Wednesday, 10 December 2014

Around the House 5 - HST quilt

I've never named my quilts, but this one probably does deserve a slightly better title than "HST quilt".  It could be "my favourite quilt ever", or "I just love this quilt", because I do.  Before I made this quilt I had used half-square triangles not very successfully on a couple of cushions, but for this quilt I took my time, trimmed all the squares, and was over the moon with how it came out.

I bought the fabric in this quilt just because I loved it.  I had kept popping in and out of the shop over a couple of weeks, trying to justify to myself why I could buy it or what I could make with it.  In the end, I just bought half a metre of each of the patterned fabrics and then started to muse on quilt designs.

The finished quilt looks absolutely nothing like my first idea.

My first idea was to make a sort of pixellated explosion starting in a bottom corner of the quilt, and moving diagonally across it.  I don't think I've explained it very well and I'm not sure I can describe it better - I will just have to actually make that design at some point and show you!

However, on musing over the fabric, I started to feel that half-square triangles were the way to go.  I bought some of my favourite patterned white background fabric - you can just about see the swirly flower pattern in the picture below (I absolutely adore this fabric, but the price prohibits me using it in more quilts), and started making the blocks.  I cut 6.5" squares to start with, and the finished blocks are 5.5".  I like to cut my squares a bit bigger than necessary for these so that if my seam allowances are slightly dodgy I can still trim them nicely to the right size.  Once I'd made a good pile, I began playing with a layout on the floor, and finally settled on this diamond pattern.

When it was finished, I hand quilted it about a centimetre on each side of each seam.  It took ages, but I was off work waiting for my baby to arrive, so had nothing else to do but whale around the house, watch daytime TV and handstitch this quilt.  I do really enjoy hand quilting - there is something very therapeutic about taking so much time over something.  You can't rush it, you just have to be there, and really enjoy the process.  It's quite an antidote to machine quilting where I sometimes feel under pressure to get it finished as soon as possible.

I backed it in a dark blue fabric spliced with a strip of the flea market fancy pink spots.  Because of the off-white thread I used for quilting, you can see the quilting design really clearly on the back which I love.

I bound it in some more of the pink spotty fabric - it's quite a wide binding, done at the time because I didn't know how to do a nice narrow binding, but actually I think the small white border and wide binding really frame the quilt nicely.

This is definitely one of my favourite curling up in front of the TV quilts, it makes me smile every time I look at it!

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