I don’t normally go in for children’s themed fabric even when making quilts specifically for children. I suspect that’s because my children are of an age along with their cousins and peers that a themed quilt would be deeply uncool. A few years back it would have been different with cry’s for Thomas the Tank Engine pillows or Telly Tubby Quilts but not now.
So what’s with this quilt depicting what I guess must be images from a book in just about every home with young children, The Hungry Caterpillar? Well it goes back to a sewing day organised by Joy Edgington of Pastures New Quilting and star of a new sewing channel on the U.K. Network. Joy taught me the basics of quilting and I shall always be grateful. She is the local Project Linus coordinator collecting I think up to 100 quilts from across Birmingham for this wonderful cause.
Joy used to run sewing days to piece and quilt these quilts. It was a huge logistical nightmare coordinating quilters, ironing fairies, refreshments, fabric and supplies, publicity etc etc. But from the quilters perspective it was great fun all bashing away either using our own fabrics/ patterns or using fabric supplied. The couple of quilts I made were these.
Joy, to save her sanity, has now gone for a monthly regular sewing sessions. That regular commitment sadly doesn’t work for me but I still like to make a quilt for Project Linus.
One of the speakers who came last year to tell us a little about what happened to some of the donated quilts, was from the Birmingham Children’s Hospital. They give quilts to newly admitted children on one of their wards to cuddle during their stay and then take them home. It’s hugely popular and a great way of settling in the child. The speaker said one little boy who was very nervous was immediately drawn to a Hungry Caterpillar quilt because it was something familiar. So when I saw some panels going for a song at The Fabric Guild I snapped them up
We owe the staff at BCH a large vote of thanks. Both the twins had birth defects and had to spend time in that hospital . Nothing too concerning, ‘routine and common’ were how their medical issues were described which we found reassuring words, but nevertheless it required altogether some 5 or 6 hospital stays between the pair of them. My daughter’s procedure was just one 2/3 day stay but her twin had to have multiple stays – everyone of which he absolutely loved. He talks of it fondly even now. I think he loved the attention he got, and they are exceptional nurses, but also I think he just enjoyed having my undivided attention rather than vying with his siblings. We always had a fun time, injections aside, when he would scream the ward down.
I was going to make two quilts with these panels but they weren’t quite big enough. Better to make a reasonable sized quilt for a toddler or preschool child who would know the story than two smaller cot size quilts of babies who wouldn’t.
It was the simplest of quilts to make and I bought some coordinating fabric from the range and added a border to pull it together. The quilt took an evening to make. Then equally simple cross hatch quilting to keep it cuddly. I used a Hera marker for the cross hatching and it worked well. But I found it had to be laid on a hard floor and the only decent sized floor of that type that doesn’t have heavy furniture is the entrance hall, perfect for this sized quilt but more of a struggle for a larger one.
It was such an easy make but sometimes something that requires very little brain or creativity for that matter is just the ticket. It’s finish coincided with the largest snowfall we’ve had for years (which compared to many of you at 4”/5” inches deep would be little more than a dusting but here in the U.K. this was exciting stuff) I couldn’t resist getting a snow picture but the sharp eyed will notice that the binding has yet to be sewn down but I knew if I waited until that was done the snow would be long gone.
Linking up with Kelly My Quilt Infatuation and Amanda Jean Crazy Mom Quilts