Saturday, 16 February 2019

Another late/early quilt

I have finally made a start on a quilt that my lovely son requested two years ago!  In my defence, I spent much of that time waiting for him to decide on a pattern for the curated bundle of maths / chemistry / engineering types fabrics I'd been collecting for some time.

I managed to source periodic table fabric,

chemical equations (chemistry student),

musical notation (DS plays trombone),

little vintage engineering drawings - aeroplanes,

and motor cars, 

and some rocket science ;-)

physics, chemistry, (physics student)

geometry,  (maths and further maths student)

 bike chains (he loves cycling for fitness),

a feint script print which is about mapping, latitude and longitudes (super keen orienteerer)

all set in a mix of other tonal script fabrics and DS's choice of turquoise and orange fabrics from my stash.

Most of my pattern suggestions were politely declined so I waited to see what DS would come back with.

He never did, but, when I made this quilt (above) for a friend, I could see the pattern's potential for use on the bundle of fabrics awaiting our/my attention.  It also nicely fulfilled the "no fussy stuff" brief.  DS couldn't quite see it though.  I think it was hard for him to look beyond the florals of the quilt I was holding in front of him.

So, I doodled ...

and I played with colour placement and his lovely eyes lit up. Yep, he liked them.  The mix of his colour choices (far right) was his favourite of the ones I'd offered.

So, there was a plan.

But there was no time, and he wasn't in a hurry, and so it sat unstitched.  Until now ...

We did some laying out and re-arranging, including the extra row on the floor because neither bed nor floor was big enough for all of it.

We decided on 13.5" unfinished squares, so while not the biggest quilt at 78" square, it is generous and definitely enough for a strenuous machine wrangle come quilting time.

When DS saw it all laid out he declared it 'better than he could have imagined' and has asked if, rather than it being considered a 'late' quilt, could it be his take away to university quilt?  He's a wee bit ahead of himself, but I am secretly stoked that he likes it this much!

Unfortunately, I encountered a big problem when I was trying to quilt it last weekend.  Just over half way through the quilting, I moved the quilt out from under the machine to start a new line and heard lots of little pops as the stitching broke in many of the lines.  It was so discouraging, especially after a whole evening's worth of work.  The stitch length was good, the tension wasn't a problem and the quilting looked lovely from the front.

But, all the breaks unfortunately make a complete unpick necessary.  Having consulted better quilting brains than mine on IG, I think the issue may be that the Aurifil 50 wt thread is just not strong enough for the movement in the wavy line quilting on the diagonal bias of the quilt.    

So, when I eventually finish un-quilting, I will use a stronger thread and possibly straight line quilting on this lovely quilt.  Officially I  have (hopefully) another year and a half before it's required in student accommodation, but it would be awfully nice if the unpicking was a little quicker than that.  So, here's to not losing motivation by acres of unpicking stitches and hope for an early finish, instead of it being two year's late.  You never know ...


  1. This is fabulous! And how wonderful that your son is so delighted with it. I'm sorry about the unstitching, that is never fun. Maybe the fact that you know it's being well received will be encouraging as you slog through the last bit. Hope so!

  2. This has to be the best 'male' quilt I have seen. I love that it is so personal too. While many people love Aurifil for quilting I have to admit to having several issues too in the past. One time the thread just kept breaking no matter what I did, more than once I have had to stop using it for quilting and switch to Guterman, which has never cause me problems. x

  3. This comment has been removed by the author.

  4. That thread breaking is a terrible thing to happen on such a beautiful quilt. I really feel for you. I just checked on Aurifl's site ( ) and I think think this falls well within the long list of things they recommend using this thread for so I really don't think it should have happened. I suggest you write to them about it and see what they say.

  5. That quilt is stunning! I'm sorry about the quilting, though. I must admit that I've fallen out of love with Aurifil for machine quilting anything other than pouches when the quilting is on anything other than the straight of grain. I quilted the unicorn cushion in 40wt (in a 60/30 deg grid) and that had a thread snap as I turned the cushion right sides out, so I'm going back to YLI and King Tut for quilting cushions and quilts and will use my Aurifil for other things.


Thanks for stopping by and leaving a comment. I do try to respond to every comment, but forgive me if occasionally time does not permit.

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...