Tuesday, 19 November 2013

I do love to be beside the seaside!

It's been a bit of a go-slow around here.  As in slowly, slowly, bit by bit getting through my hand quilting on my seaside quilt.  I started this back in January or February.  I got the top pieced relatively fast considering is all foundation paper pieced.  I loved the pattern when I came across it online.  Actually it was a similar pattern by the same lady (Lesley Brankin) that caught my eye originally.  That one was Noah's ark and having done that bible story with our kids not long before, I thought they might like it but when I researched her other patterns, I totally fell for this one.  It has tonnes of detail and different sealife to keep the small kids interested!

After I had the top pieced, the lovely tuesday night ladies that I've mentioned before, helped me baste it.  We always have great fun doing the basting when we do it together - takes the tedium out of the job and we can have a laugh and a chat at the same time.  Then I had to undertake my first ever hand-quilting job.  I was armed with the double lap quilting hoop  (I got this from Roisin in The Quilt Shop, they're about €50 but in my opinion, worth every penny), a packet of size 12 clover needles and a spool of variegated thread and told to go for it! 

I was so slow starting.  I had never hand sewn ANYTHING!  This was completely new territory to me but I soon found it very enjoyable.  It took hours (honestly, I think it was 8 hours!) to do one row of rolling 1" waves across the width but it was very satisfying to watch them appear as I slogged away.  Eventually however, I got bored and desperately needed to move onto new and exciting and FAST projects and my poor seaside quilt was folded and put down beside the couch to be worked on "in a few days"............and there it stayed until a couple of weeks ago when a friend enquired about my progress........whoops, "oh yeah, that quilt.......must do something with that"  so the very next day, I resurrected it, dusted it off and got going again.  I had enough of the handquilting done to be able to bind it and that tidied it up no end which helped spur me on to do alot more quilting on it then I had ever planned.  With every stitch though, I'm more pleased with the nearly-finished product!

I counted 103 stitches in each rolling wave along the borderand there is a total of 86 waves around the edges of the whole quilt, that makes around 8850 hand stitches around the border alone....... gosh, I'm glad I didn't work that out before I started or I think it would have been straight lines all the way!  I think I may just have to put a quilt label on the back with an approximate number of stitches throughout the quilt top.......just so my children appreciate how much I obviously love them!  ha ha, maybe not!

 I really enjoyed making this quilt though, it was fun to pick the different colours for the different pieces of sealife.
  My favourites are probably the seahorses and the puffins but I adored using the different yellows and putting together the complex sun pattern too!  It took a good 2 and a half hours to put the sun together but I love the construction of it, you can almost feel the heat coming from it!

It was hard to photograph but in the sand, there are some familiar seaside shapes...... some seashells, a bucket and space etc...... I don't know if you can make them out?


So that's it......... almost a year in the making but it would have been done much faster if I wasn't so easily distracted!  I'm still working on it, I want to add a few little personalised touches for my kids but once the binding went on, the twins quickly claimed it as their own.  It makes it worthwhile when you see how much they love something that you make for them! 

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