Friday, 9 March 2012

A calendar quilt of kittens

Goodness me, what have I done?
In 2010, World of Cross Stitching magazine gave away a diary featuring twelve little designs of Nelson and Tibbs. I like a portable project for  my commute to work, and I thought these would be ideal. So far so good.
By mid-March I had finished the twelve, and as by that time we found we were pregnant, I thought that taken as a set they would look good as a wall hanging for the nursery. Again, so far so good.
The next bit is a bit hazy, but I suspect it has something to do with the excellent and beguiling Fatquartershop and resulted in a package arriving containing a jelly roll, 3 yards of backing fabric, and a pattern book.
The pattern was perfect. Almost. I set about altering it so that the central squares could accommodate the cross-stitch panels – they needed to be bigger.
And then my head exploded, as I realised that that meant the inner framing needed to be longer as well, which meant I had just enough fabric. Just. But only if I juggled everything around a little and made not even one little mistake.
Combine that with the embroidered panels and the fact that I had only been using a sewing machine for a week and my rotary cutter was still in its packaging. No pressure.
After a couple of sessions of stitching and unpicking, and slightly more than one little mistake, I very sensibly and calmly put Nelson and Tibbs (temporarily) into the “Work in progress” pile.
Now that the baby is nearly 18months old, and far, far more interested in diggers than kittens, I thought now would be a great time to dust the pair off and get the quilt finished.
The thing is enormous – laying it out took up most of our double bed.
Certainly too big to hang on a wall!
And its been a rescue job at every stage. My seam allowances have been just a fraction over ¼ inch, which, given that every alternate block is made of 5 jelly strips (that’s four seams) has meant I’ve had to trim all the blocks down by ¼ inch. Which is just as well because the piecing on the first embroidered blocks was so dodgy that even working to the smaller size, it required considerable fudging and ingenuity to get it all together.

 Trimming and finessing

Fudging the seam allowances

But now its nearly there. I have a back, a front, and a juicy roll of binding, and am wiating for delivery of my batting. Oh, and a free motion quilting foot.
Juicy binding

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