Creative Oozings #20 – A Crafting Holiday: The Birds and the Bees

While I was travelling in 2012/13, I stayed with my cousin and his family in Australia for a month.  They were very good to me and I had a lot of fun helping with their little daughter Chloe, who was about one year old at the time.  As a way to say thank you, I decided that I would try and make a quilt for Chloe as a Christmas present (not that quilts are much needed in Australia at Christmas, but it could also be an excellent beach/picnic rug and might come in useful when they travel to the ‘States to see family there!).  Again, I decided to impose the deadline of entry into the Pembrokeshire County Show to make me get on and finish the quilt.Sunny fat quarters

A little while ago I bought these sunny fat quarters from Aberdashery in Aberystwyth, with the thought that they’d be perfect for sunny little Chloe.  I added a couple more coordinating yellow and grey fabrics I found in Calico Kate’s in Lampeter and in my own stash, then set about cutting lots and lots of equilateral triangles from 4″ wide strips, since I wasn’t completely sure how many I’d need to make the 36 x 48″ quilt I wanted (I’m sure there are ways to calculate such things, but I figured I’d just wing it!).B&B_detailIn total, I used approximately 8 1/2 fat quarters to make the size of quilt I planned – it’s quite seam-heavy and I might have needed less if I’d cut the initial triangles larger.  However, it was a useful exercise for me to see how the piecing affected the finished size of the triangles.  Turns out, equilateral triangles lose 3/4″ from their height when pieced with 1/4″ seams, so my 4″ cut triangles became 3 1/4″ rows.  For the width, I needed 19 triangles (18 plus two halves).  Because I was getting tight on fabric when piecing the rows, I used the offcuts from cutting the triangles to cut generous end half-triangles, then trimmed them tidy once the whole top had been pieced.birds&bees Mum went out to pick up some backing and binding fabric for this quilt, and made a wonderful choice in this beautiful reproduction-print fabric from the V&A.  It’s got a delightful, “cool”, slightly textured feel and was a pure joy to quilt with.  In the end, I did find I had a few triangles left over, but not enough for another row.  I toyed with the idea of using some on the back, but I liked the backing fabric too much to cut it up and piece it, despite my growing fondness for pieced backs.B&B_backingAs can be seen from the photos above and below, I chose to use a honeycomb-like pattern for the quilting.  This is a bit of a reference to one of the fabrics, which has beehives on it, and was actually quite fun and quick to do.B&B_quilting_detailFor binding, I used the pretty yellow polka-dot fabric that mum found, and am extremely pleased with the end result.B&B_quiltedAgain, this quilt didn’t place at the County Show, but I’m still looking forward to sending it on to little Chloe.

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