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"A Walk in the Woods" Quilt Cover for Ava

My super stylish friend Rita has a husband who owns a manchester (if you are not Australian read: bedding and bed linen) business.  So obviously, I don't make quilts or bedding for this woman!  Except now...she showed me a Linen House (I think) range which she had bought for her 1 year old daughter Ava, ready for when she is in a big girl bed.  The range is full of red riding hood, toadstools and the like, and I was immediately reminded of Aneela Hoey's range, "A Walk in the Woods".

I showed her the range and she asked if I would make her a cot quilt for her daughter now, so she didn't have to wait for the big girl bed (which let's face it is at least a year away if not more!). I was stoked to be asked for two reasons; firstly, she is a good friend and I love making things for the people who really matter, and secondly, because she has access to all sorts of amazing in the realm of bedding, and she still wanted me to make something!

High praise indeed :)

And here it is:

I am somewhere behind this quilt cover...

Her cot quilt is not a standard size, so this was made to measure in strips of the range from the blue, red and grey colourways.

The back was a single length of the red on red / watermelon spot:

and this same print was also used on the front to ensure continuity between the front and back.  

The fastenings were ties made of the red spot and the grey spot, at the request of the recipient.  I don't really like ties on quilt covers - they seem annoyingly labour-intensive in use compared to snaps or even buttons, but they are probably a better option than buttons on a small child's quilt cover, given the chewing / choking potential of buttons?

I love this range - the girls are lovely and the toadstools are ridiculously cute.  I love how the blue spot works so well with the grey and red, cutting through those more muted prints with a pop of iciness. 

One of the front strips was pleated, though I didn't get a good picture of that.  It looked good, according to other people who looked at the quilt, but I wasn't overly happy with it.  I felt it was annoyingly bulky due to the seam finish I selected.  As you can probably not really tell from the picture below, I made the front with flat fell seams, to avoid having any exposed edges.  When making a normal quilt, you don't care about any sort of seam finishing on front or back pieces, as those seams will be inside the sandwich of quilt top, wadding/batting and quilt back, never to see the light of day or endure any wear.  Obviously the side seams are usually bound or otherwise protected.

When making a quilt cover, things are a little different.  The seams from any piecing on the front or back are subject to quite significant wear, as you pull the duvet/doona/quilt in and out of the cover every time you wash the cover (as well as all the general moving around wear and tear).  So they need to be somehow finished or covered or whatever, to prevent them degrading over time.  I chose a kind of modified flat fell seam (a "jeans seam") approach - with each seam being sewn together first with wrong sides together, with a larger seam allowance on one piece than the other, and then the longer piece being folded over the raw edge of the shorter piece, and then folded and top stitched down onto the quilt.  This accounts for the double lines of stitching on each edge shown below (which I felt looked pretty nice as a decorative finish, even though in this case it was practical).

Apparently this sort of seam finish only works well on one direction - i.e. if you have lots of cross seams, this is not cool as it leads to bulky intersections.  I think this is the reason behind my displeasure at how the pleated strip turned out.

In all other ways however, I was very happy with this quilt and this fabric range is just lovely.  Here is the beautiful lady in question (well her mum), receiving the quilt:

She seemed really really happy with it, and that's really what counts in the end isn't it?


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