Thursday, November 3, 2011

Turtle Garden

Having decided that I loved to quilt, and having learned that you can't make a quilt entirely from children's novelty fabrics, I set out to find another way to enjoy this new hobby.  Still hoping to use some of my existing stash, and avoid spending too much money on quilting fabric.  I made a trip to Fabricland (not yet having discovered the joys of our local quilt shops), and picked out some fabrics that complimented some of the novelties I had on hand.

I found this pattern in a quilt book that my mother-in-law gave me when she heard I had started quilting.  It looked like fun, and a good way to use some of the fabric I already had.  The pattern went together pretty easily, even for a novice quilter.  Then I got nervous.  I was determine to use interlock for the backing, and as I said, I practiced on a smaller quilt first, so I knew it could be done.  Not one to back down from a challenge, I also looked for a creative way to quilt this.  I decided continuous line quilting was the way to go, and I designed a turtle, based on one of the turtles in the fabric.  I quilted in the ditch along all the diagonal pieces, and then quilted a single turtle in each of the large spaces.  Then, I continued that theme and did a continuous line of turtles around the outside border.

The original quilt was called "flower garden" or something like that.  Because I replaced the flowers with turtles, I named this one Turtle Garden.  

I loved the end result, and decided that before I sent it off I should wash the quilt.  That is when disaster struck!  The dark blue I used on the back bled through the quilt along all of the stitching lines.  I was horrified!  I washed it 2 more times, trying to get that out, and finally caved and put a little bleach in the wash with it.  That removed the majority of the bleed-through.  But also some of the colour, of course.  The quilt was a bit more muted when it was done, because of this.  However, it was still a nice design, and I hoped my nephew would like it. I started this quilt in March 2004, and finished it in November of that year, just in time for Christmas.

I was told (since I was not there for Christmas that year) that when he was handed the gift, my 5.5 year old nephew said (sadly) "It's clothes, isn't it?"  However, when he climbed into bed that night with his new quilt, he said to his grandmother "Look, it's *blue* on the back!"



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