Living in Canberra I feel we can never have enough quilts. Even during the summer it's often nice to snuggle in the morning or evenings when hanging out on the couch. I spend so much time making quilts for other people, it was refreshing to make a family quilt for us recently and I took my inspiration from some wonderful coordinating fabric. It's called 'What a world' by Jill McDonald for P & B Textiles, which I found at my favourite Canberra fabric store Rosemont the Patchwork Shop, during a 20% off sale. Being a language and geography teacher, how could we go wrong with a world map panel, capital cities, and various languages saying 'hello'. Perfect.
I spent quite a while cutting out the various pieces and working out how to make them all fit. This is where some sort of graph paper is a must. Even for you Australian quilters you really need to work in inches as working out seam allowances etc just doesn't work in centimetres. I also recommend taking pictures of proposed layouts. You can then get a 'big picture' perspective on how the quilt will look and if you've got any colours too close etc. I also like to have a picture as a reference when putting together patchwork just in case things get moved around. To give the quilt some lift I decided on a 1" red border which I also used for the binding. It really brought the various pictures together and looked smashing.
The fun part was then to get quilting! I did a fairly large stipple over the central panel and five different free motion quilting designs for the patchwork. These ranged from spiral designs to swirls and waves. I kept it pretty simple as I didn't want to detract from the beautiful fabric design.
This quilt is now a favourite play object for my son who likes to hide his father or the dog underneath. Whilst he's a bit too young to start learning the various countries of the world, he is very quick to point to the different cars that feature in the patchwork. This is by no means the most difficult quilt I've ever made but it's important sometimes to do fun projects that suit your family.
What's your favourite family project?