Saturday, October 03, 2009

Quilting for comfort...and speed

I know, don't die of shock when I tell you that there has been some quilting going on around here. My darling mum was recently diagnosed with a malignant tumor in her bowel and underwent surgery nearly two weeks ago. Being so far away, I felt pretty useless, more so by the fact that we have all been sick again, so I couldn't even fly down to visit, let alone help look after her in the early days of her recovery.

What to do, I thought, other than make her a quilt? Because mum's surgery was scheduled so quickly I didn't have much time to put it together. I also didn't have any time to go fabric shopping, so I delved into my stash, finding the 1/2 yards of Amy Butler Belle that my brother and his partner bought for me for Christmas. I thought it was perfect for this project as it all coordinates. I decided, that since time was of the essence, I would make a strippy block quilt. I wanted it to be fairly big so I sashed the 5" finished blocks (rotated at each setting) with 5" white sashing. The finished quilt measures 45" by 55". I was really happy with how the quilt top turned out. Fresh, bright and modern.
(Photo by Rom!)

Not so happy was I with the quilting. I know I've complained of this before, but it doesn't seem to matter how careful I am with the basting, the fabric shifts as it's going through my machine (even with a walking foot - which seems to be next to useless) and it ends up bunching. I think part of the problem is that my base-level Janome has such a small work surface that the weight of the quilt drags the fabric out from under the needle, despite my best efforts to support the weight of the quilt. It also means that my 'straight lines' are often not, due to the dragging. I guess this means that I need a bigger machine! Sadly, our finances are not in a state where this is even a remote possibility. I will just have to persevere. Maybe I need to do more stippling, as this will help avoid the bunching issues I'm getting with full width straight line quilting. I am also investigating different batting/wadding options, as it's possible my choice in that area is also affecting the end result.
I also made my first pieced back, not completely happy, as I somehow managed to get it slightly offcentre, and with the straight line quilting this really shows. I hope mum will forgive the quilt's imperfections. It's the thought that counts, right?

Anway, while it's not perfect, it made it to my mum a couple of days after she got home from hospital. I'm hoping it feels a bit like a long-distance cuddle every time she sees it/snoozes under it. It's the best I can do until we see mum and dad again - hopefully in a couple of weeks, our state of health pending.

13 comments:

JazyJae's said...

Might be simple but it is still lovely!

Helen said...

Well, Lily, I can assure you I am very happy with my "cuddle" quilt. If you had not pointed out the "imperfections", I would not have even noticed. It looks brilliant to me. I love it.
And, everyone, I am feeling fine and well.
Lily's Mum.

Car said...

Lily it's beautiful :)

Sorry to hear about your mum, but am glad to read (Hi Helen) that she is feeling good. May her recovery be swift and comfortable under her gorgeous quilt!

Car
xxx

Doodlebug Gail said...

Lily - that's lovely, simple is sometimes the best way to go and Amy Butler fabrics can carry themselves - love the wide sashing.

And tell Romy - "great photo!"

Sorry to read about your Mum, I'm sure she's going to be really happy with it. I hope that she has a full recovery and that you're able to visit with her soon.

Hugs and take care - Gail

nicolette said...

Sorry to hear about your mum’s surgery Lily! From the comment above I read she’s doing fine and loves your quilt. I hope she will fully recover.

The quilt is adorable! Simplicity often provides for the best!

Selina said...

I could have written that post word for word. It is a lovely quilt and I hope it helps your Mum feel better.

Chookyblue...... said...

I am sure in the circumstances your Mum will understand and love the quilt no matter what........

hope everything goes well for her.........

would love to get down to Floriade one year.......

Joyce said...

I really hope your mum's surgery is completely successful. I'm' sure such a beautiful quilt will help.

anne bebbington said...

I'm sure she will be feeling all that love each time she uses it - I wish her well for her treatment and you take care of yourself too (btw the quilt is lovely and finished is always better than perfect - plus any little tucks will have extra pockets of love tucked inside them)

Clare said...

Lovely simple quilt and it doesn't matter about the imperfections as it's made with love.

Hope you, your family and your Mum are feeling better.

A Spoonful Of Sugar said...

Best wishes for your Mum's speedy recovery! I am sure the gorgeous quilt has done a lot to lift her spirits. I love the use of white and the fabrics you have used. There is nothing quite like a quilt to give comfort and warmth to those we love.

Romily did an awesome job on taking the photo!

quiltygal said...

Hi Lily came over to your blog from Leannes I also am very upset with what I have received from that certain shop (I dont want to give them any publicity ) I really expected better if the material scraps they have sent reflect the quality of the stock they have I wont be buying from them I can get better in Spotlight!! & at a cheaper price!! anyway at least I have found a new blog to visit !!

quiltygal said...

Oh meant to say glad that your mum is feeling good & I am sure she loves the quilt I think sometimes we are too critical of ourselves...