Thursday, 30 September 2010

One for my Baby

Well goodness me, is that the sun I see shining outside, lighting up the sky and making me feel decidedly cheerier after what started out as a very trying week: car in the garage, locking myself and the Munchkin out of the house, suffering a painful bad back being just the highlights. But hey, today is Thursday, which by my basic mathematics mean one more day to the weekend, one more day to a very expensively fixed car returning and one quilt finished which I can even go outside to hang on the line in the sunshine. I mean a quilt's not a quilt unless it's been a part of the obligatory washing-line-photo-shoot, is it?!

So this was me about an hour or so ago, feeling rather elated that I had only the final few inches of binding to hand sew. Faced with that sunshine and the chance to get outdoors, I was keen to get this quilt polished off this morning. I mean, I only have three more to finish for waiting customers and the small matter of two others on the go for myself! Life's never dull round here.

Before we go outside though, we're going upstairs to the top floor, not in the attic but just grazing the eaves of this much-loved gorgeous house we call home. Not sure we've been in here together before but this is our "Blimp Room" (so named after the Ikea bedding which aged three, the Munchkin declared had "blimps" on it!) It's next door to the Munchkin, in fact I'm rather hoping he might move in here before long as he'd have more room and I could hopefully get him in one of these rather nice old wooden beds rather than his "ladder bed" (another Munchkin-aged-three phrase).

So to explain, the Munchkin is turning another year older next month. Golly, where have the years gone? So I decided it was about time I made him a nice boyish quilt before he gets too teenager-y for this sort of thing and wants hideous camouflage bedding or something. As I mentioned, the Munchy has what he terms a "ladder bed" so it's high up and has enclosed sides, making it deeply unsuitable for showing you his quilt (along with the proliferation of untidy junk in his room). Hence, in the blimp room we find ourselves.

Yes, it's true I've made a quilt without any pink in it. Without any flowers in it. This is a decidedly boyish little photo shoot!

So, the Munchkin's quilt is based on "pinwheels", otherwise known as half-square triangles. Relatively simple to execute so long as you're accurate and get all those points meeting up. There is a good tutorial on this design in the second issue of the online Fat Quarterly magazine.

Each pinwheel block is a mix of a primary coloured polka dot fabric and a cute boyish fabric. There's a fair bit of Cath K cowboy, trains, boats and Stanley the terrier in there, along with a lovely Moda fabric with Spitfires on it (found recently at Fabrics Galore), a fabulous green vintage-style cowboy fabric I hoarded years ago and some dinky multi-coloured toadstool fabric sent to me by my sister just this week. Oh, and because the Munchkin's first love is cars, a couple of fabrics with cars on searched for and found on good old eBay. Oh and a 1930's style fabric in yellow with dogs. Think that's it!

I've backed it with cosy white flannel and hand bound the edges with a red bubbly fabric.

I wanted this quilt to have movement to it, so that it would interest the Munchkin whilst he's cosying up in it. So, I chose the pin wheels, lots of different brightly coloured cottons and was gearing myself up to have a go at free motion quilting it, you know, to give it that bunched-up, squiggly look. Then Fat Quarterly's blog came to my rescue with a technique for quilting in wiggly lines by altering a basic zig zag stitch on the machine. So, I gave it a go. I used a slightly smaller stitch length of three, and found the fabric bunched up a lot even though I used a walking foot but it has given a good old-fashioned wrinkly look to the quilt and I think the Munchkin is going to enjoy tracing those wiggly lines!

I would have made the quilt bigger if it was to go on this single bed but as it has to fit inside the ladder bed and cannot drape down over the edge, I have made it narrower.

Outside then, into the sunshine for a bit of washing line action!

I'm really pleased with the quilt, it's so bright and cheery and it feels gorgeously soft and no doubt it will be even softer once it's been washed (and loved!)

Here's the wavy line quilting which you can see more clearly on the back of the quilt. If anyone else does this, I'd be interested to hear your tips on how far apart it's best to space the lines and what stitch length you prefer.

Doggy decided it was time for walkies!

So, there it is, the Munchkin's first quilt, all ready for lots of snuggling! I can't wait to give it to him- patience, patience- though I guess I should be prepared for it being beaten into second place in the birthday pressie prize list by that ginormous box of "World Racers" Lego hiding in the cupboard!


  1. WOW another amazing quilt hen .. you do realise that i will be ordering again very soon again for my little man this time ..
    Have a great wkend

  2. I bet the Munchkin will love it to bits after all the love that you put into it Hen. x

  3. Lovely quilt and lovely dog and you are so lucky having a lovely big house ! all lovely !
    Sue x

  4. What a lovely quilt I only made a cot quilt for my son I was not quite as clever as you, love the fabrics you have chosen brilliant for the Munchkin!!

  5. Fabulous quilt Hen. Hoping to do something with all my off cuts one day! Hope your back is feeling better. Mine was awful a year ago. Now I won't miss my weekly dose of Pilates! Its works wonders. Lucyxx

  6. I'm just amazed at the speed in which you knock these quilts up Hen! Another gorgeous one..the Munchkin's going to be thrilled! :o)

  7. A super quilt, Hen. Lucky munchkin, I'm sure he'll love it.

  8. Wonderful quilt, I'm starting my very first one, it will be a very, very, very simple one, all I can do is look in admiration at yours.

  9. utterly scrummy Hen...what a lucky little boy!

  10. Hello Helen
    The quilt is beautiful ;-D
    Lucky Boy!

    Just to say, I had to extend my trip in London, my lovely Mum wasn't very good at all. So I evenutally flew back here late Tuesday...

    It was lovely to meet you at Liberty's with Kerry. I hope you eventually got something to eat okay lol!

    Keep well

  11. That's such a happy quilt! I'll your munchkin will simply love it! Just looking at it reminds me of mine that I have to finish too! Thanks for sharing!

    Bellevue, WA, USA

  12. Gorgeous! I'm sure Munchkin will love it!


  13. such a beautiful quilt - weldone - a family heirloom indeed.


  14. Hen, when do you find the time to sleep, another great quilt, I am sure the munchkin will love it.

  15. Fabulous Hen! I've tried that pattern myself, and boy it's long to make. But very impressive, I must admit. I'm sure this will be muuch loved!

  16. what a lovely quilt, just perfect!

  17. Lovely lovely quilt for a very special and lucky boy! I'm sure he'll love it.

  18. Your quilt turned out beautifully!!!

  19. That is the most amazing and gorgeous quilt for a boy that I've seen! You have taken so much care with everything - the fabrics are interesting and colourful; you've been thoughtful in rounding them up too. I love it, it's a brilliant quilt. And you know, the Munchkin is going to be absolutely over the moon when he sees it. I think his wonderful grin when he gets it will be perfect thanks (and you will know exactly why you invested so much into his pressie). One to treasure - and I bet he will! He will be completely chuffed that you have made this for him I think!

  20. Beautiful quilt, Helen, made with a lot of love.
    I am sure Munchkin will treasure it even if he goes through the camouflage stage.
    Carol xx

  21. Oh.Hen.You've done it again.Gorgeous.gorgeous,gorgeous.
    One very lucky little boy will,Im sure treasure this beautiful heirloom.You can't beat a handmade gift-not even with lego.Looking forward to seeing you all soon.
    Anne x

  22. Hen, another beautiful quilt. Munchkin will love it I'm sure, the fabrics are amazing, he will treasure it for ever.
    How long did it take you to complete? It looked like it took an age, such detail and so beautifully finished.
    Linda O xxx

  23. I love using the serpentine stitch on quilts. I usually stitch over the seams, better than quilt in the ditch as it doesn't matter if you wobble a bit.

  24. That is a really lovely bright quilt and I'm sure Munchkin will love it - he'll love it till the terrible teenager and the camouflage stage and when he comes out of the otherside of that he'll remember it and ask you if you kept it and of course you have

  25. It's lush!!! Love it. I don't often think I'd like a boy but that type of thing is enough to make me consider it, heehee! I am terrified of any type of patchwork other than squares, maybe I should try a cushion or something and go from there.

    Mel xxx

  26. Oh Hen, it is gorgeous!! I think it may well be your best quilt yet! I wish I had the time to make one and raffle it. :-)

    I know how to make the Isle of Man quilts (tear thin strips and hand sew). They do courses at 'The Quilt Room' in Dorking. Highly recommend going there and you'll be in quilt heaven in the shop.

    Sian x

  27. This blog post and talk of quilts has given me a good kick up the derriere. Here am I feeling very daunted by the thought of making a miniature quilt for a doll's bed when you just run up a masterpiece and make it look so stunning and effortless!

    Lucky munchkin.. I wouldn't want to get out of bed with such a cosy room like his.

    Hope the week gets better.

    Michele xx
    P.s Love the pooch!

  28. I can't believe I have only just found your lovely blog .... Guests have been recommending so I had a peek and it's yooooo! Recognised the munchkin of course - am loving thos sewn postcards.. And the quilts ... And everything! Helen Vintage Vacations :-)

  29. It's fabulous Hen, that lucky Munchkin! If he doesn't appreciate it as it should be appreciated (of course he will, because he's such a lovely boy), I would appreciate it hugely! Love the colours, the pattern, everything about it, GORGEOUS in fact. There's a really lovely vintage look to it, really lovely. There's a big box winging its way to you, first class, hope it arrives today or tomorrow, I'm off to my sister's early Wednesday morning. Love Vanessa xxx


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