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I finished the quilt I have been making for my Dad, which was supposed to be for his 85th birthday at the beginning of December, but didn’t get done in time. I went to see them on the day after Boxing Day, and gave it to him then instead. Of course he was kind enough to be very pleased with it, but I have to admit I was quite pleased with it myself.

I bought the fabrics for the quilt top online, by searching for ‘quilt fabric’ and ‘bugs’, since I wanted nature inspired designs. I ended up buying from two different places, www.eQuilter.com and www.bugfabric.com. The only thing I did wrong was to not pay enough attention to the scale of the design on the fabric. Most sites do tell you how many inches across the motif is, or something similar, and I didn’t look at that and got a couple of patterns which were really a bit too big. Still, in the end they all worked in together. I also have this strong feeling that one shouldn’t be too precious about putting together fabrics for a quilt, after all it is a craft which began as a way of using up scraps left over, and recycling old clothes and linen. The idea of going out to buy completely new fabric, cut it into small pieces and then sew them all back together again is not quite in the true spirit of the thing to my mind.

Anyway, here is the finished article

Dad's quilt

Dad's quilt

It should actually be hanging short side at the top, portrait format rather than landscape. But since I left taking photos of it until the last minute I didn’t have any other easy way of hanging it except on the clothes line. The big butterflies are hand appliqued, the rest is machine pieced and quilted.

A closer look

closer lookI was particularly pleased with the spider web fabric, since when my kids were little one of their favourite books for Grandad to read to them was a book about a spider, called Wolfie, by Janet Chenery and Mark Simont. I found a pdf version here just now, and had a little moment of nostalgia.

On the subject of quilting being a make-do-and-mend type of activity, I have decided to start another quilt using the English patchwork technique. My mother did one many years ago, and I’m going to do likewise. The idea is to use up all the little bits I have left over from years of other projects, at least all the cotton bits. Other quilts, the girls’ clothes, my clothes, clothes made for other people, you get the idea. I’ve started making hexagons and am putting them all in a box to sew together when I start to have enough. Another thing that this technique uses up is junk mail, and advertising material, since a lot of it is printed on slightly heavier than normal paper. It is really satisfying to cut up the little booklet of ‘changed terms and conditions’ which comes with the bank statement, or the flier in the mail from our local politician. Finally a use for all that stuff!

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