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Monday, 4 February 2019

Maria's Quilt

About a year ago a friend (Maria) posted a photo on Facebook of a beautiful quilt she'd seen and asked if anyone would be willing to make it for her.  Actually, she asked if someone could do the crochet part if her Mum made the patchwork squares - and I replied.  When her Mum decided it was maybe a bit too much for her, I offered to do the whole thing . . . as long as she wasn't in a hurry!!

She loved the fabrics used to make the original quilt and wondered if I could buy the same ones!  Hhmmm, that was a difficult one as I had no idea of the origin of the fabrics - they could have been years old.  I spent quite a lot of time on the internet looking at fabric suppliers and by the time March arrived when we were due to visit the UK I had found nothing!  Whilst on our trip to Scotland I visited quite a number of fabric stores and eventually found two fabrics (from John Lewis) to start off the collection.


Maria wanted old-fashioned type roses and I thought I was quite lucky to find these.  I just hope she thinks so too!!

A few more sessions on the internet after we got home eventually provided the rest.  The fabrics on the bottom right are some gorgeous batiks that I found for the reverse side of the quilt.



Once I'd amassed all the different fabrics I started the sewing.  Each 6" square was made up of either one piece of the same fabric (the blue or white in the first photo) or a collage of 2, 3 and 4 different ones.



Then they had to be sandwiched to the backing fabrics with a piece of wadding in between.  Quite time-consuming, but very satisfying when I had a nice pile of neat padded squares.



The next step was to machine stitch about a quarter of an inch from the edge all round, and then blanket stitch around each square with the yarn I'd chosen to join them all together.  This, and the crochet, was going to be the easy part . . . ha!  Or so I thought!



Surprisingly, it took 20 minutes to blanket stitch around each piece.  I made a cardboard template to show me where to put each stitch and pinned it onto the fabric.  As you can see, it's pretty well used.  And this was the third one I think!


Next step was to crochet around each square.  I found a pattern on-line and followed that, but once I'd finished all the squares and started to join them together, I realised I didn't like they way they looked. The pattern was the pretty much the same as the ones in the following photo, but the little shells were made up of triple trebles and produced large "holes" where the squares were joined.  I just wasn't happy with it so I decided to pull the crochet back to the first row of double crochets all around the blanket stitch, and re-did it with trebles.  This looks much better I think, and reduces the size of the holes in the blanket.  That might seem a bit drastic, especially as it took 45 minutes to crochet around each square originally, but with the more simple edging that I finally settled on, it only took about 15 minutes to re-do each one.


The next step was to join all the squares together.  The pattern that I'd found said to whip-stitch them together using the same yarn as the crochet.  I did try this, but I just couldn't get it to look very neat.  Instead I crocheted them together using slip stitches - much neater.

When they were all joined together, I crocheted two rows of double crochet around the edge.  I just wanted something simple for the outside and I think it works.

So, finally, here is the finished blanket :-


The back is made up of the two batik fabrics, which I love.





During the initial stages of making this quilt I decided it would make a really good wedding present for Maria and Jean-Louis who were getting married on 9th June 2018.  She still doesn't know this and is expecting to pay for it!  Unfortunately, it took far too long to finish before June and then I had interruptions for the Tour de Fleece in July, Spinzilla in October, and two baby blankets that had to be made for 2 new grand-daughters! Oh, and not forgetting Christmas!!  Maria and Jean-Louis have just returned from a late honeymoon in the Maldives, so hopefully the wedding is still fresh in their minds and they won't mind it being so late.







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