Sunday, July 15, 2012

Mermaid, Hearts & Pansies

 This single bed quilt was made for my granddaughter, Samantha (Sam) a few years ago. The design and layout was my own idea and I really enjoyed the whole process of using different techniques and trying to put this quilt together.

I started with the heart blocks using material cut from hand painted fabric the hearts were then pieced together by machine, the centre mermaid and pansies blocks (appliqued) were cut from fat quarters and my fabric stash, which was small at the time of making this quilt but has grown very large since then and still growing, the pansy and mermaid blocks were then hand appliqued using blanket stitch, sewing neatly around the edges with one strand of colour matched DMC embroidery thread to the mermaid or pansy petals colours not the background fabric.

I then joined four blocks together (consisting of 3 hearts and 1 pansy block) I made black bias binding using a ½" (2mm) Clover Bias Maker, 1" (25mm) black cotton strips (cut on the cross of the fabric) and ¼" (6mm) strips of Heat and Bond tape, I then added two borders (one blue fabric print and the other pink fabric print) to the two sides (right and bottom), after joining the borders to the block I squared up the 12 blocks, each block measured 15½" x15½".
With the centre panel I kept adding borders until the centre mermaid panel measured 30½" x 30½" 

 The mermaid was hand appliqued to the white panel using blanket stitch, using one strand of colour matching DMC embroidery thread.

I wanted to try the “Quilt as You Go”(QAYG) method so I sandwiched the batting and backing fabric to the 12 individual blocks and the mermaid panel.  Once this was done using my domestic machine with the open-toe foot (darning foot) attached, I  free-motion quilted in the ditch around each pansy and the mermaid shape. This time I used white thread to match the background fabric.  

The mermaid panel was diagonally quilted with lines of cross-hatching, as a guide I used 1" removable tape (packing tape) for my machine walking foot to follow, the pansy border fabric was quilted using free-motion open-toe foot (darning foot) following the print of the pansy fabric (this was good way to practice free-motion quilting and I gained a lot of confidence by doing this).

Then I changed to a walking foot and quilted each heart block by echoing ½" inside each heart matching threads to the hearts colour, then changing thread to white and  I stitched in the ditch around the outside of the each heart shapes.

The next step was to join 2 blocks together and joint the blocks to the right and left sides of the centre panel of the mermaid, I then joined 4 blocks to the top of the quilt and the 4 remainding blocks to the bottom of the quilt. I used the “Quilt as You Go”(QAYG) method here as well.

The quilt was returned to me after years of wear and tear for repair by my granddaughter, who had loved it to death, I replaced the original binding (which was pink) with a brighter pink binding, the original binding had worn away and was becoming thread bear in places. It was a simple repair job but with a bit of unpicking and sewing the quilt was made new again, it has been returned to my granddaughter for more loving.

Happy quilting

I have just finished reading an amazing book about my ancestors (direct descendent mother side of family) the book titled "On the Back of Two Sheep" is about my family history and how that line of my family came to Australia from England 196 years ago. For the crime of stealing two sheep, my ancestor George Solomon Webb, aged 26 was transported on the ship “Morley” to the penal settlement of New South Wales in December 1816. After marring and gaining his Certificate of Freedom, he and his family journeyed south and made their home west of the Murrumbidgee River the family branched out and became well known pioneering settlers on the Tidbinbilla and Urayarra Runs. Claire Lewis has made my ancestors and family names come to life from these pages, reading of their hardships I can only imagine how isolated they must have been in the bush trying to carve out a living from the land. Thanks Claire for putting pen to paper.

Copies of this book can be obtained from:
Claire Lewis 1 Dakin Place, Hackett, ACT 2602.


  1. Well done Anne. It's lovely to have a quilt that's much loved as this one. Lyn (PQ's)

  2. Found you!
    welcome to blogland...look forward to see some of your beautiful work...
    Julia ♥

  3. Glad you found the blog Julia and thanks for leaving a comment now all I have to do is work out how to reply LOL


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