It started out by me asking teenage son what colours he wanted in his quilt. We were standing in the kitchen at the time and he answered, “Just like this.”
“What, the kitchen?” I queried. “Blue, white and orange?”
Now, having the benefit of knowing my son since birth, blue actually means navy, white actually means grey and well, orange just means orange. So I set about gathering appropriate fabrics. Once I had gathered together about 100 metres of each colour I then researched quilt patterns. This quilt is intended for him to take away to university in September this autumn and I allowed myself 5 months in which to make it. I started in April and almost, almost, got it finished today but not quite. I just couldn’t resist showing you……..
The design is from Kaffe Fasset’s Quilt Again book and is the Big Bang pattern. In the book the quilt has 3 stars which I thought was a rating for impressiveness. It actually means level of difficulty which just goes to show that if you don’t know your own limitations then there are no limitations!
Essentially, the pattern is a Lone Star that goes all the way out to the edges of the quilt.
To cut a very long story short – the thinking time and colour matching and fabric setting; the processes and time consuming patchworking. Then the construction and with every little bit and strip added, this quilt top just got bigger and bigger! In total there are 1392 diamonds. Yep, nearly 1400 diamonds and all with bias edges!
But there are easier ways to sew 1300 diamonds together: Straight stitch a clatter of fabric strips together and then cut them at 45 degrees. Then sew the diamond strips together. Press that tiny 1/4″ seam allowance open – good grief! And make sure your diamond points all match up – yeah right!
However, at long last I had a quilt top which is clear proof that time is limited and not endless. I think I should get a PhD for that discovery!
The quilting is really fairly simple and I mostly used my walking foot – North, South, East and West : NE, SE, SW, NW and then octangle rows to join up the points of the compass. That should hold the bias together yet remain soft and flexible enough to snuggle under. There’s a bit of a free motion quilting in the centre to make a spiral too.
While I was quilting the layers together, I did begin to think that this quilt was the same size as the universe. I have henceforth discovered that the universe is not infinite and neither was the quilt because the quilting did eventually come to an end. Do I get another PhD for that one? I sewed the binding on and the only thing that needs to be done now is slip stitch this over the raw edges and give the whole thing a really good pressing.
In the centre is the original Big Bang – hot and firey. Then all the debris, dust, dark matter and the foundations of our universe radiating out. Our solar system is orbiting around about the orange/turquoise band – warm enough for life but not too hot nor too cold. As we get towards the edges of the quilt, and therefore, the edge of the universe, everything begins to cool down and the second Law of thermodynamics is irrefutably proved. Of course the first law of thermodynamics states that energy cannot be created or destroyed – which this quilt also proves – all my energy has transferred into this quilt which in turn will keep my son warm and loved when away from home.
And when he takes official ownership of the quilt it will come with a single condition, namely, to make a Big Bang!