My lovely neighbours are expecting a grandson any day now, and they asked me to make the new baby a quilt. I do not normally sew on demand, but I was happy to make an exception for them. We live in the best neighbourhood. The group of residents around me swap not only cups of sugar but also everything from stockpots to crayfish, and we spend a lot of time together socially.
From my stash, a blue and white elephant print caught Mrs Neighbour’s eye, and a raindrop print I originally bought for my aeroplane quilt was chosen for the backing. I then pulled out other blue fabrics that coordinated. I supplemented what I had with a small number of purchases: a second elephant print, a duck print, and some other fabrics for the binding and borders.
We looked at a number of patterns, but aware that time was tight, I used my pinwheel ruler to make a simple pinwheel quilt. To ensure that there was enough contrast between the darker of the light fabrics and the lighter of the dark fabrics, I arranged them very roughly in an ombre pattern. Pinwheel patterns work best when there is contrast, I think.
I had just enough (half a metre) of the elephant fabric to make the pinwheel border. To stretch the quilt out a little more, I added a narrow ¼-inch border of blue and a second spotted border, both mitred.
I had planned to quilt it myself, but to be sure that the baby received it before he started school, I decided to send it to a professional. Donna Lawrence of Calico Quilting was able to quilt an adorable elephant motif on it, far, far better than I could do and in a fraction of the time.
As a surprise, I made a length of bunting. I have long wanted to make bunting, but I never have. This was the perfect opportunity to give it a go. I made mine with 15 flags, each sewn from two triangles that were cut 7½ inches across and 9 inches down (including seam allowances). I had 3.4 metres of bias binding because that was all that was left on the roll, but 4 metres would have been better with this many flags to allow some length to make ties.
Because bunting gets dusty, I top-stitched each flag; if the bunting is washed, it will be easier to iron it afterwards with top-stitching.
As my lovely neighbours have Indian heritage, these are Indian elephants, not African elephants. My husband has learned some delicious curry recipes from Mr Neighbour.