craft supply clearout (you know how I hoard fabric? Sherry is like that, but for about twenty different crafts) and decided to get rid of her fabric, so she put it all in a box and sent it to me in England. The postage alone cost $75, so you can imagine the size of this stash.

Since I had been bombarding the poor girl on our daily messenger chats with links to ALL THE QUILTS, it was quite obvious that I would be making her a quilt from the fabric she sent. Sherry isn’t a quilter so we were discussing (ok, I was discussing, she was probably eating a cupcake and rolling her eyes) quilt construction, and I sent her a link to the free patterns that Tula Pink had posted as part of the lead up to the release of her beautiful Saltwater fabric line, since the design of the patterns showed very clearly how each block is constructed. Seriously, check out the Tula patterns. I love how she designs them (with, ahem, a couple of niggles about this particular quilt pattern).



And so it was decided.

I used some of the fabric from Sherry, some fabrics from my own stash, and some solids that I bought at my (then) local fabric store, where the solids offerings were grim.

Color Blocks top

Color Blocks top

I started constructing the different blocks in May 2013, sneaking them in between other projects, and finished the top in September 2013, right around the time I found out I’d be returning to Munich.

I had so much to do before the move that even though I had just bought my new sewing machine for the very purpose of quilting large quilts, I just knew I would never get it quilted in time, so I farmed out the quilting to the local quilt shop near Preston, Quilters’ Quarters, where Emma did a gorgeous job with an overall rose pantograph. I would have preferred daisies, in retrospect, since they’re Sherry’s favourites, but I wasn’t thinking particularly clearly at the time. Sorry, Sherry! Next one.

Color Block back

Color Block back

I hand-finished the scrappy binding while we were on holiday in the Czech Republic in May of this year, and brought the quilt with me to Toronto recently, to mail from within the continent.

I’ll do a review of the pattern in a separate post to keep this from getting epic.

Loulouthi Tiles – Finished!

It’s official–I handed over the Loulouthi Tiles quilt. It wasn’t without its hurdles, but I absolutely love how this quilt turned out!

Loulouthi Tiles quilt top

Loulouthi Tiles quilt top

This quilt is based on a free pattern from Stitched in Color, and after a bit of thinking, came together very quickly. I was able to piece the top in one day.

The back took about half a day to put together, mostly because I’m daft. It is primarily plain black, with two strips of the tile fabrics, ranging from the purple to the green, going in opposite directions across the top and bottom of the quilt.

Loulouthi Tiles quilt back. No, I don't know what's going on with the colours in this photo. NEON!

Loulouthi Tiles quilt back. No, I don’t know what’s going on with the colours in this photo. NEON!

Top colour stripe.

Top colour stripe.

At the bottom corner is a small embroidered block made by Rachel’s mom to commemorate the occasion, with the embroidery done in thread colours that match the quilt colours.

Bottom colour stripe with dedication

Bottom colour stripe with dedication

For the quilting, I made concentric squares/rectangles in the smaller tiles, and diagonal lines across the three feature tiles. I used 40wt Aurifil thread, with a dark grey in the bottom and a variegated green on top for the blue/green tiles, and a variegated purple for the purple tiles. Sorry–don’t have the numbers handy.

Some quilting detail.

Some quilting detail.

Oddly, the pattern says this makes a 73”x85” quilt, unless you add an extra row of blocks to make it 85”x97”. Well, I didn’t add an extra row and it came out around 85”x95”. Strange. At any rate, that puts it somewhere between a queen and a king size, which you can imagine (and as I related) was a delight to do on my JL250. I am very pleased with how it turned out though. One of the issues with the quilting that I think relates directly to the small machine, is that I wasn’t able to properly stretch the fabric, so in most of the tiles it bunched up a bit between the stitch lines on the outer edges of the tile. I think it looks ok, but it obviously would have looked better if it were flat. perhaps that’ll fix itself when the quilt is washed and shrinks a bit?

Let’s have a chat about this pattern.

I know. I know I shouldn’t look a gift horse in the mouth, since this was a free pattern, but I had to share a couple of problems I had with it. Before I do, though, I’d like to say that the piecing instructions were excellent and it’s a beautiful and fairly simple quilt to put together once you deal with the issues below. I may make it again with different fabric, but at least I’ll know the pitfalls, and may write it out a little differently for myself to help me avoid these problems.

The namesake of this quilt is the Loulouthi fabric line by Anna Maria Horner . Now, I don’t generally buy whole fabric lines. Firstly, because I usually can’t afford them, but mostly, because they give me the feeling that everyone is making the same things. I read dozens of quilting blogs and on a given day, half a dozen will post something they made using the same fabrics and I just get turned off by the same-sameyness of it all. I’m looking at you, Briar Rose; go away!

With that in mind, my problem was that when it came to the fabric requirements, the instructions read:

Let’s first discuss the “half yard or 13”x44” cut. I sketched this out. I went to Visio and did diagrams to see why a half yard cut would be necessary, since I couldn’t see how an extra five inches would be of any use for this quilt, given that the tile lengths are 11.5”. It took me a while to figure out that the reason that half-yard measure is offered is that some stores will only sell fabric in quarter-yard increments, and that a quarter yard, at 9” would be too narrow for the tiles, but I think this should have been qualified with a statement like:

You will only need 13”x44” for the next ten cuts, but if your store only sells in quarter-yard increments, you will have to buy half a yard, as a quarter-yard cut will be insufficient.

Fabric is expensive and with ten different fabrics, that’s nearly a yard and a half in extra fabric that isn’t needed for the quilt, if you are lucky enough to be able to buy fabric in small increments. My local fabric shop, for example, sells in 5” increments.

Next, I wasn’t going to use Loulouthi fabric for this quilt and I assume I’m not the only one, so it would have been easier if this had included instructions to the effect of:

If you are choosing your own fabrics for this quilt, you’ll need one yard each of three feature fabrics, and half yard OR 13”x44”* cuts of ten other fabrics.

This would have saved me having to sit there and count how many fabrics I needed. Yes, the instructions say this quilt uses thirteen fabrics so I could have figured it out once I deducted the three feature fabrics, but I still would have liked this simplified. It’s not unheard of for sewing directions to either be missing steps or to have extra steps that don’t correspond to the fabric requirements, and if I’m going to spend money on fabric, I’m going to double-check. I imagine this quilt pattern was written with that “Purchase bundles at Marmalade Fabrics” line in mind, so it was just assumed quiltmakers would buy the bundle and get on with it, or buy another fabric line bundle that would work equally well, but since I don’t buy fabric lines these fabric requirement required me to put in a fair bit of extra work. I’m hardly a professional quilter, but if I struggled with this, I think new quilters will, too.

But this wasn’t my main problem with this pattern. The cutting instructions were, and in a way, this relates to the fabric selection issue.

Again, these cutting instructions assume you’re using Loulouthi fabric. Since I was using a limited range of colours and needed to make sure that the quilt was balanced and that I didn’t accidentally have all the purples crammed in one corner, I had to map the fabrics in the cutting instructions to the fabrics I had, and to assign numbers to them to check out the balance. In this picture, taken after I’d already done all of this, you can see small blue squares on the tiles, which were my numbering tickets.

Numbered blocks

Numbered blocks

This mapping took me ages to do, mostly because of the way that second bullet is written. In the third bullet, each fabric is listed in a sub-bullet, so it’s easy to map,  but in the second bullet the fabrics are listed in sentence form, which makes it really messy to insert notations into the pattern.

In the end, it all worked out beautifully, but these were just the quibbles that gave me a headache when I was working on this quilt. Am I being too picky? Would you be bothered by these things? Is it ok to criticize something that’s free? Let me know what you think.

In which I am a creepy stalker

So you know how your mother always tells you not to talk to strangers? I’ve met (and not met) some of the nicest people online, all of whom were, at one point or another, complete strangers. There was the time I went to New York with two people I’d only known online, and we stayed with another online stranger. I was twenty seven then and my mother was horrified. She was sure she’d never see me again.

I used to meet people through forums (I’m not telling you which, it’s too embarrassing)(*cough* Television Without Pity, Hamster Time *cough*)(I’m not giving you links. You want to know? Another thing my mother says, frequently, is “look it up.”), but these days I trawl for strangers on Twitter, where I spend entirely too much time (I have a couple of user names, but for quilting follow me on @quiltingrainbow). One guy I’ve been following for a while makes me laugh almost every day. In his humorous way, he’s also been very forthcoming about the difficulties he and his wife were having with carrying a pregnancy to term, so I was delighted to hear that they were expecting a baby and that the pregnancy was going well. Although he doesn’t follow me, we do interact and I really wanted to make the baby a quilt because I was touched by their (admittedly sparing, 140-character at a time) story.

I recognize that sending a gift to a complete stranger who doesn’t follow you on Twitter is somewhat creepy, so before I started cutting fabric I sent a message to his sister (who does follow me on Twitter) to ask what degree of creepy it constituted. She loved the idea and thought it wasn’t creepy at all! She was about to give me his address, but I suggested that perhaps I could use her as an intermediary, because while she thought it was fine, if her brother didn’t, I’d not only be creepy, I’d be creepy and know where he lived.

I asked her for colour suggestions and she replied “purple” without hesitation, so at the Festival of Quilts, while picking up fabric of all description, I also made sure to get a few purple fat quarters (which you can see in the right-hand pile here.

Festival of Quilts loot

Festival of Quilts loot

The plan was to make a 4” square quilt top. I used my Accuquilt to cut up 4.5” squares and played around with the order on my makeshift design wall.

Fabric on the design wall. yay, nighttime pictures with shoddy lighting!

Fabric on the design wall. yay, nighttime pictures with shoddy lighting!

I threw in some squares from Pat Bravo’s Floral Elements in Sand  so that it wasn’t overwhelmingly purple. Here is the finished quilt top, which shows the dark purple squares better. I love that fabric!

Finished quilt top

Finished quilt top

For the back, I stitched an extra row of squares and placed it between a large piece of the Floral Elements and a larger piece of a Robert Kaufman purple polka dot (which I hadn’t used on the top).

Quilt back

Quilt back

Quilting detail--an even better shot of that purple fabric

Quilting detail–an even better shot of that purple fabric

While I normally quilt parallel lines a quarter inch on either side of the ditch when I make baby quilts, I decided to do some tighter diagonal stitching on this quilt, about an inch apart. I had picked up some Aurifil 40wt thread at the festival and wanted to see how it pieces and quilts. The answer is: beautifully. I was horrified by the price of the spool (over £7 for a large spool compared with around £3.50 for the Gutermann thread I use), but holy cow, people, I barely made a dent in the thing. There are 1000m of thread on a large Aurifil spool, which is more than twice as much as the Gutermann, and I think I mentioned that the Gutermann constantly jams my machine, which means that when I chain piece a baby quilt top I need to rethread the top and bobbin threads AT LEAST ten times. Not a single jam from the Aurifil. I’m a convert. Incidentally, I tried the 50wt thread, too, but just couldn’t get it to play nicely with the tension on my machine. I know this is atypical, but that’s just how it goes.

For the binding, I used the Floral Elements again, with a small strip of the lovely dark purple. I wanted to machine bind the entire thing like I had for Oscar’s baby quilt, but this time it was a complete bust. I couldn’t bear the thought of finishing the binding by hand, though, so I did something I kind of hate to do–I top stitched it and left a visible binding line on the back side. I’m not too happy about it, but I kind of wanted to just get it done.

In case you were wondering–It’s a girl!

Work-in-Progress Wednesday

Huh, is it Wednesday already?

I’ve got a few irons in the fire at the moment, but the most pressing one (pressing! harhar!) is getting Rachel’s quilt finished. On Saturday I put together the quilt back (of which I took no photos because… I don’t know). It is, as requested, mostly black, but I added two 2,5″ stripes near the top and near the bottom with scraps from the front, running from purple to green, in alternating directions. I also included a small square near the bottom with an embroidered dedication, made by mom. It took me ages to put the back together, mostly because I’m one of these people who cut first and then measure, but in the end it turned out just fine.

I spray basted the quilt on Sunday morning, which took ages and was really messy because I was doing it on our carpet which is just covered in lint and cat hair. This normally doesn’t show, except when you’re working with black fabric, so there was an awful lot of de-linting as I was getting it ready to quilt. It was so tiring that I took a couple of hours’ break and went to the kitchen to make some stock and jam, only to come back to this:

Kiwi and Schnitzel, sending me a message to take the rest of the day off.

Kiwi and Schnitzel, sending me a message to take the rest of the day off.

How cute are they?! They stayed in that position for a good three hours and I didn’t have the heart to push them off, so I just left them and puttered a bit more. By the time they finally walked away the quilt was completely wrinkled and hairy and I had to press and de-lint it, again. I decided they were giving me a message to take the rest of the day off.

We had a bank holiday on Monday so I started quilting that morning. Because I insist on making things hard for myself, I decided to quilt each block in straight-line spirals. Is that a thing? Not sure what term to use to describe starting on the outside of the square and working in? Concentric squares? Here are a couple of pictures.

Concentric squares. Notice THE ENTIRE QUILT in that six" throat space?

Concentric squares. Notice THE ENTIRE QUILT in that six” throat space? FUN!

You’ll notice I’m using a regular foot, not a walking foot. That’s because the walking foot that came with my machine has nowhere to slot in a guide. Well done, Janome! Ever so helpful to do that so I’ll pony up £40 for an actually usable walking foot! This might explain why I got a bit of squishiness at the start of some of the squares. It’s obviously annoying, but I’m not especially fussed about it.

Things get a little squashy at the start of each block.

I’m using an Aurifil 50wt thread and I honestly don’t know how I ever sewed with Gutermann. It is AWFUL. I tried using it in my machine after I put the quilt aside and it just jammed up constantly. Infuriating. Anyway, for the top I’ve used a variegated blue/green shade and on the back I’m using a dark grey. I’ve only been quilting the blue/green squares so far, but I’ll switch to the variegated purple when I’m ready to tackle these. For the three feature blocks I was thinking of quilting just diagonal lines in one direction, just to switch things up a bit.

I realized this weekend that I’ll need to finish the whole quilt by this weekend as the birthday girl turns 18 on the tenth. NO PRESSURE.



Half-Square Triangle Chevron Quilt

When you’re new to quilting everything looks daunting. You start out making lots of mistakes and doing a lot more work than you need to because you’re guessing how to do things that others have figured out long before you.

I’ve not done a tremendous amount of angled sewing. It’s pretty much been straight lines for me so far, so chevron quilts looked quite complicated, until I came across this tutorial from the Missouri Star Quilt Company.

A couple of years ago, right after I’d learned to sew, I went to a quilt shop with my mom and sister and bought a Tonga Treats 2.5” strip pack, which turned into this (cat not included)(unless you want her; she’s a bit of a beast). My sister bought the matching layer cake, but nearly two years later it had turned into nothing at all. I convinced her that she wasn’t going to do anything with it anyway, so she may as well just give it to me! And she did! And it’s just perfect for this chevron quilt, isn’t it?!

Finished half-square triangles.

Finished half-square triangles.

I didn’t have a white layer cake, so I cut out squares from some white-on-white fabric I had in my stash and got to work. Piecing this quilt took no time at all. I did it piecemeal but I estimate that I had a finished top in about 6-7 hours, including the (minimal) cutting time. You could probably save an hour if you’re working with two sets of layer cakes.

Finished chevron quilt top

Finished chevron quilt top. Special appearance: My piggy slippers.

For the quilting, I followed along the chevron with straight lines, though I admit I just sort of went at it without measuring (I used the sewing guide), so things got a little squishy towards the bottom of each chevron. I used white thread in the white spaces, and matching colours in the coloured sections. It probably took me longer to quilt this quilt than it did to piece it. It just seemed endless, particularly on my sewing machine, which has a tiny, TINY harp.

Quilted chevron quilt

Quilted chevron quilt.

Quilting detail.

Quilting detail.

For the back I used a colourful polka dot fabric. I normally add an extra touch to the back of a quilt to connect it to the top (usually a patched strip using the fabrics from the top) but I had a deadline, plus the backing fabric, though colourful, didn’t really match the colours of the batiks on the front nor was it white, which would have clashed with the leftovers I had.

It's not really finished unless Schnitzel has supervised the quilting.

It’s not really finished unless Schnitzel has planted herself on it while I’m working.

I made the binding out of the leftover strips I had from my sofa project and I’m really pleased with the way it turned out. I originally intended to fully machine bind, but it was taking too long and was looking pretty dodgy, so I hand finished it.

Binding detail. That's the same polka dot as the quilt back.

Binding detail. That’s the same polka dot as the quilt back.

The deadline I mentioned for this quilt was a visit to Toronto, where I left the quilt behind at my parents’ house. I didn’t cajole that layer cake out of my sister because I’m mean, I did it so I could make her a quilt to welcome her to her new/old home in Toronto, to which she’ll be returning after having lived in Israel for over a decade.

Oscar’s Baby Quilt

This baby is kind of my fault. My friends and former colleagues A and J used to be just A and J until I quit to move to England. Guess who hooked up at my going-away party? And three years later, Oscar arrived, so it was only fitting that I would make him a quilt.

I chose colours that more or less went with the colour scheme in their apartment; anything baby-ish would have looked out of place (um, not that I’ve been there for a while–for all I know they’ve turned it bubble gum pink).

I’m partial to 4” square quilts, so for this one I used shades of grey, purple, and green.

Quilt top

The back is made of a green polka dot Tilda fabric, with a vertical line of scraps from the quilt top.

Quilt back

For the quilting, I stitched straight lines, a quarter inch on either side of the seam line. To add a bit of interest, though I’m sure not many would notice, I used purple thread for the upper quilt lines, and green for the lower ones.

Quilting detail

The binding used the same green polka dot Tilda, with a short length of one of the purple fabrics aligned to one of the square rows. I managed to completely machine bind this quilt using the tutorial by Red Pepper Quilts. It wasn’t perfect, but I was really pleased with it. I’ve since tried machine binding two other quilts, to rather disastrous results, so I’m going to have to have a rethink about binding.

Binding detail

Along with the quilt, I sent some fabric cubes that I sewed ages ago and were just sitting in a drawer, waiting for a recipient. Doesn’t he model them all well?