Meet Mr. Walrus, my latest quilt, created during Quilting Gail’s baby quilt marathon.
Back in her early university days, my older daughter, Margaret, taught sailing at a YMCA camp in the Finger Lakes of New York. Her second in command, Annie, was a hilariously funny, sweet girl; they rapidly became bosom buddies. When Annie got married, Margaret was a bridesmaid. When Margaret got married, Annie was her Master of Ceremonies. At that wedding, I met Annie’s husband, who responded with, “You’re the person who made the beautiful quilt we sleep under every night. Thank you. ” Did a quilter ever hear sweeter words? Here’s a picture of it, from my pre-blogging days. It’s Hampton’s Quilt Pattern from It’s Sew Emma. The stitch and flip construction method of the pattern resulted in a number of cut off triangles. I sewed them together and hoarded them. When Annie’s first son was expected, I was ready. I trimmed those triangles, sewed them together, added an Elizabeth Hartman Preppy the Whale, and made him a quilt. Here it is, plunked on a bed for a quick picture before being gifted. Fast forward a couple years and Annie is pregnant again. The triangles have all been used up, but never fear, fabric hoarder is here. I had taken the remaining scraps and cobbled them into an improv piece of fabric, and had put aside a few of the larger leftovers, along with other fabric from the same collection. I had the makings of a quilt.
If one child had gotten a whale, the other needed an impressive sea creature too. Elizabeth Hartman came to the rescue again. This is her Walrus, from her North Stars pattern. He took a while to cut out, but the piecing was absolutely straight forward; I highly recommend her patterns. You do need to label the pattern pieces as you cut them; I use masking tape and a pen.
Before long, Mr. Walrus was complete, and I was challenged with putting him into a quilt. I was slow; indecision plagued me. It took me more than an hour to move from the picture on the left to the one on the right. All that time for a few half square triangles and some scraps!
I decided to add some love, in the form of hugs and kisses (o’s and x’s), but they needed a little definition, so I added some narrow partial borders.
Then it was time to slice up the improv fabric slab and add it. The top corner got a star for interest and inspiration, to make up for a shortfall in the fabric, and to balance the design a bit. Amazing what one simple star can do!
The hunt for a backing was a little challenging since it needed to be 44′ wide. I ended up inserting a stripe into some flannel, and although I did suffer some thread breakage when quilting the centre seam, it was fine in the end. The quilting was a pretty basic loopy meander, although I did add a number of stars and hearts, and some cool hairlike texture to the walrus himself. He was finished with some solid grey binding, attached by machine and sewn down by hand.
The weather here has been wet and cool for days now, but finally it cleared and Mr. Walrus had his photo taken. First he went to the Marine Sciences Centre, but his friends, the seals, were unavailable.
Off he went to a nearby beach and relaxed on the rocks.
Isn’t it interesting the difference light makes? The sun had just done down behind the hill in the right picture, but still lit up the rocks in the left one nicely.
The quilt was finished on June 13 after 15 hours work. Thanks to Quilting Gail’s marathon, I have completed two baby quilts this month. To fill up the last .7 hour of the 26.2, I cut pieces for another. They are now in my leader/ender basket. Marathon completed.