Friday, 24 February 2012

Birthday Treats and Squidgy Quilts

Anyone who knows me can tell you that while I get overly excited about celebrating other people's birthday I actually hate my own.  Having said that, this year my birthday was lovely!  The arrival of snow put an end to the planned trip to Horncastle, for a good rummage through the antiques shops for vintage treasures, but instead we went to a local-ish garden centre which has both a lovely restaurant and a big selection of crafty/gifty goodies to peruse.  My lovely daughter, cee pea, had splashed out on a new SLR camera for her college course the day before, so brought it with her and spent time testing it out...beautiful huh!?

Pressie wise I was totally spoilt!  Among the crafty pressies I received were Sarah Fielke's 'Quilting from little things' book and this amazing London notebook from cee pea...

and one of these amazing tape measure bracelet's and a cross stitch tote bag from my lovely friend Kate.  My birthday fell on a Saturday this year, so I took the following Monday off work and spent it at Kate's house, cooing over her craft supplies and planning future projects.  We have another craft day planned soon and I can't wait!

All the sewing round here recently has been about quilts, and both the Tula Pink Prince Charming design roll quilt and Bust Yo! Scraps quilts are now finished! 

The Prince Charming quilt is heavily quilted.  I never planned it to be when I started, but the quilting pattern sort of just 'happened' as I went along.  I love this about it, especially as washing and drying the quilt resulted in it shrinking just enough to wrinkle nicely with the quilting.

I chose a plain cream cotton for the backing, which was actually a double sheet I found in the January sales.  I had originally planned to piece a backing, but in the end I just didn't want to take away from the simplicity of the design, and as it happens I really like the way the quilting pattern shows up on the plain back.  I pieced the binding from the remains of the jelly roll, and doubled the batting under the backing as I hand sewed it down to make it nice and squidgy. 

I'm a little bit in love with this quilt: I love the colours and designs of the Prince Charming fabric, but I do wish I'd made it a little bigger.  At 45" x 55" it's a small lap size which is fine for me cos I'm pretty diddy and tend to curl up on the sofa, but the bigger people in the house have put in complaints that it's not long enough!

I'm very proud of the self restraint I had with my Bust Yo! Scraps quilt.  I promised myself I would spend no money on this (except for the batting), and despite many wobbles and fabric browsing I stuck to my word.  The only cotton I had enough of for the background colour was this slate grey/blue, which I wasn't convinced would look okay but which has ultimately grown on me.  I think it balances out the pink in the scraps and is probably much more sensible than using white or cream as I'd initially intended. 

After much rummaging through my fabric cupboard I found an old single duvet cover which I used for the backing.  As it wasn't wide enough I decided to add a wide border all the way round, which breaks up the business of the patterned middle. 

The quilting on this quilt is much simpler than the Prince Charming, a mix of single and triple diagonal lines, and again I used a scrappy pieced, squidgy binding to finish it off.  If I'd had more of the blue background fabric I think I'd have given it a plain border, but hey I can live with it.

And so, it would seem, can Alfie who has taken ownership of both quilts at the first opportunity!  Well, they were freshly washed and dried for his benefit, right?