Saturday, 13 February 2016

Triangle quilt

My first quilt!
This is not a post I thought I'd ever be writing, for two reasons. First off, when I set myself a deadline of just over a week to make a quilt I wasn't sure it was possible. Secondly, I just never thought quilting would be my 'thing' but it was so much fun and I think that might be me hooked now! The reason for the crazy deadline was a trip to Scotland last week which included meeting up with one of my best pals and her beautiful baby boy. When he was born I thought about making another baby blanket but decided to challenge myself a bit more. Once I had spotted the See Kate Sew triangle quilt I couldn't resist giving it a go. I started cutting the fabric in the summer but only got 2 of the 6 colours cut out before doubt set in and I convinced myself I couldn't do it. It got hidden in a drawer until, two weeks ago, I suddenly decided I could and would make it, in a week!
Deciding on the colours wasn't too hard as I'd already picked the spider fabric, pale chambray & yellow and knew I wanted colours to stick to more muted colours (well blues, yellow, & white is pretty muted for me!).

Taking some pics of the quilt in my in-laws garden before taking the quilt to its new home
This quilt was made completely from my stash woohoo!
The fabrics:
Spider fabric leftover from a baby blanket I made, fabric from M is for Make
Yellow fabric bought years ago from Shepherd's Bush Market
Pale chambray left over from many Oliver + S sunny day shorts & bucket hats
Dark chambray leftover from my Japanese dress book Dress D
Pale blue was an old H&M shirt of mine
White, leftover from my Banksia top
The quilt batting was organic bamboo batting I bought in Ray Stitch
Striped bias binding made from an Ikea pillow case, I love how it turned out and have another 3 to be turned into bias binding too!

I'd read that there was a problem with the quilt template design that meant the triangles don't keep their points. However I found it OK to get the points using the original template. You just have to be careful where you match up the sides - I've included some photos below in case it helps anyone. I used the 1/4" seam allowance recommended to sew the triangles together but ended up using a bigger seam allowance to sew the lines of triangles together as this was the only way I could see to get the lines almost flush. I machine stitched the binding on the front them slip stitched the back using this Purl Soho tutorial for guidance.

Sewing the first 2 triangles together. On the pinned side you can see the point at the top meet but at the bottom the fabric pinned on top extends further than the fabric underneath.

Attaching the third triangle. I tried to line up the top right corner of the yellow triangle with the top of the dark chambray (they are folded in opposite direction but if you turned the dark chambray under the yellow the corners of the triangle would meet.

First three joined. You can see there is a nice point on the triangle but quite a big border at the top.

Same again, I made sure the fabrics matched up at the top of my stitching.

You can see there is a sizable border at both ends above the triangle points. This meant the 1/4" seam allowance wasn't enough to make the lines of triangles join us so I just had to work out where to sew each line myself. 

This took me pretty much every evening for a week, plus 2 nap times, to do all the cuttings and sewing and even then I still hadn't sewn on the binding before it was time to go to Scotland. Luckily my mother-in-law sews too and had offered me the use of her machine when we arrived in Fife. I had 2 days in Scotland before delivery of the quilt, could I do it?! Well, I would never have done it on my own but, with my mother-in-law's help we got it done. I did the machine stitching then we both sat down one evening and slip-stitched the back.  It was SO nice to sew like this, sitting chatting and working on something together. I can totally see the appeal of quilting bees now and kind of wish I could be in one. Maybe I'll need to start one?! So this was a quilt made with a lot of special fabrics and a lot of love and friendship. And now it's already being loved and well-used in its new home which is all I could wish for.  Sewing to a deadline like this really helped me, I enjoyed the push to complete it and think I will set myself more deadlines, even if they're totally arbitrary!  What about you, deadline sewing or do you prefer more relaxed? Does anyone have any recommendations on any other quilt patterns for beginners?