At last. The quilt is finished. I put the final stitches in this morning. I am soooo grateful to my friend Lucy for helping me with the final stages, as I had got completely stuck. I think making a very large quilt as my first was a bit ambitious. But with Lucy's guidance, I got there in the end.
The backing is a piece of linen. We have a brilliant market stall in nearby Stamford where you can buy thick linen for £10 a metre. Because my quilt was a double, and I hadn't bought quite enough fabric, we had to join two pieces together on the back to make the square large enough.
The quilt is not bound, as many are, so to finish it, I had to put the right sides of the fabric together, then I sewed around the edges, and turned it inside out, just like a large duvet cover without the duvet in the middle. Every stitch has been done by hand, apart from the joining of the backing fabric.
It is far from perfect, I have wobbly lines, the corners are not razor sharp, and there are some strange puckers and gathers in some of the squares, but I still feel a real sense of achievement.
It started out like this. I sewed the squares everywhere. On trains when Jack was going to his uni open days. In the car and while waiting anxiously for a friend to have tests in hospital...happy times, sad times.
The best bit was collecting all the fabrics together, and then as the number of squares grew, setting them out on the floor and seeing how they fitted together. I had a break last summer and then all through the last winter, I would stitch while watching TV. Breaking Bad, The Bridge, Borgen, it's seen me through them all!
Most of the fabric is second hand. I had a theme of red and then it was a case of anything goes. I found scraps at car boot sales, in charity shops, and at antiques fairs. I have a few favourite stalls which always had a fabric treasure to add to the mix.
Even the cottons I used were second hand. I just bought some new quilting thread to do the quilting stitches and some quilt pins, which were very useful.
I 'signed' the quilt...not sure it will last long enough to become an heirloom though!
The tools of my trade. I've become really fascinated with quilts now. And although I said I wouldn't do another one, I just bought this children's book which explained all about quilt blocks, and how to make them....
Hmmm, it's sorely tempting....if I did it again I would:
* try to be more accurate in making templates and cutting out
* make a smaller quilt
* finish by binding the edges
But it has been hugely enjoyable, and I am very pleased with my happy red quilt.