Wednesday, 30 January 2013

Velveteen star

Finally; to the velveteen quilt that I made my mum for Christmas. This quilt is entirely inspired by Katy's wonderful quilt that has been on my mind since I first laid eyes on it.

Katy very kindly and patiently answered my various questions on this quilt; I've never sewn with velveteen before and was a little daunted. I sourced my velveteen from all over the interworld, this line is a little old now and harder to come by. Having completed my sister's quilt before the end of November I had a load of time to make this quilt, but ended up making it the week before Christmas after hanging on and on for the background fabric which never arrived. In the end I plumped for this shot cotton and I'm kinda pleased it turned out this way.

Once I started, I was away in a cloud of sewing and productivity and VELVETEEN SNOW. Everywhere and everything was covered in a not so fine layer of the stuff, coming off the raw edges in blizzards. Veleveteen is a bit of a monkey to sew with as it turns out. I chose it because this quilt had to be warm and luxurious, and it fits that bill perfectly. Perhaps then I can forgive it for the snow and the walking about even when pinned together and the stretchiness.

The star is so simple that it goes together really quickly, I think the border that Katy added to this quilt made a huge difference, so I did the same, it also used up a few scraps. Each square was half a fat quarter, I wanted this quilt to be big so that it could be totally wrapped around to create a cocoon - my mum's house gets really cold in the winter.

Still, I didn't really appreciate quite how big it was until the top was finished. Enormous.

Layering it all together was a bit of a headache, but I now pin the backing to the floor so it's taut and work from there, it seems to work. I used the dottie quilt backing in aqua and made an investment buy in this walking foot for my machine...

Wendy very kindly showed me how to fit it (because I was completely clueless).

Next my thoughts turned to quilting and I was frozen with terror. I had 3 days to finish the quilt and needed to keep it simple, stripes came to mind but the wonderful Katy showed me this sketch.

I opted for lines rather than swirls. The joy of quilting it like this was doing it in more manageable quarters, rather than trying to stitch across the whole length of the quilt. So I sewed and I sewed and I watched episodes of ER back to back and eventually it was done. The foot was wonderful leaving me with no problems - well worth the investment.

I used this Aurifil thread as I wanted the stitches to melt into the background. At this point I felt like I could take a deep sigh of relief with my tight deadline and enjoy a night of binding. The quilting took me a couple of afternoons.

I always add any wording to the binding when it's already half sewn on to mimimise the chance of sewing it on upside-down/backwards/on the wrong side. It works.

I love the fact it's quite hidden away on the binding and like a secret message to the recipient.

It was very lovely cozy under the weight of it all, hand-stitching the binding, secretly wanting the quilt for myself. Again, many re-runs of ER were enjoyed in the binding of this quilt.

And the happy mix of joy when finishing a quilt combined with the sadness of it being over, like finishing a really good book. It felt very important making this quilt and giving it as a gift, I'm happy to say that it has been used a lot in the past few freezing weeks to keep my mum, passing children, grandchildren and even the dogs warm. It even gives me a bit of a glow to think about it.


  1. Oh it's beautiful, and I am sure your mum can feel the love that went into it too xxx

  2. That is a beautiful quilt just asking to be cozied under!

  3. What a great blog! The quilt is beautiful! I pinned your quilting diagram because it is so helpful visually.

  4. It's lovely! What kind of batting did you use? It looks nice and squishy.

    1. Hi Catherine, I always use Warm and Natural ...

      It's squishy but not too much if that makes sense!

  5. Gorgeous! And having just quilted one for Katy, Oh, how I love the texture, so tactile. Your quilt is clearly full of love!

  6. Wow!! It's might yet turn me so tempting is this, if only you could give me extra time to sew, run ( and work ) as well as quilt.....wish I had one like this though. I love the message...