When I started sewing, back in the summer of 2011, one of the first projects I hit upon was therefore to make was something for my own eventual I'm-a-serious-academic-no-really office, and I decided to make a quilt. I started working on my initial ideas for the quilt as far back as February 2012. Of course, because it's taken me THREE YEARS to actually finish the damn thing, my circumstances have changed so radically I am not sure when, if ever, I will be back to working as an academic. However, I guess that when/if I ever am, I'll finally have my quilt all ready for my theoretical office.
|The inevitable finished product ~~folded quilt photo|
|Quilt top. Not going to lie, my favourite fabrics are actually the eggs and feathers!|
The colours and fabric choices were based around a piece of William Morris cotton that I acquired from the factory shop in Lancaster. It's not the Strawberry Thief design although it has some elements in common with it: lots of birds and flowers. When I went looking for supplemental fabrics at the end of last year, those motifs and the colours in the WM fabric were what I concentrated on matching. As a result, my non-William Morris fabrics are a mix of florals and two "bird-related" fabrics -- one with feathers, one with eggs. I also used a beige and white dot and a stripe as sort of neutral elements both in the quilt top and as a pieced binding.. As I was buying online, I struggled with colour matching and some of the fabrics are not quite what I expected when I ordered them, though I am more or less happy with the co-ordination/colours. I definitely see why beginner quilters are encouraged to use pre-cut, pre-matched sets from the same fabric range, because it does take a lot of the guesswork out of this part of the project, particularly if you are limited to online ordering.
|Quilt back -- you can just about make out my various quilting patterns|
There were actually quite a few problems when I started sewing. I started this quilt right back at the beginning of my sewing career. I did most of the actual sewing in the last 8 weeks or so, but unfortunately I did a LOT of cutting and preparation work two to three years ago. At that time, I didn't necessarily have the same skills, understanding or patience with long jobs that I like to think I've developed since them, and as a consequence I inherited some... imperfections, maybe would be the best description from my past self. Not least of these is that for some reason I thought it would be a good idea to have the William Morris print only used for one particular shape in my quilt blocks, which I would not have chosen to do if I had been cutting out now. I also didn't do the best job of cutting my WM print top pieces, backing, batting or sashing very accurately. I mean, it wasn't terrible, but it wasn't great either.
|Close up of quilt back and sashing. Observe how ABSOLUTELY NOTHING lines up /o\|
I did most of the construction work in the last fortnight, including one epic day yesterday when I connected up the rows of blocks I'd been putting together into the finished quilt. I have renewed respect for people who make multiple quilts a year -- so much crawling around on the floor! so much physical effort to shove the quilt through the machine, especially when I was on to the last little bit of construction! I have no idea how people wrangle quilts for king-sized beds when a 1.4m square was so much like hard work. I did no hand sewing AT ALL -- everything is sewn by machine. I have no fear of hand-sewing, I just... didn't want to do it? I even did the binding by machine, which I understand is an epic quilting fail, but whatever.
|I made two strip-pieced backing pieces, mainly because it seemed a shame to waste the ends of the fat quarters I used|
|Faux mitred corners, achieved by following this tutorial for binding without hand-stitching|
In conclusion: \o/ World's Slowest Quilt: STICK IT IN A BOX MARKED DONE.