Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Sam's quilt

An ongoing part of this blog is the documentation of stuff I have handmade in the past, including the small collection of quilts I have made for my family.  I have shown here before Tim's quilt and Cassie quilt, now here is Sam's quilt.
Like the others his quilt still lives permanently on his bed, but unlike the others has never had to be repaired and, apart from some fading of the colours, is in very good nick.  This is probably due to three reasons; firstly probably because it is the newest of the three, but also possibly because Sam is not the sort of boy who played on his quilt like the other two did.  He liked to hang out with his older brother and sister so would go and play on their beds instead!  And lastly, because I had finally learned about finishing a quilt in the traditional way this one is actually finished off "properly", if there is such a thing!
The design is a simple arrangement of squares of fabric that I chose because I liked them, and I thought the soft antique-y shades of yellow, red and blue suited Sam's sunny but shy personality.  The squares are enclosed and showcased in a grid of pale yellow strips.  The quilt is bound in the traditional method with self-made bias binding.  Each of the squares is bordered by hand-quilting.  I embroidered my name in the bottom corner and the year in which I made it.
Every now and again I read on the internet about the "slow-sewing" movement; a trend that is about taking the time to appreciate the sewing process and work meticulously and carefully on getting a perfectly handcrafted result...  Of course, nearly always such references are about a garment of some sort; a project that would take a few months at the most, whereas to the quilting fraternity (sorority) that time-frame is hilarious!  
A handmade quilt is the very definition of slow sewing.  Making someone a quilt is a labour of love, not a project to be taken by someone after a quick-fix result.   Each of the quilts I have made has taken me a year to complete; no exaggeration.  I have usually machine pieced the top so this can be put together in a few days, but the hand-quilting process takes at least a year.  Anybody who has made a quilt will attest to this highly labour intensive hand-made craft, so I always have enormous respect for people who quilt.  I don't think I personally have the patience for another quilt (although I have at least one more, I think, to show here.) so I am pretty proud of these that I have made!

18 comments:

  1. I do love this quilt and the idea of making something to last a lifetime and perhaps beyond.

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  2. It's lovely. I've never considered hand quilting ever. I like to quick results! My hat is off to anyone who starts and finishes a hand quilting project.

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  3. I'm constantly amazed at the quality and volume of wonderful stuff you make (made). Curious mind wonder: how much time do you spend sewing?

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  4. Carolyn, Sam's quilt is lovely. The red adds zing to the other more muted colours and the overall effect is super.

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  5. you never seem to amaze me - so many wonderful different things you've done! and that's another one I never tried - it looks so neat and charming, I wish I get to make one one day!

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  6. It's a lovely quilt, the fabrics are really pretty and I love that you didn't place them in any particular order... :)

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  7. Your quilt is beautiful. Your patience to hand quilt is commendable.
    You sew, knit, quilt, all with such amazing results. I am in awe.
    Is there any thing you haven't tried yet?

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  8. When I am old and wear purple, I will make a quilt ;). Until then, I'll appreciate others' amazing handiwork.

    My brother-in-law has a quilt made by his grandmother, with the most amazing floral hand-quilting I've ever seen. The oddest thing, though, is that it's not patchwork---the top, like the bottom, is made of a large single piece of fabric. It's like she skipped the boring piecing part to get to the important quilting part.

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  9. Very pretty quilt. I have made quite a few quilts but hand quilting I don't do very often. The last quilt, I made a gift for my mom this month was hand quilted around the beautiful embroidery but the rest was done by machine. My hands which are showing a bit of arthritis were hurting quite a bit after I was done =(

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  10. Quilts ARE a labour of love, for sure. Sam's is so timeless! I'm sure he'll have it for a long time, especially since he didn't jump on it when he was younger. :)

    My first quilt was queen sized. ("Go big or go home", right?) Although I pieced by machine, I really wanted to hand-sew the topper to the batting/backing. That alone took 2-1/2 years, especially since I was stitching a pattern into the "blank blocks". By the time I was done, I no longer liked the shabby chic style of the quilt and I stored it for five more years before I donated it to a women's shelter. I'm hoping someone felt the love that was in every stitch. I'm sure Sam does.

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  11. This quilt is another great work of art made by your hands, you're like a fairy .... has wonderful hands for everything that goes through your mind to carry through. You´re fabulous!

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  12. Oh I LOVE quilts and this is adorable ! well done.

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  13. It is gorgeous!! Very nicely done.

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  14. What a beautiful quilt. Quilting is something that I've always found fascinating. I know that I'd never in a million years have the patience to work on one (I am one of those for whom a two day sewing project feels like an eternity), but I really appreciate other people's dedication that goes into them. Every once in a while I see ladies at the fabric store, discussing their quilts, and I just stand there and admire them. It seems like these days there is something almost magical about people who have the heart and soul to make something so time-consuming.

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  15. Thanks for the tip about the Marseilles quilting, I had never heard of that before! (Not that I know anything about quilting, mind)

    ... and I would NOT consider you old. :)

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  16. It's wonderful you've managed to make beautiful quilts for each of your children! I have a top made for a quilt for my son (lucky me, just one child!), and hope to hand quilt it - thanks for the time frame for this - I better get started before he gets too old!

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  17. It's wonderful that each of your children has a hand-made quilt. My grandmother was a champion quilter and made one for each of her grandchildren (12 of us). Mine is white with bright orange and yellow flowers appliqued and all of it is handstitched. It is a treasure of mine as her hands suffered from arthritis in her old age.

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  18. This is such a lovely quilt. I admire your patience. I have not attempted a quilt yet.

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