Tuesday, 9 December 2014

An old project revisited: lap quilt

I never posted about this quilt because I made it in the summer of 2013, about four months before I started blogging.

So here now is an account of the lap quilt I made for my husband's birthday in 2013.

In the middle of winter he suggested that as he was feeling rather cold while watching TV, I might be interested in making him a quilt. No sooner said than started! Well, started ... planning!

I found a pattern fairly quickly: this is the Disappearing Nine-Patch which I saw on YouTube from The Missouri Star Quilt Company.

For the fabric I had to wait until I could make a trip to the LQS, which doesn't carry many pre-cuts, but fortunately did have two charm packs of Barbara Brackman's "Metropolitan Fair", which purveys the necessary sense of conservative manliness for this project. To this I added the end of a roll of "Battle Hymn" (also by Barbara Brackman) for the backing, and half a metre of a Bella Solid (I believe "Sand" but I'm not certain any more) which matched the base dye of the printed fabric (the background colour in the selvedge). From this I cut 5" squares to use as the centre squares in the nine-patch (they get cut once in each direction during the disappearing trick) and for the middle border.

As far as possible I reserved the charms with large prints for the outer corners of the nine-patch (they're the ones that don't get cut), and used the small and medium prints in the sides of the nine patch (they get cut once through the middle) Unfortunately, as seen in the photo above, there were fewer large print squares than needed.

Sewing, cutting, sewing again went according to plan, and in the greatest secrecy, but not as quickly as I'd hoped because life got in the way! Finally in the middle of July, just BEFORE my second carpal tunnel operation, I managed to get it quilted. Managed, but I don't know how; I had to stop every 5 minutes because the pain was too much. Then followed a pause of a month for the operation and recuperation until my wrist had recovered enough to sew the binding.

By then I was feeling as fit as a fiddle, and could take anything on, but the weather intervened. While the average summer temperature here is probably about 22ºC I found myself sitting in my shorts on the balcony with a quilt on my lap in temperatures of 35ºC - just 1ºC less than normal body temperature! - while I hand sewed the binding. 

Definitely not the ideal conditions. But the deadline of the middle of August was fast approaching.

Remember I said something above about the greatest secrecy? That was not easy when the temperatures were so high, as my husband was working a "tropical timetable" - starting a 05:30  or 06:00 and finishing at ??? - sometimes 12 noon, or 13:00. Several times I bundled the whole quilt into a box and shoved it into the bottom of a cupboard when I heard his key in the latch!

Finally it was completed with a couple of days to spare, after being in the make for six months. I named it "Hop-Scotch" because the pattern made by the light squares reminds me of a game of that name I played as a child: hopping from square to square in a grid drawn on paving stones. The quilt was well received: he doesn't know the game hop-Scotch, but he knows Scotch! 

Congratulations for reading this far! If you're interested in making a Disappearing nine-patch click the link to the Missouri Star QC above and for more lap quilt inspiration hop over to Val's:

Val's Quilting Studio

Happy sewing



Ruth said...

Disappearing 9 patches are such fun to do. I just found this version, which makes a floating square quilt.


Jasmine said...

I loved reading the story behind this quilt. I just made 4 quilts by sneaky sewing. It is tricky! But what a wonderful wilt for your husband.

Vireya said...

Very nice quilt! It's very hard to sew something that large secretly. I don't envy you having to sew down the binding in 35deg heat. That would not have been fun!

ES said...

A lovely quilt!

Rylaars said...

It was certainly a lovely project and done very much in secret. Now that winter is here again I'll be using it during my afternoon naps and greatly appreciate it.
Marly's husband

Sue said...

I love this quilt and want to make it for my sons. I'm a beginner and have always pre-washed my fabrics - is there a problem when using charms that are not pre-washed? Do you prewash the other fabrics, like the sashing and the binding? Also, what width are your narrow sashing strips, and the wider one. Are those just sewn on in one long strip? Thanks for your help, love the colors in this beautiful quilt.

Maartje Quilt said...

Wat een mooie 'mannenquilt' en prachtig met die disappearing ninepath-blokken. Dat je de quilt afgekregen hebt ondr die omstandigheden!

Groeten uit Amsterdam

Val's Quilting Studio said...

Good job on the secret sewing...I would have never been able to accomplish that as we are soooo bad at keeping surprises! LOL It's a great finish as I especially like the color combo.