Tuesday, 20 January 2009

to bed

No sooner had I whipped up Wil's car pants, than he found another piece of car fabric lurking in my stash. He's got a keen eye when it comes to transport vehicles.

I bought this fabric ages ago, somewhere back when I was still thinking playmats. I think Wil may have not even given voice to the car thing yet and maybe I wasn't using it for fear of doing a whole, I totally boyified my boy with car paraphernalia number.

As it turns out he needed no help on that front.

So I took the old pink and white doona cover Amy had adored off the cot doona and whipped up one all together more in keeping with Wil's one true love. He was so thrilled, he lay down and stroked it and whispered sweet brmms in its ears. (As you can see, I haven't managed a new pillow slip yet...)

I am contemplating a car softie - something I thought was really dumb up until quite recently when he started instsiting on going to bed with a small fleet of hard metal cars. I worry for his night time comfort.

And because it is really way too hot for a doona right now and he can't seem to manage the sheet and blanket thing, I turned out yet another item of bedding.

A light summer quilt made from a red cotton cot sheet, a single layer of cotton batting and a very soft and light orange cotton monk robe from Thailand. The robe is very roughly constructed from a number of pieces of various sizes and shapes and some of them in slightly different shades of orange. (I guess the roughness is all about keeping the monks humble and prideless.)

I bagged it out, rather than binding it because I thought it would be quicker and have a simpler look. I like the look but it was a lot of fiddling the get the batting in place after the bagging so binding may well have been quicker if I had machined it.

I used a simple contrast stitching for the quilting (which is marginally better than it appears - like the colour which is way off in this photo. In fact pretty much everything about this photo is crap but since Wil is asleep under it right now, you'll have to take my word for it), red on the orange side and white on the red side, and did almost all of it in rectalinear configurations. I wanted to highlight the rough piecework and seaming on the monk's robe, and I wanted it to be well quilted. I left one segment unquilted, changed the contrast thread on the red side from white to yellow and did a large sun like circle.

It was fast - maybe a couple of hours all up and was washed and dried ready for bed last night. I like this kind of project a lot - quick, practical. I could have spent a lot longer on it, quilted more complex and regular patterns, bound the edges and pieced the bottom instead of using a sheet, but this is not an heirloom piece. Wil won't be using it for too long, and I wanted it to be light, without any additional bulk from tonnes of seaming and binding.

And really - I just wanted it done. And it is. And even better, it was made entirely out of the stash, which is very pleasing.

* Edited to add: in response to Nicole's query (why oh why don't commenters who ask questions leave email addresses?). Bagging out isn't a quilters term - in fact I am a total heathen for bagging out and calling it a quilt! Bagging out is a sewing technique where you sew together the two sides of something with right sides facing (like a cushion cover, garment and lining, bag and lining - anything with two layers), leaving a gap somewhere in the seam and then turn the whole lot right side out through the gap, which you sew together after. It is a way of hiding the construction and getting a neat finish.

Conventionally however when you make a quilt you get your bottom layer, your batting in the middle and your top layer, sew them all together using deocrative quilting stitches, and then sew a neat strip of fabric around the whole of the perimeter (called binding) to neaten up and hide all the cut ends. Cutting out all the binding and sewing it on neatly is fiddly, hence my desire to not have to do it on a super fast while-the-boy-naps project. Trouble is that when I did the bagging out I only had a small openning through which to shove the batting and get it all smoothed out and properly placed after I had turned it right way out. Which was a total bitch. So it was still time consuming and fiddly.

In hindsight I should have attached the batting to at least one side of the quilt prior to bagging out - maybe with a few lines of quilting stitches, or even by basting (big, temporary stitches) adn then sewign it all together and turning it out. Much easier.


nicole said...

quote: "I bagged it out, rather than binding it because I thought it would be quicker and have a simpler look. I like the look but it was a lot of fiddling the get the batting in place after the bagging so binding may well have been quicker if I had machined it."

Quilting, it's like a foreign language... I totally understood all the rest of the post but this paragraph? No chance. Can you explain? I'd love to know what that means :-)

imaginethatquilts said...

Oh wow. The orange robe is just stunning. It looks fabulous in that beautifully quilted quilt.

frog said...

Now that is precisely what I aspire to in quilts - not that it was quick (added bonus) - but that the construction was about going with the colour and the nature of the cloth being used.

Funnily enough, summer quilts make more sense for me in an Australian climate. Our winters seem to mild for me to go with quilts.

jessica said...

love it so so much. you have great taste.

Siew said...

That bright and sunny combination of orange and red makes my day. What a lucky little guy your boy is to have something so wonderful on his bed!

Rachel said...

Your summer quilt is lovely. I often find that the things you make with your stask, in an afternoon and for a particular purpose hang around your home forever - being adapted, and adopted and reused many times.
I totally get the boy car thing. I tried to avoid the girl pink thing. I totally failed as soon as they could articulate an opinion.

Cass said...

Love the quilt. You can check out a car softie I made http://snailblazer.blogspot.com/2008/04/softie-swap.html not that you need any inspiration

Kate said...

I suppose you could do something like seam the three sides, bag it out, and then do a massive contrast binding on teh top, to make it less fiddly. But then it would be a different sort of quilt, again.

I love love love it. I want one for my very own.

I also love the cool-colour dots ont eh back of the car quilt. Where is that from?

sooz said...

Thank you all!
Nicole I added explanation for your questions in the main post. Kate, the dots are super wide sheeting fabric and I think I may have bought it from a bedding linen shop here in Melbourne or maybe even spotlight? I can't recall.

zofia said...

I love that quilt, just beautiful, and perfect combination of colours- Yes, lucky boy!

nicole said...

Thanks for the explanation! It all makes sense now. I think it might be easier to sew three sides, turn, insert batting like changing a dona cover and then sewing the last side shut, possibly trapping the batting? I used to have a 2x2m dona, but it got really ratty (In my defense I had it for nearly 14 years, got it cleaned twice and refilled twice during that time) anyway, I now have two smaller donas but still have my old covers (which I love) I thought about adding batting, quilting a simple design and end up with a nice "quilt" for either the bed or the couch. I never dared do it though because I was sure it was the "wrong" way to make a quilt. Maybe I should finally stop worrying about right and wrong ways and just do what works and not worry so much, ey?

I used to use openID until it "broke" (I get an error message saying that the comment wasn't posted..) and now I'm always forgetting to add the email address. I'm sorry and I'll try to remember for next time.

Bec said...

I agree with Nicole, I have no idea what bagging is or why it's quicker than binding, but it looks great - they both do. And I quite like the cat pillow too.