Tuesday, 17 January 2012

Lap blanket

Morag's Lap Blanket
My mother in law needed something special for Christmas, not least because her birthday and Christmas day are one and the same.  I wanted something to keep telling her how loved she is when she goes into hospital, and as she has become more ill she gets increasingly cold.  I may not be able to wrap her up and protect her, but I can give her something which does.  So, a month before Christmas resting on my laurels with all the lap quilts done, I launched into knitting squares from Debbie Abraham's inspirational book Blankets and Throws to Knit.  I had meant to do something colourful for our house, but this was more important.

I knitted and knitted til my fingers were sore, and once I had 8 squares washed them and pinned them out carefully onto a polystyrene fish box lid (clean I'll have you know) on which I'd drawn squares of the right size, 7 inches I think.  It was amazing the shapes these 'squares' came out as, both when I was knitting them and after washing!  I thought I'd done enough, but then laid them out and realised I had nowhere near enough, cue more knitting!  Some of the squares have beads knitted into them, which involved at times sitting patiently with a bead reamer and enlarging the too small holes on the 4mm beads I had.  I learned intarsia knitting and how to use circular needles, and Scott sewed the squares together.  Then we frantically cut and threaded through endless eight inch lengths of wool for the tassels, finishing with a sigh of relief on Christmas Eve, and completely contented with our efforts.  Not necessarily elegant, but bright and cheerful, the intended effect.

Lap Quilt #3

Matthew's Quilt Front
Lap quilt number 3 now finished and all off to their respective owners in time for Christmas.  As I came to the end we set them all out and finally chose owners, this one (which is my favourite with my obsession with order) went to my husband's paternal grandfather, a much loved man in his 90s with Parkinsonians which makes it difficult and slow for him to walk.  He has macular degeneration so is unable to see well, and is mostly deaf, but is still very much 'in there' and loves his food.

Matthew's Quilt Reverse
The blues in this quilt were a fat quarter and a slightly larger piece of oriental fabrics, one from Fabric Freedom and the other from Makower. The browns were various stash fabrics, some Three Cats / Shwe Shwe german prints and an african mud cloth, but also one fabric that has been used for everything from tree trunks to horse's tails.  I made sure no two browns were opposite each other in partnership with the cream (some of this was the very first fabric I bought) and paired them with the darker brown, another stash fabric.

I hand quilted with Superior's King Tut #994 Karnak, which amazed me by having the exact same blues and green in order, thanks to Barnyarns for the accuracy of the pictures of the threads on their site.  I quilted the stars loosely then quilted the nine patch squares in circles using a template cut out of fabric, after being struck by Linzi Upton's quilted circles on her wonderful Quilted Yurt when she came to our Region 16 Quilters' Guild Regional day in September.  As I said, I do like geometrics.