I started the quilt topper back in February when the cold nights of winter seemed far away indeed. I used a mix of Heather Ross fabrics and some vintage pieces I had collected from thrift shops over a period of a few months. I had the squares sewn together in a couple of days. And then it sat, for 5 months, in my craft cupboard where it would look at me accusingly every time I reached inside to grab something. I borrowed beautiful books on quilting from the library and watched many a YouTube tutorial but I could never gather up enough motivation to finish it.
On a craft shopping trip a couple of weeks ago I decided on impulse to get it finished for Jemima's birthday and I bought the cotton and wool wadding there on the spot. What I didn't really think about at the time was that it was school holidays, meaning zero secret squirrel sewing time. The week before the big birthday was a rush of party planning, school holiday entertaining, and stolen minutes furiously stitching downstairs when I thought no one would notice. I really had no idea what I was doing, and as it's my first quilt I wanted to learn as I went. I started with some machine quilting (with no walking foot, which I will never attempt again), then I made some bias binding which I hand stitched on, and finished with some tying.
It's not perfect. It's no where near perfect. But it's made with love and Jemima adores it, which is all that really matters in the end.
Things I discovered:
- If they ever decide to canonise people for Craft Sainthood my younger sister should be first in line. She single-handedly machine quilted a queen size quilt for our mum last month on her little Brother machine, on a small kitchen table, with no walking foot. And it looked amazing.
- You can't have too many safety pins basting the whole deal together.
- Cut the backing fabric and wadding bigger than the top. Trust me.
- Even if you can see all of the imperfections and ugly bits, it's likely that no-one else can.
- And.. quilting makes me swear like a sailor. That's all.