Tuesday, December 22, 2015

Cabin Fever

In the process of piecing this quilt together, I threw the biggest, most magnanimous temper tantrum that puts my Irish twins to shame. When living with toddlers do as toddlers do, right? Now, I honestly can't remember why. I know it had something to do with the sashing, and a couple of the squares don't line up quite right, but the proverbial straw is elusive.

In the end it looks okay, I hope. I spent so much time on this quilt. Actually, focusing on each step, to ensure that I didn't botch it last minute. Good intentions and all that. Of course the one little step I chose to overlook is pretty much the most important. Karma.

Originally, this quilt was for Nins, but upon closer inspection of my children's bedroom they each have piles upon piles of blankets on their beds, all of them handmade, three made by me. So this one is designated to the living room, keeping friends with the Cozy Cottage blanket. They're best buds.

Sewing is hard. Quilting is harder. I lack the patience for it, but I'm learning. I'm not sure why. I don't seem to have the passion that many of my favorite sewist/bloggers have. I'm a bit into metaphors so the I find the idea of taking something, fabric, yarn, floss and turning it into something else appealing. A creative outlet. Stress inducing stress relief.

Anyway, about this quilt. I bought the fabric from various places and have no idea about the brand names. I tend not to notice them too much unless I'm making something really specific or if I see something that I absolutely love. (Anyone else totally and completely anxiously awaiting the release of Somer by Sarah Jane. I swear that lady can do no wrong.)

The color scheme is reminiscent of one my earliest memories living in the UK. I was playing in the garden (which my mother had carefully cultivated with beautiful flowers that she can tell you the names of) when clouds covered the sun, so I ran inside and changed into warmer clothes, continued playing, then the sun reappeared, and I ran inside to change back into the warm-weather clothes. I must have changed at least half a dozen times. The mix of the grey and yellow and "rain-drops" and flowers all remind me of that memory. And the strawberries, oh the fresh strawberries.

I followed what I think is the typical Log Cabin fashion with 3 inch squares in the middle surrounded by 2 inch strips. One (or maybe two) of the blocks got a little off somehow so I had to add an extra strip to one side before adding the border to the sides. Sew and learn, and all that.

I used a flat sheet I picked up from a local thrift store as the backing and hand-quilted the squares. I was surprised to learn that one of the local quilting stores does not carry hand-quilting thread and received such a look of confusion and was pretty much told it was a waste of my time, which I guess it would be when you have uber fancy machines that can guarantee you a finished quilt in four days or it's free. But I like hand quilting. Or at least I liked it until I poked a hole in my finger, thimbles are around for a reason. I used a scrappy binding of all the left over 2 inch strips and discovered a super cool tutorial from Missouri Star Company on binding using one of the fancy stitches. I am pretty pleased about the binding. For some reason that is the part that scares me most on quilts and I was glad to switch it up from straight stitch.

So that brings my quilt count for this year to the grand total of ONE. Wowzas. I really didn't do the half of what I wanted. Better luck next year! I already have plans and fabric so hopefully I will manage to complete more than one in 2016. 


  1. I think your quilt is gorgeous and I know exactly what you mean about stress inducing stress relief. I have been known to lose my temper at some ill behaved yarn or fabric - but I love it nonetheless!

  2. Woo hoo! It's a gorgeous quilt and with toddler twins one quilt is a very impressive output for the year - it's all about the process anyway :)

  3. Your quilt is lovely. No matter the mistakes, I have never made an ugly quilt! They all turn out beauties because they are useful and handmade. Good luck with your quilting…keep sewing!

  4. We you are one better than me. I have been making a quilt for a few months now for my eldest, I missed his birthday and now it will not be ready for Christmas either!

    Your quilt is gorgeous I love the colours, they remind me of English summers too. I don't think it matters if you make mistakes after all quilts were originally entirely handmade and probably done all by eye so were full of 'mistakes' I'm sure!