A friend of mine has a little boy, a toddler, who is very sick and will be spending a lot of time in hospital in the next few months. I don't really want to go into any details, for privacy reasons, but as with so many other quilters, I felt compelled to make a quilt when I heard the situation. If you're a quilter too, you'll understand why. Comfort. Wrapping the recipient up (literally) in all the good wishes and positive thoughts that you want to express but don't quite know how. I wanted to do something concrete that might help, if even just a tiny bit.
I mulled over what type of pattern to make but it didn't take me long to make a decision. Elizabeth's Sliced Coins pattern has been on my list of "must makes" for quite a few years now, its one of the first quiltalongs I observed when I started reading quilting blogs, and I loved the quilts made in the quiltalong. Plus, it's easy and straightforward to make, but has a big impact, and I wanted a pattern which allowed the fabrics to shine, because my plan was to gather every novelty boy's fabric I could get my hands on for this quilt. I wanted it to be something that he could sit and look at and explore. Something interesting and fun.
I have a (pretty depleted compared to a few years ago) stash of boys fabric myself, but not enough for what I wanted, and I knew I needed small enough quantities for the coins. So I asked some of the lovely ladies in the Modern Irish quilters group if they would mind swapping or selling me small quantities of any nice boys fabrics they had. Of course, they all came up trumps and put oceans of fabric in the post to me and refused to take anything in return. This gave me an absolutely fabulous selection of fabrics to work with. I really love the variety, the colour and the prints. There are cars, trucks, buses, diggers, planes, animals, birds, insects - everything you could possibly imagine that little boys are fascinated by. Thank you so much ladies, you know who you are and I couldn't have made this without your help.
I quilted it in a stipple but with lots of loopy loops and was happy enough with how it worked. There is lots and lots of white sashing which Nicky suggested was perfect for driving dinky cars up and down and across, and I agree, it would work great as a playmat too.
For the back, I used some leftover coins to make another strip for the centre, then I used a couple of bright and happy Ikea prints to make up the rest. As you know, I don't often piece a quilt back but it was worth the effort and I like how bright and happy it turned out. There is plenty of interest on the back as well as the front.
The binding was some blue poplin with little hearts. Perfect. I machine bound this, as I had a lot of other hand stitching to complete and I tried a different method than I have previously used which I liked, but would like to refine my technique on a little more.
I forgot to measure the finished quilt but I followed the pattern pretty closely and I know the finished size there was 54" x 57" so I assume its similar. It's a lovely generous quilt size for a toddler, equally perfect for bed at night as for snuggling on the sofa by day.
I hope that this quilt might provide some entertainment or comfort for my friend's little boy over the next few months, and that he gets lots of use out of it. Please God his treatment will go well.
This is my first finish from my FAL Q3 list also. Hopefully not my last.