Wednesday, 27 January 2010

Zelah's quilt

I never make bed quilts these days except for cot quilts.  My cot quilts are always simple.  I have a collection of New Zealand fabrics and a collection of children's fabrics.  The quilts are made of squares, often patterned alternating with plain and the fabrics reappear in quilt after quilt as I use them up.  I think this is rather nice, making a link between children who do not know each other and will probably never meet.

But with Zelah I am committed to something a bit more complicated.  Before she was born I said I would make her a quilt suitable for her first bed and I gave her my City and Guilds pram quilt which is a very traditional wholecloth quilt of convulvulus made in pink sateen.  As my family only produce boys it needed a good home.  Now I have begun on the bed quilt which is a Katherine Guerrier design that appeared in Patchwork and Quilting during 2009.

Zelah and her mother Esther
The first problem was that I did not have enough commercial fabrics as I have allowed my stash to run down over the years, and of course the colours and patterns of what I had did not all go together so I have had to invest in various half metres in order to have enough sky.  Then I noticed that in the final part of the pattern, there was a photograph of a doll's version of the quilt which Katherine had made for her grand-daughter to match the big quilt.  This was obviously the ideal Christmas present for Zelah who would be celebrating her second Christmas.

Here it is.  Of course I cannot guarantee that the houses will be the same on the full-sized quilt but the blocks do include some of the New Zealand fabrics.  It was a great success.  As Zelah is in daycare she knows what you do with quilts and blankets and immediately started putting her teddy to bed in it.  Let's hope the big quilt is equally successful.  I am making it for a cabin bed which I now know means that it should be narrower than a normal 3 foot sized bed because you cannot tuck things in easily.  I started the houses before Christmas and I really must get out the box where it is kept safe from the cats and get working on it again.  I also have to admit that for the first time in my life I am considering having it long-arm quilted commercially, mainly because the design is pretty complex and working out the best way to machine quilt it myself would be difficult.

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