The Pink Button Tree

The Pink Button Tree: March 2013

Monday, 25 March 2013

Make a patchwork quilt in a weekend

Having woken from a creative slumber I decided to take on a personal challenge to create a patchwork quilt, in what turned out to be one weekend.

The quilt was a gift for Mr C's new niece, Alice, and I was keen to make a her a pretty patchwork quilt for her nursery. I completed a quilt last year and loved it so much that I thought I'd use the same way to make the quilt but add new fabrics to the design. I knew all the steps of how to make a patchwork quilt  so I thought that with this in mind I could get it made over two weekends of sewing.

Everything to make the quilt was planned and ready to go, I'd been thinking about it and looking at options for fabrics for a few weeks, bought a few in preparation and washed and pressed them ready to use. But things didn't quite turn out as I had hoped! I had planned two weekends to create the quilt, however I ended up feeling really unwell one weekend and spent the time in bed. With one weekend to go I set myself a challenge to get the quilt made in one weekend. We were meeting Alice for the first time at Sunday lunch and I really wanted to have it ready for then.

During the week I started to cut up 4.5 inch squares of fabric in preparation for assembling the quilt over the weekend. I wanted to create a quilt nine by nine squares, so a total of 81 squares were needed. It was a lot of cutting to be done!

On Saturday morning I got up early, put the kettle on and started to arrange the fabric squares cutting the final few, then arranged them from this....

and stitched them together to make this quilt top...

I wanted to make this quilt using all the colours of the rainbow. Each row should (almost) have each colour of the rainbow included making a fun bright quilt.

I sewed each square to the next creating nine rows in total. After all nine rows were complete I sewed each row to the next to make the top of the patchwork quilt. I then sewed a strip of white alphabet fabric to each side of the quilt top to frame the quilt. I created a quilt sandwich using pink spotty fabric and then quilted the patchwork top so it looked like this.

I love this effect of sewing across the squares. I used a pale pink cotton thread to blend in with the fabrics.

On Sunday morning I woke early to hand stitch the binding to the back of the quilt. I used a different method of sewing the binding to the quilt which worked so well and was so neat.

And here is the completed rainbow patchwork quilt...

I love the back of the quilt almost as much as the front, the pink fabric with white spots on is so pretty and delicate.

Sunday lunch arrived and we met Alice, here she is at two weeks old enjoying the first time on her rainbow patchwork quilt...

I loved making this quilt. From the time spent choosing the new fabrics, through to hand sewing the binding, I felt a real sense of achievement and the chance to get creative once more. It was a huge challenge to get this sewn together and completed in one weekend but I put the hours in, drank lots of tea and managed to keep motivated at every stage as I knew how useful the quilt will be and how much fun Alice will have playing on it while she grows up.

Labels: , , ,

Tuesday, 19 March 2013

Waking from a creative slumber

The daffodils in our courtyard garden are opening. Bud by bud the gradual appearance of small yellow flowers are brightening our space that has been empty for months. Pretty pink and white blossom is appearing on trees and the signs of spring have started to surround us. The sun is rising earlier, blue skies are becoming more frequent, and gradually the temperature is nudging upwards. Nature is slowly beginning to wake...

In January I decided that my one little word for this year would be ‘grow’. Since then I’ve been putting my energy into starting that process. Like a bulb absorbing nutrients and growing bit by bit,waiting for the time to flower, I've been putting time into learning new things.

For a number of weeks I’ve been thinking, dreaming and planning my projects. I’ve spent time reading and getting inspiration from beautiful books I was given as gifts at Christmas. I've been spending time inside our little home, enjoying snuggling on our new sofa, my new reading nook. I’ve been buying flowers to brighten our home while the weather has been dull and our garden a barren space of empty pots. I've been looking at fabcris and planning the fabrics I could use for projects. I've spent time sorting out my creative space and looking at my supplies. I haven’t been creating, just thinking...

March arrived bringing with it lighter mornings, better weather, and a lift in my mood…Like buds waiting for the warmth of spring sunshine to signal the time to open and reveal fresh blooms…my heart opened to being creative once more.

Over the past week or so I’ve found inspiration and picked up my camera again, something that hasn't happened during the cold dull days of January and February. This weekend I got back on my sewing machine and created...I have finally managed to wake from a creative slumber. 

Having had a bit of downtime to hibernate, take stock and think has been a refreshing way to start the year. With a rest, a little bit of sunshine, seeing blue sky and having a few fresh flowers round the house can really do a lot for the soul! I'm looking forward to kick starting new projects, making new things and sharing the things I learn with you.

So this week, why don't you pick some flowers and bring them inside or treat yourself to flowers from the market to brighten your space and lift your spirits.

Labels: , ,