Friday, 6 March 2015

Its All In The Maths

Although I finished this quilt a few weeks ago, I have yet to blog about the finish. You may remember last year I helped a friend finish a very large wip log cabin quilt and she sent it to her son and his girlfriend working in Korea. They were delighted to have it, apparently Korea can be very cold. This triggered the maternal guilt ... why have I not finished my own son's quilt? I have a son in the States who was desperately waiting (?) for a quilt, I don't think. Anyhow I decided he needed a quilt.

The quilt, to have any chance of being accepted with good grace, would have to be very plain, so solids and a big bold design. As he is a physicist I decided a giant plus quilt would be the best. I began way back last February, thinking I would take it over with me in Easter. I used blue, Chelsea blue, to be precise, a calm grey and black, all in Kona. Pretty quickly I found the black was too prominent, picked them out but then felt  the squares were too small at 5", and in any case the black seemed to have left fibres on the grey.  I started again and Easter came and went. The summer, when we made another visit to the States, and was a potential finish date came and went as well.



what was left with black squares unpicked


Roll on to October and I was making reasonable progress but getting a little bogged down trying to manage bee blocks and a few other projects. One of which was helping the same friend make another quilt for her other son, this time an Amish style quilt, again a large double. More worrying, the plus quilt was beginning to look more like the Swedish flag than a giant plus quilt. Then I took sick and it had to stop yet again.

Fast forward to Christmas and said son came home for the holidays. When I showed him the unfinished quilt his comment was "very nice but I told you not to bother. I don't need a quilt, I have heating...And... why have you made me a quilt with the Swedish flag anyway?" Not really very encouraging, but I am his mother, and I know best. As I blogged before, this was quite funny as my original blog name was "finish one quilt but starting another" but when I tried to find myself in google there were all sorts of Finnish websites came up. Hence I changed to "midget gem quilts".

Swedish or Finnish Flag anyone?



Then in January he had a bad fall, or as he told us in his email titled "don't panic" he had a slight fall. This fall resulted in 5 stitches in the back of head, 2 CT scans, concussion that lasted almost 2 weeks and no memory of the fall itself. What's a mother to do? The quilt was quickly finished, backed with Ikea numbers with a stripe of irregular sized strips of blue and grey to broaden it. I bound it with stripy blue and grey binding, made by moi. I quilted it with straight line quilting following the seam lines, heavy in the blue bits and light in the grey bits. It was  posted with a packet of Percy Pigs from Mr Marks and Mr Spencer, my good friends, tucked inside, just in case my new Mr American Customs doesn't approve of Percy Pigs. The quilt arrived safely with the comment "I told you not to bother, but I suppose it is quite nice. Thank you". Last Skype conversation the quilt has turned out to be very useful in this snowy weather. Good for lying under on the sofa. Told myself quietly. Mother DOES know best.
This quilt is also one of my finishes in the Finish A Long 2015. So that's one finish anyway.

showing the back with detail of the quilting


I've also finished my February Bee Block for Karen for the Irish Modern Scrap Bee. This was a lovely square to sew, a square within a square, within a square. It took a mammoth 48 different scrap fabrics for each, plus the white. Needless to say, both my squares are the same! The trick was to remember that all the seams on the outer square had to be parallel to the seams in the inner square. Thankfully mine are, as much as I can see. If only all my bee squares were as squared off as this!

 

I have also received the last of my own bee squares from last year's bee. Irina's squares arrived through the week, along with a lovely extra of some red Christmas fabric which is perfect for all year round. Thank you Irina. Because I asked for 4 very simple blocks instead of 2 more complex ones, I have enough blocks to make two throws for the garden chairs in the summer. The daughter is keen to help with the layout, she claims to have a better eye than me. So Sunday afternoon is earmarked for this. Looking forward to laying these all out together, 48 blocks all together.

Another quick make was a another notebook. I made this slightly different to my other notebooks, this time I didn't line it, but edged it with a contrast. In this case, a neutral with a bumble bee on it.
This was another birthday present and the recipient seemed very pleased.


I have still to tell you about the swap of #makefriends which has just finished, but that is for another day.

This week's book, or rather books are Alan Bennett's "Four Stories" (Christmas present from my husband) and MC Beaton's "Death of a Liar".

Helen x


6 comments:

  1. Your sons quilt is fantastic...love the stripey binding and the background fabric. The February Bee Block looks very complicated. The notebook and cover are a great idea for a gift........I must get the sewing machine out again

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  2. Goodness I hope your boy is fully recovered, that sounded bad enough! Love his quilt though and I suspect he was very grateful for it, you know what they're like...boys!
    V x

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  3. Wow, I am glad to hear your son has recovered and the quilt has turned out to be quite useful for him. :)

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  4. I love your bold quilt. Everyone should have a sofa quilt to snuggle under.

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  5. Lovely quilt for Ian. This pattern shall henceforth be known as the 'Mother knows best'! X

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