I'm a bit embarrassed putting a picture of this up here now, because it's quite old and worn now and has really seen better days, but that is the nature of quilts, right? That they are supposed to age gracefully and naturally, like fine wine (and women) and take on a character and story all of their own with each little rip and patch?
And I did set out to document as much as I could, even things that have had a rough life...
This was my first effort at a full bed-sized quilt. I hadn't really done any quilting prior to this, apart from a little baby floor quilt which was done totally on my machine, posted here.
So, in my usual way, I rocked up to Calico House (as it was called then, now Calico and Ivy), just bought a selection of boy-ish type of fabrics and went home to nut it out for myself. I can recall the ladies in the store were a bit scandalised that I wasn't going to take any lessons, or even buy a book. How hard could it be, I reasoned? Patchwork and quilting is hardly rocket science. Me being a bit gung-ho, I inwardly scoffed at the idea of needing instructions... I just did up a rough mud map of what I wanted and then made some measurements of numbers of squares times dimensions, added all up, to work out how much fabric I would need. The backing is a single sized navy blue flat sheet.
It's a very simple design. The edging is very amateurish, I turned under the edges and overstitched by hand all around the edge. I only quilted around the edges of the quilt; both in the ditch and a few stars, moons, suns and swirls in the border by hand, the middle part of the quilt is knotted at the corners of each square with surgeon's knots. Right now I will confess that this is an inferior method to traditional quilting; it looked nice but did not make for a robust quilt. As a toddler Tim used to love to sit on the side of his bed and slide himself along with the quilt on to the floor... yeah... Activities like this, coupled with the flimsy knotting do make for a short life-span... and as you can tell, some of the fabrics in the middle have worn and ripped with use and been patched with other fabrics.
And, early in its life I used to carefully handwash in the bath tub, but nowadays I just toss it in the washing machine.
C'est la vie. I'm a big one for believing things should be used and loved on a daily basis and not tucked away preciously for special occasions, and this quilt has definitely been much loved and used, and still is to this day. That's all that counts for me.