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Monday, 11 February 2013

Citrus quilt - exceedingly quick and astoundingly dirty

I've never been much of a fan of the phrase 'quick and dirty'. I hate it. But for once, I can't escape it. Here we are. Littlest's eighth birthday quilt. It is, as Lucy might say, a ta-da moment. The cold February light has done nothing but bleach out the colours, but take it from me - it is undeniably cheery in real life.





To put this in context, Littlest's birthday was back in January. Right at the start of January. And on this day, we went to the fabric shop to choose some fat quarters for the quilt I'd offered to make her.

I was really, really delighted with the colours she picked. Her head wasn't turned by the pinks and the flowers. She wanted green, and she came away with greens, oranges, more greens: even a little brown.

I had a few Liberty print scraps to add to the mix, and it gave me the chance to sneak in a few strips of this dress - the most eye-wateringly expensive piece of clothing I can remember buying.


(One day, a long, long time ago, we set off on a trip to a Distant Market Town to buy a pair of shoes for Eldest. The shoe shop - an eye-wateringly expensive one which stocked European styles - was the only place we'd found that could reliably provide attractive shoes that fitted over her platform-heeled orthotic inserts. It was, however, a journey of an hour-and-a-half, on a hot day, and during the course of this journey the tiny Littlest Latte consumed two juice boxes, arriving at her destination utterly saturated with wee.

Of course this was the day we hadn't brought a change of clothes. And so, we found ourselves in the Distant Market Town, which really should have been named The Distant Upmarket Town, in the eye-wateringly expensive children's clothes shop, buying the above dress. It has faded with washing, but still holds memories of Littlest looking utterly, utterly gorgeous, in the citrus-y colours which have always suited her, and which she so seldom chooses.)

So. The colours were chosen. Littlest was excited; the weather was still cold. And then the sewing machine broke and I had to wait four weeks to have it working again.

I spent some of that time researching how to make the quickest quilt in the world. (An eight-year-old doesn't deserve to wait months after a birthday to receive a present.) And I found it on A Cuppa and a Catch Up, which has a fantastic tutorial for quilting as you go.

I cut out all the strips whilst waiting for the sewing machine man to call. I sewed them in long, endless ribbons together, in the same order over and over again. I fixed the backing (a super-cheap bargain cotton in the sale for £2 a metre) onto the wadding (a super-cheap IKEA throw. I've read Stern Warnings about using fleece, but both Nina and Nancy said it would be fine, and it was. Quilting, to be honest, starts to get a bit out of my league if the wadding costs more than the fabric.)

And then the machine came back and I sewed and I sewed and I sewed and I sewed and I sewed. And something grubby got onto the quilt - machine oil? ink from Mr Coffee's printing press? I don't know, but it came off with washing up liquid and a 30 degree wash, and a quilt was born.

I even had enough strips to make a matching cushion.


 And despite the dirt, and the rushing rushing rushing, and the glitches in the stitching and the fact that in a couple of places, the backing isn't exactly flat... I am officially the Best Mummy in the World. And despite all my assurances to the contrary, I am informed that no-one else's Mummy could ever make anything so lovely out of Sewing.

So there.


51 comments:

  1. That looks gorgeous! & such a lovely gift idea, something she can keep for years & years :)

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  2. You are the best mummy in the world. I never make anything for my children. Actually they don't want me to, but if they did I wouldn't. Apart from cake but that's because I want to eat cake.

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    Replies
    1. Hang on, I made a blanket for daughter which she does use and like.

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  3. Beautiful colours. I'm sure your daughter will cherish it for years to come. I've made a quilt for each of my boys, I like the idea of "covering" them with love. Off to check out the link - thanks!
    Alice Aupérin

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    Replies
    1. It's a great link - a really good blog, too.

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  4. It's so beautiful, I'm sure she'll love it and treasure it for ever.

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  5. That is beautiful. amazing, you have blown me away.

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  6. How beautiful! And super fast too.

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    Replies
    1. A lot of things have been abandoned this week in its favour!

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  7. So there, indeed! You are amazing, I have never yet finished a quilt.

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    Replies
    1. I'm trying hard to finish off the WIPs. I'm TRYING.

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  8. I think you are, indeed, the best mummy in the world. And what a lovely way to show it.

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    Replies
    1. Well, I am pretty amazing. At least 10% of the time.

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  9. That is the best accolade any mummy could wish for and well deserved by the look of the quilt!

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    Replies
    1. Her reaction gives me far more joy than the quilt, to be honest.

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  10. oh my. you are amazing. I may have to stop talking to you. x

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  11. GET YOU. Seriously, I have an crafts agog face. I'm not going to emulate it with colons and zeros but it is there.

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  12. Yes, you are the best mummy in the world. Lovely.

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  13. I love that whole story, and the quilt too - and I'm no quilter.
    In other news, do you know what expression I loathe?
    "Rode hard and put away wet."

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  14. I am awestruck by your super Ninja quilting skills! Well done.

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  15. It looks fantastic, you truly are one very clever Mummy x

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  16. I love it, O World's Best Mummy. Good job.

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  17. Bellissimo! And you deserve the award of BEst Mommy in the World!

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    Replies
    1. Oh, you are all so lovely. I feel all squirmy and blushy now.

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  18. Gorgeous! Love the patterns and the fabric makes me think of sipping lemonade one spring day. Perfect. Got my eye on your next posts.

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  19. Your daughter is so very very right: what a fantastic mum!! ANd what a great quilt - love the colours.

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  20. This is completely lovely- well done. You should be very proud of yourself! You have also given me hope since I have been trying to begin a quilt for my Littlest's birthday next month, and have been faffing about for so long that I have almost given up hope. Perhaps I can do it after all...

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  21. Really beautiful. Happy belated birthday, Littlest!

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  22. gorgeous quilt. And it feels to be the best mummy in the world sometimes, doesn' it?

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  23. That is gorgeous! I made a strip quilt from A Cuppa and a Catch Up too, although mine isn't as pretty as yours because I used Star Wars fabrics for my son. He loves it though, and I was very proud since it was my first ever attempt at quilting. Right now I have fabrics waiting to be made into a second birthday quilt for my younger son, but I am a procrastinator. I'm also a slowpoke, so I need to get going to have it done by the end of March!

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  24. That is just glorious. Craft queen.

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  25. That is extremely lovely and I bow before your excellence.

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  26. You are the best Mummy and the quilt is gorgeous. Loved the upmarket story! Hope you are feeling less sad, you had me worried.

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  27. I love this so much, for so many reasons. Beautiful colours, fabrics, memories. Also, I always knew my kids were lying when they said that *I* was the best Mum.

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  28. It is beautiful - you are terribly clever and she is absolutely right

    Putting this on my mental list of things to do when my sewing machine scares me less

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  29. It's gorgeous, congratulations

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    ReplyDelete

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