Monday, January 01, 2007

Fish Quilt -- Finally!

This is the baby quilt I made for baby Morwyn (born Dec. 22 or so) Kelso, my very good friend Lisa's baby. Lisa and I have been friends for 19 years this June, and I have been friends with her husband Iain for about 15 years. I introduced them, and convinced a very shy Iain that he should ask an equally shy Lisa out on a date many, many years ago. Iain is a geologist, and in his spare time composes film scores, when he can find a contract. Lisa is a forest fire radio operator, and in her spare time used to grow coral and take care of a salt water fish tank. Thus the inspiration for this quilt.

I bought this fabric before Morwyn was conceived, because it was a bit of a frustrating process, and I bought it as sort of a bid of confidence. Strange, I know, but it worked. So, first I bought the green fabric, which actually has shells and seahorses on in and the ocean scene fabric that comprises the middle strip, and the swirly water print. I didn't really know what I was going to do with it, so I just bought a metre of each. Then I found the pattern for a much larger version of this quilt, with 4 longer rows of interlocking fish. I took that idea and used the pattern for the fish blocks and this is the end result.

I'm quite proud of this quilt because a) it looks really amazing and b) it was damn hard to piece together.

The two fish and two tail pieces consist of 9 seperate triangles which had to be sewn on a perfect diagonal, then ironed on a perfect diagonal, on the fabric's bias, to create each fish block. It took me about a month to put them together. The rest of the piecing was pretty easy, since its all just strips of fabric, but I discovered about half way through that the dark green fabric is actually really directional, and so had to be cut and pieced really carefully as well so the quilt would work.

Also, I hand quilted all the yellow and orange fish and then added eyes so that they would stand out a bit better. This took me about 6 or 8 hours all together, although I did it over the course of a week or two. The rest of the quilting was really quick in-the-ditch machine quilting. I didn't even quilt any wavy patterns into the borders or the middle band -- I figured they were small enough that it wouldn't kill the quilt not to, and I still have to make a quilt for my new niece and, oh yeah, my own baby who is due any day now.

I was more careful with this one and pre-washed the fabrics, used cotton thread and used a minimum 1/4 inch seam allowance. This photo was taken after it was washed, and it did not tear apart like my last quilt. So I was releived. It is not tucked away in a plastic bag, so my cat doesn't sit on it (she loves new quilts) before I send it away -- Iain is really quite allergic to cats.


Beck said...

When I read blogs entries like this it's creepy how alike you and Don are. (But then I say that about alot of his realations. :P Beautiful quilt but the way.

Jilly said...

Thanks, Beck, on both accounts. Since I grew up mostly seperated from both the Moman and Morrison clans, I too am often weirded out by the similarities we posess as adults.

Either we have really strong genes, or we are just all really Irish. For whatever reason we can never just say "I went to the store for milk". All Cookish-type relatives prefer to say, "So, I was on my way to get milk from the store, which I was picking up because I realized I wasn't going to have any for my cereal the next morning, and as I was driving I saw . . . "

The funny thing is that we will give you this detailed narrative about anything, but then if you try to get further explanation about something -- like a specific TIME we went, or the COST of milk -- we will not only have no idea, but will be offended that you asked and completely clam up. After all, if it was an interesting or important detail, it would have been in the story to begin with.