Most of my projects are planned, usually to the nth degree because my mind can sew just so much faster than my fingers. I have fabric and patterns picked out for at least four dresses for the girls, the shorts I was planning for the summer are still waiting and I’m planning more quilts in my head than I can keep track of. I tend to tackle them one at a time though (or maybe two at a time) just because until recently I’ve not had the space to have much work in progress hanging around.
But then every now and then there is a project that just screams “MAKE ME!”. This is one of those. And I’m going to blame Amanda Jean at Crazy Mom Quilts entirely responsible for it (thank you!) because it was while working my way through her Finish it up Friday linky that a unicorn quilt popped up onto my screen from Sew Fresh Quilts, and I knew in a heartbeat that I had found my mama-made present for Kitty’s birthday.
I’d originally been planning on shorts because she’s grown out of the batik print ones I made at the start of the summer and there is a metre of the most amazing Riley Blake unicorns and rainbow fabric hiding at the bottom of a pile of fabric on my shelves, but shorts are not exactly practical at the end of September, particularly in a September that has been so very definitely autumn, as if the seasons hanged this year with the flip of a switch. A rainbow unicorn cushion on the other hand – seasonally appropriate, cuddleable, would go nicely in her new room as and when it ever gets replastered, has rainbow and, most importantly, is a unicorn.
Pattern purchased, decision made.
The fabric came almost exclusively from my stash, and you’ll see snippets you recognise from other projects in there. The only colour I needed to add was the orange – I didn’t have any purple of quite the right shade, but I thought Kitty would rather have pink so I wasn’t going to push it. The background is Kona Baby Blue, and the borders and the back are by Free Spirit. I thought it was a Tanya Whelan print but the cushion is currently under Kitty so I can’t go and check and I can’t find it on Google – sing out in the comments if you recognise it.
The pattern is traditionally pieced, which involves cutting out the tiniest of tiny pieces and then sewing them together; for the 12” x 12” block the smallest piece is 0.75” square, and I ended up keeping many of the pieces impaled to the ironing board because they would keep trying to run off. Given the size, matching the points was a one chance only affair and to my huge relief, most of them came out ok.
And as for the quilting; well it’s fairly, what do they call it on Bake Off? Rustic? Bascially this is not the beautiful perfect quilting of a long arm or someone with lots of practice at free motion under their belts. I could have done squiggles or even a good leaf, but I wanted to try something a little bit different and the only way to get better is to just get on and do it, so after a bit of sketching practice I settled down to try scribbly daisies. After the first couple I was convinced I’d made a huge mistake, but now they’re finished I think it works; it keeps the cushion light and bouncy.
As for the most important test – Kitty had just one word for it: “Wow!”
I think that’s a win.