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.
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!).In 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. 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.As 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.For binding, I used the pretty yellow polka-dot fabric that mum found, and am extremely pleased with the end result.Again, this quilt didn’t place at the County Show, but I’m still looking forward to sending it on to little Chloe.