I finally finished this damn quilt. This is the first time I’ve had issues making a quilt and I seemed to get a ton of them (along with lack of time to work on it) so rather than getting it to my sister before she had her son it arrived with them two weeks after he was born.
This is the best full length picture I could get as my quilt holding assistant has short arms and had to stand on the sofa to hold it up! The pattern is this one, I can’t remember where I bought it from now. It’s a pretty simple pattern really and should have been quick to make as it’s only throw size.
My first issue was with the fabric. It is Bungle Jungle and when I went to cut it every colour of two of the prints were seriously off grain. I have never had fabric so wonky before and as I was cutting strips it was pretty noticeable. I contacted the manufacturer about the issue and they replaced two yards for me of one of the prints I was having issues with as they were running low on stock. The other off grain print was the elephants so I cut had to cut them off grain so they appear straight in the quilt. I don’t think you can notice it too much in the finished quilt unless you look really really hard but it wasted a lot of time what with waiting for new fabric to arrive from the States and having to take extra time with the cutting. The plaid is also totally off grain but it’s so bright I chose to ignore that fact and hopefully it looks ok!
Once I got going with it I discovered that at some point my sewing machine had decided that tension wasn’t something it needed to worry about and some of the stitching was coming loose. I re-stitched what I found as I went which took extra time and some bits I actually had to hand stitch together as I didn’t notice them until it was too late to re-stitch, total headache and very annoying to say the least. I’m hoping it won’t totally fall apart and end up in pieces before the nephew is done using it but I think it may need repairs at some point…
I somehow managed to have a few minutes of totally not paying attention and sewed one of the rows together wrongly, I was trying to alternate the way the blocks faced and that row doesn’t work right. Then when I was sewing the end pieces on I blanked out again and sewed them onto the sides rather than what I had planned as the top and bottom… Luckily the middle piece is a square and when I looked at it I actually liked the way it made the middle look more random so I left it, plus by that point I was reaching high frustration levels with this quilt and just wanted to get it done!
I attached the binding by machine but this time I flipped it over to the back and sewed it down whereas every other quilt I’ve done I sewed it down on the front. I like the way it looks sewn down on the back so I think I will carry on using this method from now on. I wanted quite a narrow binding as there is already a lot going on in the quilt so I cut it two inches wide which I think works for such a small quilt.
The pattern calls for 8 yards of backing fabric for a throw sized quilt. I contacted the designer to ask about it (her email was on the pattern saying you could contact her if you had questions, I didn’t hunt her down and pester her!) and she said she uses industry standard yardage for her quilt back requirements. As I’d picked a non-directional print for the back I managed to do it with 3 yards (I had worked it out before buying the fabric so I didn’t buy more than I needed luckily) with the seam running across the middle of the quilt.
My original plan for the quilting was to do squares diagonally but after I’d finished the first set of rows I decided that it actually was heavily enough quilted with just those and had I done the second set I think it would have made it quite stiff. I pieced with Aurifil 50wt thread and quilted with 40wt using white on the front and cream on the back and did the rows 3cm apart and I’m happy with the way it came out. The batting is Quilters Dream Cotton Natural Select which is the slightly heavier weight for that brand as I like my quilts to be a little bit thicker and poofier rather than totally flat.
So, in the end I am happy with it, my sister says she loves it and hopefully the nephew will get a few years of use from it. I did the throw size as it’s the right size for the toddler bed which he will inherit when he needs it, plus I gave them all my Grobags anyway so he won’t need a cot quilt!
It feels like a dam has been moved out of the way of my sewing now this is finished and I have a few more things to show you and have been making progress on other projects so I’ll be back soonish to show you what else I’ve been up to!