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Thursday, 13 March 2014

And finally....


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.

79 comments:

  1. It looks beautiful - so colourful and all the more special because of the memories 'sewn' into it.

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    Replies
    1. That is the great thing about quilts, and it's what I always think about when I see one for sale...

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  2. Gorgeous quilt - I love all the reds. Hopefully, it will become a family heirloom even if it becomes worn and is repaired!
    xXx

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  3. Love it.. it's so pretty.. well done. :o)

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  4. Wow, it's amazing, can't believe it's your first quilt! Please don't put yourself down ... looks pretty perfect to me xxxx

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    Replies
    1. Thanks Claire! I've had a lovely reaction to the quilt.

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  5. Well Done Fiona, you must have such a sense of achievement your first quilt is a beauty.

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  6. It is lovely . . . so cozy and I love the bright and cheerful colors :)
    Great job!

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  7. It's so pretty. Love the bright colours, being a colour girl myself.
    Jacqui x

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    Replies
    1. Hi Jacqui, I'm definitely with you there, always drawn to colour, more so now than ever before!

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  8. Do you know I think this is one of the loveliest quilts I have ever seen on the net. It is relaxed and beautiful you should be so very proud of yourself.

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  9. Your quilt is gorgeous, it's inspired me to give it a go (though think I'll start off smaller!!).I'm hopeless with a sewing machine, so it was really nice to see your quilt was mostly hand sewn. What is the book you show at the end?

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  10. I'd really recommend making one. It was all hand stitched, apart from that back join, and if you made a smaller one, you wouldn't even have to do that.Much more relaxing than using a machine, although admittedly much slower as well! The book shown is called Stitch by Stitch by Jane Bull, Dorling Kindersley. It's absolutely brilliant, it explains all the basics and has easy to follow diagrams.

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    Replies
    1. Thank you, just had a peep on Amazon, it looks just my level!! :-)

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  11. well done you! ...your quilt is stunning , a labour of love and an heirloom for the future... I am so impressed
    I will have to try one day
    Thea xx

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  12. I love the fabrics you chose and and you must be delighted to have made something so beautiful and learnt new skills in the process. I went to Rye with eldest son on thursday to a wonderful shop called Merchant and Mills and bought some ticking and linen and some lovely haberdashery bits and my Mothers old Bernina is in for a service so I will be all set for some spring sewing. I am looking forward to seeing what you make next. xx

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    Replies
    1. Hi Karen, I ordered some Merchant and Mills bits and pieces after reading about it on Hettie Brown's blog! You're very lucky to be close enough to visit the shop!! The website is gorgeous enough. It would be lovely to hear about the things you make. I am currently deciding what my next project will be. I've just been to a jumble sale and picked up a big bundle of fabrics for £1. The quilt has given me a lot of confidence to do more.

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  13. Wow... what a project and so very beautiful! I'm inpressed and would like to make one myself.Who knows....maybe a smaller version! Anita xx

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  14. Thanks Anita. I would recommend making a quilt, a small one would be lovely. I missed having something to work on so much that I am now making a tiny version for a doll's bed. Fiona x

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  15. What a beautiful quilt, I love the reds!
    Thanks for sharing
    Caz xx

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  16. It's a beautiful quilt and you must be so pleased to have finished it. You have inspired me to get back to mine!

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    Replies
    1. That's wonderful Jacqui. I want to start another one now (but my garden needs so much attention I am not sure it's such a good idea to have another distraction :))

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  17. Wow and wow....something i am always inspired by and scared of in equal measures...in awe of your fabulous achievement!
    Daisy xx

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  19. I love, love love this! I can't believe this is your first full size quilt, you must be so proud, congratulations!

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    Replies
    1. That's a lovely thing to say. Thank you :)

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About Me

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I'm a freelance journalist living in a village in East Northamptonshire with my husband and youngest son. I love visiting car boot sales, auctions and markets and writing about my inexpensive finds, and also some small craft projects and my attempts at watercolour painting and patchworking. I'm the editor of a local magazine, so I find out about loads of interesting things that are happening in my community, some of which I share here, too.