Finished quilt ( yay)

This is my first proper full-sized quilt. Well, full-size in that it covers most of a double futon, but it’s still too small to use on its own. It’s now draped over the back of the sofa, and is very welcome on a chilly evening.

I first had the idea of sewing a quilt made of taffeta and silk squares, but couldn’t decide on a backing fabric. Then I wondered about making it out of Japanese kimono silks – but I couldn’t make up my mind about colour combinations.

Then I took a look at the kimono cotton collection on Clothaholics. These were everyday patterns that I had seen and admired in sushi bars and in Japanese movies, and being mostly different shades of indigo, they were easier to match up.

The cottons were also considerably cheaper than the silks, so I thought I’d experiment with a cotton version, and maybe make a bigger one in silk later on. I actually ran out of cottons and had to make an emergency order for more of the red rose on a white and blue background. That gave me enough squares to make up a set of nine-piece patches with the red and white chain pattern in the middle. The rule was that like squares could only touch at the corner, there had to be a red square in the middle, and each nine-piece patch could only have two squares of the same pattern. To push the patterns a little further, I threw in some plain chambray patches from one of Martin’s old shirts.

I matched the red and white chain with some pinstripe shirting (Paul Smith, allegedly) from Fabrics Galore. When it came to the binding, I panicked, I was going to use a navy blue cotton that I found in Fabrics Galore, but then I noticed that I had plenty of scrap kimono cotton left over from piecing up. so I sewed the scraps together (plain, pattern, plain) to make a binding strip, and attached it to the edges. Actually the binding off was the most boring bit. Lots of hand sewing and fiddle.

If you look closely at the back, you’ll see folds and snicks where I didn’t keep the backing fabric flat while struggling with the quilting foot. I also had to trim the edges, so it’s not quite square. But it’s pretty and cosy, and it looks rather lovely against the dark leather sofa.