Monday, 30 July 2012

A Quilt for Sophia

Some of you may remember me starting to knit a baby cardigan back in February (see here) The project was prompted by one of my best friends announcing her second pregnancy. The cardigan is, surprise surprise still incomplete and the news at the end of June that the baby born to my friend is a gorgeous little girl didn't give me the required impetus to complete the job.

I wanted to make something really special for Sophia and had also started a new crochet blanket, but when I learned that I was going to meet Sophia sooner rather than later (the family live a few hours away from us) I knew that the crochet blanket wouldn't be ready in time.

After toying with the notion of sewing up a little dress, I shelved that idea for the future and decided to make a quilt. I have made quilts for babies in the past, but not 'properly', with bound edges.

After tackling those on the teddy bear sleeping bags I thought I could probably manage to reproduce the effect on a larger quilt.

I decided to make the quilt with a a selection of the lovely Aneela Hoey prints I have been stashing and had also used on teddy sleeping bags.

I didn't want to attempt anything too complicated patchwork-wise and spent some time doodling a few simple designs on paper before designing a layout I though would work well. I then had to work out a cutting diagram so that I would know which pieces to sew together in which order. I also devised a list of the various cuts needed.

The sewing itself was done in a bit of a frenzy over the weekend so I didn't really take any pictures during the process, I was just really enjoying the sewing. The piecing came together relatively simply, not much swearing required and then I chose to quilt using the 'stitch in the ditch' method, which is where you simply sew through all three layers (quilt top, batting/wadding and quilt back) following the lines of the patchwork.

In an ideal world, the quilt would be more quilted but I was worried about ruining what I had already done. I believe it is possible to send quilts off to clever people with specialised machines to achieve a traditional quilted finish so I might think about that for another time.

When I bound the sleeping bags, I cheated by using bought bias tape. I really wanted to use a contrasting edge on this quilt and did make my own binding, which I'm really pleased with. The only thing I wish I'd had more time for was the actual sewing of the binding itself. Ideally, it should have been hand stitched at the back but I knew that it would take me hours and I just didn't have the time.

(Also, while camping last week I managed to cut the end of my right index finger on some glass and it's still pretty sore so hand sewing would have been painful in more ways than one!)

The back of the quilt isn't the prettiest, but it is my first and I know it will stand up to lots of washing. I think machine-binding would get neater with practise.

Well, this morning I got to meet Sophia, now four weeks and two days old. She is very beautiful and was good enough to let me get some pictures of her on the quilt, so here she is.

While I am sewing, I do like to listen to music and often get fixated on a particular album. In my younger years (!) I think I was the wrong age to appreciate Kate Bush, but I have made a recent discovery of her and it was the album Hounds of Love that I had on repeat while making the quilt. For this reason, Sophia's quilt will actually be remembered by me as the 'Kate Bush Quilt'.

This week the house is a bit upside-down as we are doing more renovating and decorating, so the beautiful dining-cum-sewing room is out of action and there won't be many makes happening for a while, just my usual knitting and crochet but I'll keep you informed of any finished makes!

We're also hoping to do some more of this

And some more of this

But we'll see what the weather decides.
Thanks for reading,

Beth x


  1. Oh Beth the quilt is fabulous, the colours, the layout, everything!! I love it! It certainly looks even better with that cute lil girl rolling around on it too!! Hope you had a great time camping too. We are having thunderstorms, torrential rain and even some hail but the kids still enjoyed a bike ride in the park through it all, perfect excuse to come home and have hot chocolate in the middle of summer! :) x

  2. Thank you so much for the gorgeous quilt, I didn't realise I'd caused so much stress with our sudden visit-sorry! I really will treasure this for Sophia, you're truly a lovely friend and very clever Miss Magpie!
    Ps- thanks for the compliments about Sophia xx


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