The second small quilt in the Twelve times 12″ by 12′ series is complete. For the January quilt I used the weather as my inspiration: snow flakes and snowmen, but what to choose for February? Well, February is the month of my husband’s birthday and also of course the month of Valentine’s Day, so I decided to work both themes into the February quilt. One of my husband’s hobbies is being a glider pilot (sail-plane pilot), and as he is, of course, Dutch, I decided that a ‘Flying Dutchman’ block, a variation of the well known Dutchman’s Puzzle block, would be a good choice. To give the quilt a bit of a Valentine’s feel I raided my stash and found a set of fat quarters designed by Renee Nanneman of Need’l Love for Andover fabrics, that features small hearts in red and pink. There were five different fabrics, which was just what I needed for two sets of contrasting flying geese blocks and the backing. For the binding I raided my batiks and found a juicy pinky red that was perfect.
The first step was to make the flying geese blocks: I used two pairs of fabric, dark for the geese and light for the background. I made the blocks using the sew-and-flip technique of lying a square on the rectangle, sewing on the diagonal of the square, trimming the outside to 1/4″ and then flipping and pressing.
I use a sand board to keep the fabric still as I mark the diagonal line.
So I sewed two sets of two geese.
Then I sewed the geese together into pairs and the resulting four 6 1/2″ blocks into one 12 1/2″ block in the ‘Flying Dutchman’ arrangement.
I used the fifth fabric from the range for the backing, a nice swirly stripe.
I layered the top, batting and back and pinned them together to hold everything in place. This time I used Clover flower headed pins. I used Quilter’s Dream Wadding Select 100% mid-loft cotton batting as an experiment.
Then I machine quilted in the ditch between the four patches and along the long seams between the geese. I used a pale pink Gutermann cotton.
Then I used a YLI variegated cotton from Luana Rubin to echo quilt the pink background triangles, 1/4″ from the seam-line.
Before swapping to a cherry red solid YLI thread for echo quilting in the geese themselves.
Then I decided that the centre square on the quilt, made up of the 4 pink triangles needed a little something, so I machine quilted a satin-stitch heart in the centre square, using the same pink variegated thread as for the echo quilting.
Then it was time for the binding: once again this was a 2″ batik double fold binding, first the sides and then the top and bottom edges.
I used the Clover wonder clips to hold the binding while I hand stitched it in place. To be honest I don’t know how I managed without these for so many years! They are so easy to use. I love them.
Then I attached the binding to the top and bottom.
Before attaching the top binding I added a hanging sleeve to the back of the quilt. When pressing fiddly bindings and small sleeves, I have been making good use of my set of Thermal Thimbles, these are thin flexible finger caps made of silicon and they protect you from the steam and heat of the iron. Great for close work.
I made a special effort to make sure all my thread ends and knots were well hidden in the batting a not at all visible on the back. Worth the extra effort. So then I had the quilt bound front and back, but I wasn’t finished yet.
I still needed to do my ‘something new’. I had decided that I was going to add a couple of embellishments to the quilt in the form of decorative buttons, something I haven’t done before. I toyed with the idea of putting them in the heart in the centre, but decided that I liked my original placement of the lower right hand goose better. So that is where Mr. and Mrs. Valentine Dog ended up!
So the finished quilt front looks like this:
The I added a quilt label to the back:
And hung it on the quilt stand in our entry hall.
In a month, the March Quilt Reveal, I am thinking daffodils……