Saturday, February 5, 2011

Picturebox Quilt Top

Picturebox Quilt Top

What a week its been here in the FairyFace household! I don't think I've put down as hard a week since the time D was in hospital a couple of years ago. We had both children sick, one with a very high temperature and the other off form and increasingly lethargic and distressed for a few days until she was finally diagnosed with a pretty bad infection in both ears. I have been suffering from the "mother guilt" ever since, because the first day I suspected she was resenting the attention D was getting with the high temp and playing up as a result :-( Bad mammy moment! And my poor little lady, it turned out, was in a lot of pain - by Thursday afternoon she couldn't sit still or get comfortable, she was so sore. But antibiotics are a great thing and she is well on the mend now and almost back to her cheery self.

In addition to the stress of minding both of them when sick and not getting much sleep what with being up with both of them every night, juggling our jobs took its toll. Its awful have to take unplanned days off from work, you feel like you're letting people down (even though there's nothing you can do - the kids need to be minded when they're sick) and you get so behind and end up working late at night on all sorts to try to catch up. We sent out a cry for help on Thursday and both my and T's parents galloped hastily to our rescue, providing dinners, entertainment for the kids, childminding and other essential services. We're just so lucky to have great backup, I know so many families who can't do that and it really makes life easier when a little help is around.

So, with all that there was not much crafting done in my house at all this week. However, I did get finished the quilt top I am doing for a special boy and want to show it off because I'm so happy with how it turned out.

This is the first quilt I have really "designed" in more than a simple straightforward squares or stripes template. So I'm really proud :-) I found it pretty challenging to figure out the measurements for the different pieces (Maths never having been a strong point of mine) and I must admit that it is quite different to how the original idea was planned. When I laid out the original design template after cutting my fabric, it just didn't work. I don't know why, it looked great on paper, but it just didn't flow! So I went back to the drawing board, took what I had cut and spent a long time playing around with combinations until I came up with this. Then I had to sit down and re-work out the measurements and cutting requirements and happily, it seemed to flow better.

I have seen "design walls" on a few blogs and I really need to figure out a way to set one up on some wall space in my house. I currently do all my layouts on a white sheet laid over my big bed, which works fine from a functional sense. But I like to leave designs/fabrics laid out and come back to look at them and tweak them over and over until I'm happy which isn't really feasible when I need to get to bed! I end up clearing up and then laying out again the following evening which is a terrible waste of time.

I had the big panels sewn up last weekend and when I was at home this week those few days, I left my machine set up at the kitchen table. The side columns were a perfect size for sewing up very quickly so if I got 5 minutes at all during the day, I sat down and sewed one up. Its amazing what you can get done with 5 minutes here and there, it seemed slow doing them one by one but in fact, I had the columns done in no time and then was able to sew up the sashing and put it all together one evening when the kids were in bed.

And doesn't it look cute? My inspiration for this quilt started with two of the prints I use in the big panel - the Jungle Friends and the Hooty Hoot Kangaroo.

I was thinking a little of the "I Spy" type quilts too and imagining a little boy exploring the fabrics seeing all the different animals and bugs and birds. Sort of like pictures really and from there the idea of framing the prints came. I used a simple green/blue on white print to frame up each big panel and then used strong colour scraps around this for an extra layer of detail. I love those picture frames that hang vertically with 3 to 5 photos in them and that is where the idea for the columns came from. I have mostly used animals and birds in this quilt, but threw in some "Wheels" fabric for a little extra charm. The sashing is a Kona solid in Ivory and I really love how it makes the prints stand out.

So, now I have my two quilt tops done and I have my backing pieces ready - next stop, basting! I have to admit I'm not a lover of this stage so I think I will bite the bullet later on and just do both in one huge basting session. Take all my punishment at once, so to speak :-) And then I am going to quilt both with lengthwise straight lines. Can't wait for that part!

I'm featuring this quilt top in some great crafty linky parties:

     Lovely Crafty Home Photobucket

**PS - I have to apologise (again) for the fact that my pictures aren't nearly as good as I would like. What with the still lost good camera, the grey light and the fact that its lashing rain outside, all I could do was try and snap some in front of the playroom patio doors. Otherwise there would be no blog posts at all!
** Also - it being Saturday morning and trying to get as much done as possible, I was too lazy busy to iron the quilt top again before taking the pics - so please excuse all the creases and stray threads!


Jan said...

I absolutely adore your quilt! Isn't it great to see the end result of your own design?!

patchworkdelights said...

Wow Sarah what a week you have had. Glad to hear everyone on the mend though, great that your respective parents stepped in!

Love the quilt too looks fantastic keep it up.

Snuffling and sniffling Fi!

Sara @ Sew Sweetness said...

I'm sorry that you had a rough week! :-(

I *love* this quilt! I'm bookmarking it because I'd love to make it one day!

Helen said...

Hope the little pets are on the mend and that you are getting a bit of TLC yourself :-)

I adore your quilt especially because you still managed to create something so bright and fun under such difficult circumstances.

Well done you!

Lory Manrique-Hyland said...

Gorgeous, again. I think you should be proud of your design, it's great, lovely colour balance.

Rachael@Lovely Crafty Home said...

Thanks so much for sharing, it's beautiful. Hope things improve for you soon!!

SewSara said...

i love this love this love this!!!
the fabric choices and pattern are awesome. you have great taste :)

Unknown said...

I here you. One of my little ones was sick all week. I thought he just had a cold turns out it was a double ear infection and a sinus infection. Worlds greatest mom right here.

I LOVE this quilt. It is so fun. I also love quilting, well piecing, I don't really like the basting part either.

Sarah @ FairyFace Designs said...

Thanks ladies for all your lovely comments! So nice to hear people's feedback and also to realise we aren't the only parents who struggle with sick kids too!

kim west said...

i love love it! how colorful and bright and beautiful! you did such an amazing job!

Carla said...

You have great flare with color. So bright and cheerful!