Tuesday, 10 July 2012

Kookaburras, Koalas and Kangaroos

Any of you that know me not as Emily's Mum but as a busy commuter may recall we have been going through somewhat of a population explosion in the office. We are a tight little team  who have been brought together through work but bound together by sadness and laughter and whilst there are only a dozen of us, somehow 6 of them have managed  to produce 8 off spring in the space of three years and none of them have been twins! I know it is a reflection on the age group of the core of the gang but honestly- this seems like a pretty drastic way of filling the fine schools of Edinburgh to me. 

Whilst we were away "en vacance" the latest and probably final two babies for quite a while decided arrived and at last we got a girl ( and another boy - the beautiful Adam, a brother for little Filip). 7 boys and one girl- don't you think the odds are badly stacked there for a good and balanced team barbeques once they are all grown a little and running around? That poor wee soul of a girl will be so out numbered by those boisterous boys. 

Anyway all this family growth has caused a great deal of stitching and the arrival of a girl should have given me the opportunity of bringing a little femininity to my fabric choice, but this was not to be.  Mum and Dad to be had spent some time living in Australia before coming to Edinburgh and their time there had very clearly been a very enjoyable one and had left them with lots and lots of wonderful memories. So much so we held a sweep in the office as to whether they would call the new born Alice or Sydney! The antipodean influences were soon to be seen in the decorating of little one's nursery, with the introduction of a lovely deep sandy orange and some lush cactus greens in the curtains and borders,off setting pale and serene cream walls. The room looked a treat and set the tone for me to know where I had to go with my choices. And then fate stepped in. 

One lunchtime, whilst shopping in Mandors for another project I spotted a fat quarter all on its own in a basket by the till. It lay on the top of all its scrappy friends and I don't  know what drew me to look closer, but there they were. Kangaroos, Kookaburras, Koalas, Kane toads, Crocodiles, the lot! I couldn't believe my eyes. I had spent weeks scouring the Internet for Australian themed fabric but none had really hit the spot. But this was just the job, although at first I worried that if the new arrival was a not a boy, it might be a little masculine. But the match in colours to Mum & Dad's nursery choice was perfect so there was no question. It had to be the basis of the quilt, all be it a tricky one. I decided to wait for baby's arrival before picking the other fabrics just so I knew if I had to go all out with the boys fabrics, or whether I needed to soften the tones as the green background really was very strong.

Well baby finally arrived and we all cheered at the birth of a girl for the team and I set off in my quest to find co-ordinating fabrics for her quilt. Again, having seen the nursery I did have some other hints so I decided to concentrate on the orange of the Koala and owl faces and then add more cream.  After a lot of Googling,  I discovered the fabric was from called Hooty Hoot Kangaroo  by Riley Blake so found a couple of co-ordinates from that range as well as a good matching Moda orange tiny spot. As you will see, I didn't actually use all my purchases because as usual I hadn't decided on the piecing.   

However a plan quickly formed again  and I fussy cut the feature fabric , picking out the key animals  in 3 3/4 inch squares , which I pieced in a checker board with nine patches in the orange and one of the cream spots ( using 1 3/4 inch strips). I then added an orange border and then further four patch sets in a pale cream and a pale green which I think brought in the softness to the piece.  As ever this was followed by a quick trip to Brian and Carole at Beechwood Quilting for a session on their long arm machine and give the quilt its wonderful texture. Carole came up trumps, as ever, with a White Chocolate cookie especially bought for my visit as she was out of Flapjacks. What a treat and how spoilt am I? 

Binding ( in the feature fabric) was slightly held up by my excited son and a very long Skype call discussing his pending move with his other half to their first home together, but I did manage to stitch whilst paying strict attention to the growing wish list of household appliances which he was drawing up. Gladly by midnight the quilt was finished, ready for wrapping in its cellophane and  of course a few pictures of the finished product for the blog.  These proved tricky with the flash so apologies for the quality here. A bit disappointing.  

I am glad to say the quilt was handed to Dad this morning and he scurried off home tonight for the first time to his wife and stunning daughter with the package under his arm and a happy skip in his step, in the keen anticipation of seeing his new little family again after a day in the office.  What a joy and oh how life goes on...
Oh , by the way she is called Rebecca.   


  1. well done - absolutely gorgeous - how lucky are the people that work with you? I think you need to start quilting for your 'ex follow commuters but still pals' group of friends!!!!


  2. they only have to ask ha ha x

  3. hmmm keep trying to add comments to say how wonderful you are and how you need to start quilting for your 'ex commuter pals but still mates' group of friends (now that all the babies are taken care of of course!)but my comments keep vanishing - so hopefully its 3rd time lucky this time!

  4. Absolutely beautiful quilt which I am sure Rebecca will love and cherish for years to come. So much hard work and attention to detail.

    Thank you

    Rebecca's Gran

    1. Thanks Rebecca's Gran. Lovely of you to pop by. Glad you liked it and I am looking forward to meeting Rebecca soon.

  5. Oh mygosh! It is adorable and seemed to fall together nicely which usually means it was meant to be!!

    1. thanks Lori- yes it was a worry at first but as you say the best ones seem to happen on their own don't they


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