I went to a baby shower yesterday, and just managed to get this quilt finished in time. Less than an hour before it started, I was still hand-stitching the binding, and after a speedy photo-shoot I had Simon removing the pins holding it to the board while I got changed.
The mother-to-be is my cousin Julie, and both she and her husband are pilots. So my inspiration was planes, and the paper plane image was taken directly from their very aeronautically-inspired wedding (they even had miniature paper planes as confetti!).
My initial design thoughts were for an ombre background, but then I remembered my selection of Vicki Welsh hand-dyed gradients, and spent a lovely few hours with may of them strewn across my table, selecting the best colours. The only way I can bring myself to cut into these fabrics is by making them a feature of the quilt, which partially explains the simple piecing.
However, I did add some detail in the quilting. Five smaller, quilted planes are hidden among the swirls:
If you look really closely in the photo above, there's a join in the binding. Not only does it add the appropriate feel of an airmail letter, but the diagonal stripe is perfectly-angled for joining the binding strips, as well as the mitred corners.
The heart contrail detail was also inspired by the decorative lighting at their engagement party. It's all quilted using glossy Glide thread; in a selection of colours to blend with the background (except the contrasting hot-pink heart). This thread just purrs through my sewing machine, and I used matching BottomLine thread in the bobbin.
It's always lovely when a quilt is so well received. Here (with permission) is Julie's surprise at discovering the details in the quilt, and I've been promised a quilt of the baby doing the same when she arrives.
The post "Via Airmail" was posted on www.sampaguitaquilts.blogspot.com on 14/4/04.