Posted by Stephanie Campbell on 16th Aug 2022
Ideas for a heartfelt project for a friend's new baby included homemade soft toys, a nursery mobile and a fabric quiet-book. But none of those felt as personal to me as an alphabet patchwork quilt, an idea borrowed from my own aunt who made one for my brothers and I when we were little. Our quilt became a beloved and well-worn family heirloom passed down to my brother's children, and I wanted to make something for my friends that they would love and keep forever.
I had never made a quilt before, but had practiced with appliqué and patchwork in the past, and so I set out to follow beginner quilt instructions gleaned online from different sources. I used Bondaweb to fuse fabric letters cut out from mix and match grey fabrics to the patchwork squares, before blanket stitching around each of them. I liked the effect this gave and the idea that the child can trace the letters as she's learning. I then stitched all the pieces together for the patchwork front, basted with a super-soft cotton batting, and used a machine to place running stitches along the vertical and horizontal squares. I even managed to source a walking foot for my ancient machine which made the whole experience so much easier!
Binding was simple enough, finished by hand, and I added extra running stiches with the machine to give it decorative stripes and strength.
It is safe to say, I absolutely loved making this quilt and I have definitely got the bug to make more! Having practiced now with the right materials for quilting, I am dreaming of printing my own quilting fabrics and visualising Fable & Cedar quilts... we will see where this takes me. As with the process, everything takes time.