Monday, 13 March 2017

a bittersweet finish






















I am sad and happy that I have finished Sam's quilt. It has been a long term project that kept me busy and happy for many months. I enjoyed every aspect of this project, from choosing the fabrics with Sam to hand stitching the binding. If I had to pick a favourite part, it would probably be hand stitching the binding. I love to remove pin after pin until none are left and the binding is done.

The fabric is from one line, Loominous, designed by Anna Maria Horner. The fabrics are woven (i.e. not prints) and differ in texture and feel, which is lovely. With hindsight, three of the Loominous fabrics are not ideal for a quilt. These have a lovely loosely woven detail that makes them prone to fraying.

I love Anna Maria Horner's designs and have been secretly stocking up on her fabric lines for a while. They are difficult to come by here in the UK. I would love to see more UK suppliers stocking the entire line of a designer, to choose one or two or twelve different fabrics. So many suppliers here just stock one or two fabrics of a line and it is rarely the one I covet. I sometimes like to work with one design line  only because I am lazy I want to honour the work that has gone into creating something whole that goes well together. For my own quilts, I would normally mix and match fabrics but I wanted Sam to choose the fabric and it just seemed less of an effort to show him entire lines rather than letting him rummage through my precious stash. He would have hated that. Teenage time is precious!

For Sam's quilt, I used almost every last scrap of the 27 Loominous fabrics. I used it of for the quilt top, the backing and the binding. Cutting squares is quite economical and there is little waste. The only other fabric I used was a grey sheet from Ikea for the backing. I think it works beautifully with the colourful quilt top and the stripe on the backing.

The quilt top was made with 5 inch half square triangles, arranged to make a diamond pattern. I enjoyed making the half square triangles, simple and effective. The assembly was easy and I think most corners match more or less.

The quilting was all done by hand. I used a smallish running stitch and followed all the seam lines horizontally, vertically and diagonally across the entire quilt. I think it makes a pretty pattern on the grey back, too. If I were to make another quilt with half square triangles, I would probably stitch along the inside of each triangle rather than the long lines I have done here. I used a YLI cotton hand quilting thread, which I liked. This I worked into the quilt with John James quilters needles number 10. These are extra sharp and a pleasure to work with. The eye of the needle is just big enough to thread without a needle threading aid, something I could not do with my other quilting needles, the Clover Gold Eye quilting needle. I hand quilt without a loop because I think the result is softer and has more of a used feel to it. I know this comes with time anyway but I like a quilt to feel well used even if it is not (yet).

I couldn't yet bring myself to hand the quilt over to Sam. I still have the need to look at it, stroke it and enjoy the achievement as I do so. Once it disappears in Sam's man cave, it won't be seen. I don't really set foot in his cave anymore, except to bring him a cup of coffee once in a blue moon or when I urgently need a tea spoon. These seem to be magically attracted to his room, to disappear for ever after.

Thanks for stopping by and saying hello. It is good to see you here. Have a splendid week! x



29 comments:

  1. Oh it's lovely Christina, an absolute ray of sunshine. The colours are glorious, guaranteed to lift any teenage gloom I should think! I absolutely agree about the binding being the best bit, I love it too, taking out the pins to leave soft finished quilt. Nicely done. CJ xx

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  2. It is absolutely beautiful. I wish I had the talent and (more importantly) the patience to undertake such gorgeous project.

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  3. I have been waiting to see this and have been secretly cheering you on! It is fantastic. A boys quilt without looking miserable - I LOVE it. I am hand quilting at the moment but I am quite a way off for a finish. That style of border is a great way to use up scraps, I always do that. Jo x

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  4. You have done an AMAZING job on this quilt Christine! I just love the abundance of colour throughout. I know what you mean about keeping it around to admire for a while longer. Maybe Sam will allow visiting rights to ease your parting. You took such beautiful photos of it too ... such a beauty ;)
    Wendy

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  5. It's beautiful, Christina, and so well made. I love how even and straight your stitches are and how the brilliant colours on every triangle go well together. Well done! x

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  6. It's quite wonderful, love the idea of woven instead of printed design. Hand stitching, oh my, I am impressed. I'm sure he'll love it in his own teenage way, he won't gush, that would not be cool.

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  7. I love that you have made a quilt where the recipient chose the fabric. The result is a quilt which will grow with your son into manhood. You have sewn such love into it that even a teenage boy will appreciate the gift. I too love handstiching the binding but I am a convert to clips rather than pins as they are much less fiddly not to mention lethat than pins! Catriona

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  8. Wow-we! Here's a round of applause from me. :) It's beautiful and will be treasured for sure... once you have mastered the separation anxiety, and actually hand it over, I'm sure another wonderful project is looming!!! Great idea to photograph outside in the natural sunlight, it shows up the colours really well.
    Happy Monday.
    Wren x

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  9. That is fantastic! I love that it's so colourful and I'm impressed by the hand stitching! I thought it looked hand stitched when I saw the photos and thought how lovely it looked and how much work has gone into it! I hope Sam will treasure it.

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  10. It's so beautiful, Christina. Your hand-stitching is meticulous. I am sure Sam will treasure his quilt for a long time to come. You're a wonderful mother.

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  11. Bravo on a gorgeous achievement! I'm sure your son will treasure that quilt for the rest of his life. ((hugs)), Teresa :-)

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  12. You should be so proud of yourself, it is a masterpiece. I understand how you might be reluctant to give it to your son. I knit both of mine big blankets that were promptly tossed on the floor. All Those hours of work and they were a wad of yarn on the floor. Oh well, boys will be boys.

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  13. I love the fact that you hand stitched the quilting. I also like the used, soft look. I can see why you would be reluctant to release it to the man cave.

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  14. I don't blame you hanging on to it for a while; I know a lot about man caves and the disappearing phenomena. No doubt once he gets his beautiful quilt he will stay in his cave even longer. I'm intrigued by your use of thread and needles; clearly I need to do more research into making quilts. The fabric is fabulous by the way. Have a good week, hope your new job is going well. B x

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  15. Oh my goodness, that is beautiful! A masterpiece. I'm sure Sam will love and cherish it. I know what you mean about boys' rooms. I often send my two upstairs with a tray each to bring all the missing crockery back downstairs. S x

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  16. oh my what a beautiful job.. you must be so proud.

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  17. This is one of the nicest quilts I've ever seen Christina. I love all the colours against the steel grey. I don't blame you at all for keeping it to yourself to admire for a little while, after all Sam is going to enjoy it for many many years to come.

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  18. This is beautiful Christina. I'm sure he'll treasure it for years to come. How talented you are!

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  19. I really enjoyed reading about the process Christina - thanks for the details about the hand quilting. I'm going to to get going on another quilt soon and intend to hand quilt it, and so need all the advice I can get. Your quilt is absolutely beautiful and I love how colourful it is. I can understand why you're finding it hard to hand it over!

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  20. It really is beautiful Christina. I can understand your reluctance to hand it over.

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  21. It looks great Christina - a quilt is such a big project! I think it is great that your teenage son wanted you to make one for him.

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  22. WOW! Total love and respect for your talent!

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  23. If a woman who wants to sew needs a chalk pencil I don't mind seeing the price.... Jeez it 'was' dear but is a reasonable investment at the price sold on this link which is where he got it from, I checked our old orders! Jo x
    https://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/product/B00114OUPU/ref=oh_aui_detailpage_o00_s00?ie=UTF8&psc=1

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  24. Congratulations on the lovely finish ! :) I've watched you working on it throughout the winter and it's so bright and cheerful / lucky son, once you manage to give it up :)

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  25. That is so beautiful! I hope he treasures it. xx

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  26. Oh wow, that is stunning! I wouldn't be wanting to part with it either! It's funny how crockery and cutlery seems to be pulled as if by magnetic force to teenage rooms, isn't it? Happens in our house too :-) xx

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  27. You've made such a beautiful quilt. The hand quilting makes a lovely texture and I like the pattern it makes on the back too. I understand your needing to keep it for a while before you give it, it takes time to cut the umbilical on handmade things, especially on a labour of love like this :)

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  28. Oh my goodness Christina, this is just glorious. Sam will treasure it for years to come. The colours are fabulous and so versatile, amd your piecing and stitching are SO neat! Love the grey on the back too, great choice! It is fab! Be proud X

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  29. Oh Christina, it's really beautiful. I just love it. I am pleased to hear how much you enjoyed hand quilting - my only experience with machine quilting didn't come out so well, but I'd love to try again. I hope you've handed the quilt over to Sam by now though! xx

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Thank you for visiting and leaving a comment, I love to hear from you, I really do. I sometimes reply by email but I am not all that reliable... Christina xx