I thought that I'd try and break myself back into blogging gently with a short post showing one of the quilts that I'm working on at the moment.
Around two weeks before Christmas I decided that it was about time that I made Benji a quilt.
Shortly after he was born I was nursing him on the sofa when the doorbell rang and Endaf practically threw a package at me. "What have you bought this time" (He was laughing when he asked so I don't think he was too cross). The thing was I hadn't bought anything. Despite spending hours of nursing time looking at 'boy fabric' on the iPad I hadn't bought a thing!
The delightful Mary had sent Benji a gift! There were two bibs (that we're still using today), some chocolate coins and some large fabric scraps. The card explained that after having two girls, when her little boy was born Mary spent hours looking for 'boy fabric' online. The scraps were what were left of the bundle that she bought to make his first quilt with. I really couldn't believe that someone that I hadn't even met (then, we've since met at FofQ in Birmingham) could be so kind. The girls polished the chocolate coins off almost immediately, the bibs were put to use and the fabric was placed in my 'will turn these into something sometime' pile. And there they stayed for over a year.
I took some of the traffic or vehicle themed fabrics and cut them into different width/length strips. I also fussy cut two orange buses. I just laid them out on the floor moving things around until I was happy and then filled the gaps with white. I managed to cut and sew a quilt top in a day!
I had the vague notion of finishing it before Christmas but as soon as I'd pieced the (rather simple) top I decided that the girls needed a new quilt each too. I ended up gifting three quilt tops on Christmas morning with the promise that they would be finished quilts by the time they went back to school (1.5 weeks).
I actually managed it! It's amazing how much sewing you can get done when you aren't tied to the school run routine (having a freezer full of pre-prepared meals really helped too). All three children slept under quilted and bound quilts the night before the girls went back to school.
Notice how I said quilted and bound instead of finished? I really did finish the girls' quilts and hope to show them to you in their own posts in the not too distant future. But Benji's quilt? I wanted to add some hand stitching........he doesn't start school for over a year so I've got some time, right?
I'm adding little area's of hand quilting in between the machine quilted straight(ish) lines. A few flying geese here, an orange 'road' there. All in different colours and different thread weights. I have no plan, I'm just going to add little bits if and when the mood takes me.
There's also the small matter of Benji's name. I've started stem stitching it using Aurifil 12wt. It's taking quite a bit longer than the perle #8 I've used in the past but as I can use a smaller needle than with the perle I'm finding it much easier and more pleasurable.
I haven't got a deadline for finishing the hand quilting, I might keep adding to it for years to come! But I would like to finish Benji's name before the end of January, it just looks incomplete with only a letter and a half stitched!
I could apologise for the wrinkles in the pictures but they come from Benji actually using the quilt when I'm not stitching. MUST . NOT . LEAVE . NEEDLE . IN . QUILT .