{BlogtoberFest13 - 13} The making of Beetle's Quilt

So I  have this friend. We've never met. Yet I feel I can still call her a friend. A good friend in fact. When I learnt that her 4th beautiful baby was on its way (apparently it is the last but we'll see) I knew she would love something quilty as a gift.

Back in March I started a FB conversation with some online quilting friends that we have in common and of course they were keen to make something too. The easiest option is to make a bigger quilt and each make blocks, like we had done in the past for Tristan, Madelyn and Miss L and of course my own sweet boy got one too.

I knew Miss Dove was a fan of Kate Spain and cute little animals so 'Central Park' seemed like a good choice and the fact that I had a fair amount of it in my stash just made sense. The others agreed and I sent out 13 or 14 packs of 3 x 5" 'charms' so that fabrics from stashes could be matched.

Then after a few months the blocks started arriving at my house...and I must admit I got rather overwhelmed.  Each individual block was fantastic but the colours and the busy-ness of each block when all together was sort of hard to look at.

So it sat on the design wall for a few more weeks while the rest of the blocks slow trickled in. The purple block was a special requested to balance out the bright blue in some of the other blocks. (And there is a story to tell that is apparently it very funny to some!)

Then I heard that Miss Dove was putting up the cot D-day was getting nearer...oh sh*t I thought. Need to do something with those blocks!
And so I mulled over it for a few more days.....there was 2 options really. Make 2 more blocks for a 4 x 5 layout or layout the blocks I had in a different way. Even with sashing I was still thinking the blocks were a little overwhelming all clumped together like that.
Then an idea started to form and I got designing.....

A central bigger block with the other blocks framing it. It looked good in my head....then I just crossed my fingers and hoped I could pull it off!

 Working from the outside in to get the central block size.  I chose the 'rounder' styled blocks for the corners spaced out the brighter backgrounds vrs the lighter backgrounds and created an equal balance of the blocks (or at least I hope I did) .

The original plan was to use  uneven 'piano keys'  but the fabric scraps I was working with didn't lend themselves to that very well and then was I stuck how to add the central colours as whole pieces of fabric rather than strips.

I went with 2 inch squares to surround the centre block. I still feel the centre block is too big and 3 inch squares would have been better, but then the centre would have ended up very long and skinny and I'm not sure that would have worked either.

Most of these are taken on the phone (late at night) as I kept the other block makers up on my progress via our Facebook group.

I then had to wait a few days to go to work to borrow the photocopier to enlarge the animals I'd chosen for the centre. I'd copied the outline of the giraffe and the elephant from the backing fabric, but was having trouble enlarging them by hand. Yeah for technology!

Then it was a fabric issue. I wanted a blue elephant and a pink giraffe to try and keep it gender neutral with a mix of pink and blue. But then Miss Dove popped out that baby and it was a blue version...should I stick with the pink now that I know it is a boy.

Time was passing Little Beetle was growing and I needed to get quilting!

The blue elephant silhouette look that I was going for was not working with this fabric. I had just enough steam-a-seam left to have one more go at it.

Come back tomorrow to see the full quilt!


LittleWhiteDove said…
We'll see? nonono, cheeky miss!

Loving seeing the evolution of this beautiful quilt xx
Such a fun, fun project!!

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