Thursday, 10 March 2016

Free Motion Mavericks - Week 84 - Emergency Quilt

When you make a quilt this big, you need a big lad to hold it up.  The quilt measures 60 x 77 inches, so my son was at full stretch behind it.

I made this quilt specially for another big lad, my 33 year old nephew, who was taken ill in November last year.  Last month he was put in the list for a serious operation, which will be in April.  Hearing about the forthcoming operation put the wind in my sails, and I set to work on the quilt.  After just over two weeks' concerted effort it was finished, and has now been given to my nephew.

If I had thought too hard about the size, I might have put myself into a dilemma.  Originally I was thinking of a quilt he could use on the settee when he is recovering, but by then the weather could be quite warm and he might not need it.  In the end I went for a quilt that covers the top of a bed, but not quite big enough to tuck in.  It sits nicely on top of a double bed, and has a little overhang on a single bed.  When my nephew's wife saw it, she immediately thought of putting it on a single bed that they have downstairs at their house, and which she thinks might be the best place for him to take rests.

The colours needed to be fairly restrained and blokey, and this greyish woven check fitted the bill.  I cannot remember when or where I bought it, but I strongly suspect that I have had it since before my nephew was born.  It is a loosely woven cotton, so not particularly hard wearing, but it is soft to the touch and gives a warm and comfortable feel to the quilt. 

The grey gave a nice neutral background in which to float some large rectangles.  This was the ideal opportunity to use some of the fabrics left by my nephew's American granny, a legendary stitcher, who left a large and varied stash.  This brushed cotton plaid was left over from making a night shirt for my brother, her one and only son in law.

This paisley fabric was cut from an unfinished project, a half-made pair of pyjama trousers.

This rusty red and grey floral was cut from another unfinished garment, which appeared to be an elastic waisted skirt or pinny, still awaiting its elastic, but already adorned with two patch pockets .

This brown floral print must have been bought on a trip to America.  It has that 1970s look to it.  Has anybody else still got some of this stuffed in their cupboards?

I used this print for a few sections of the border and for joining strips when putting the quilted panels together.

This rather unattractive print was bought in about 1980 in Liverpool.  It is one of those fabrics I thought I would never use, but it was perfect for this project, adding an interesting splash of yellow here and there.

The rosebuds in the border and the brown and white binding were also bought at around the same time.

My nephew and his wife have three little children, so I used scraps left over from making cot quilts to liven up one of the binding strips near the top of the quilt.  I am hoping the toy rabbit will star in a few stories about tea parties in the telephone box.

The brown and white cotton next to the telephone box is a scrap left over from a blouse my mum made for herself in about 1960.  I didn't think of using it until I had just about run out of the grey background material, and needed a tiny piece to finish the top.  By throwing in this print, which I also used for three short sections of the joining strips, I managed to bring in contributions from both my nephew's grandmothers.

All the free motion quilting was done on my 1945 Singer 15K treadle, which my mum bought for me about 30 years ago.  I used the Quilt As You Go method, and free motion quilted all six panels with alternating waves and swirls for the main body of the quilt, with a meander in the border.

All the rest of the stitching - piecing, joining the panels and binding the quilt - was done using the 1916 Singer 99K.

This is the fastest I have ever made a large quilt, and I was pleased that I only used stash fabrics, including the backing and the wadding - all I had to buy was a couple of reels of thread.  Also, I am hoping that by including fabrics that have a bit of family history to them, that this quilt will bring some extra comfort to my nephew and his family.

blogbutton photo peacockfmq025_zpse5bceb10.jpg

Here goes for week 84...
The project in Week 83 that really caught my eye was Yanicka's confetti quilt.  I love the simplicity of the solid colour triangles floating on the white background, and the free motion quilting design she used was the perfect choice.  If you haven't seen her blog post yet, nip over now and see more photos.

Also, I have to give a special mention to Melissa, who has an interesting video on Youtube.

If you love free motion quilting, whether you are a beginner just taking the plunge, or you have reached the stage where you can do ostrich feathers with your eyes shut and still achieve perfect symmetry, then please link up.

Remember, FMQ is FMQ, whether your machine was made last week, or it is older than your granny.

Here are the very easy and slightly elastic rules:-

1.  Link up with any recent post, ideally from the last week but within the last month, which features a free motion quilting project, whether it is a work in progress or a finish.

2.  Link back to this post in your own post and/or grab the linky button for your blog's sidebar.
3.  Visit as many of the other participants as possible and say hello in the comments box.

4.  The link up will remain open for four days, from midnight to midnight GMT for the long weekend, Friday to Monday.

So far quilters from the USA, England, Wales, Australia, Canada, Germany, Holland, New Zealand, France, Macau and Russia have taken part.  The first participant from each new country will get a special mention the following week.

Linking up with Kelly's blog My Quilt Infatuation for Needle and Thread Thursday
and Sarah's blog Confessions of a Fabric Addict for Whoop Whoop Friday
and Amanda Jean's blog Crazy Mom Quilts for Finish It Up Friday.


  1. Your emergency quilt looks very good on the bed, and I love the yellow bits. It's sure to be an encouragement to your family members.
    I have some of that floral, yes, but mine is blue. Doesn't play well with others, I think.

  2. What a wonderfully soft quilt--with such interesting fabrics made all the more special by the stories and family connections. I do hope all goes well for your nephew and his family, and that this quilt will be a source of comfort for him--for them. (And I did have that brown floral fabric in the late 70's/early 80's. It seemed to be around for quite awhile. I think I made an apron from it for a friend.)

  3. Just linking up from WhoopWhoop Friday. You have done wonderfully well with your quilt and the fabrics you chose with memories attached make it even more special. LOVE your sewing machines too. Sending healing thoughts to your nephew and his family.

  4. OK...I am raising my hand! I still have some scraps of that brown floral print! Your nephew's quilt turned out so lovely. I really like the background fabric - it's very masculine. I wish him a speedy recovery.

  5. Such a nice quilt for your nephew. I hope he recovers well and quickly.

  6. You made me squeeee like a little girl. Thank you for the feature :)

  7. I love the history that comes with each piece you put into this quilt. It looks so cozy and soft. I am sure it will bring comfort while your nephew is healing.

  8. Yes, I still have a bit of that brown floral Concord print in my stash, left over from a quilt I made for my brother when he married, in the late 1970s, so your date instinct is right. What a nice thing for your nephew; just 'blokey' enough, and I hope it helps him back to good health quickly.

  9. Dear Muv, When I finished reading this blog entry, I was ready to cuddle up with your nephew's quilt myself. I can imagine how comforting this will be for him. I love that you used fabrics with family history and that they all work so well together. Truly beautiful.

  10. I love how you have broken up the space on your nephew's quilt with the lines. What a great gift for your nephew.

  11. I love the history in pieces of fabric. I am always surprised when I can say exactly where I got a piece of fabric from when it has been in my stash for years! Love the quilting you have done - and all in two weeks! Very impressive. x

  12. Hope the best for your nephew. I think your quilt will help a lot. What a great gift. I am sure you tell him the same you told us! The quilting is beautiful!!



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