Hedgehogs for Oliver

Early in January, I received an invitation to a birthday party. As an adult, I find that I do not receive many of these, although I have gotten some from my students, bless them! Happily, this was a child’s birthday party that would not compromise any professional standards.

Oliver is my cousin’s son. I am unsure what that relation is called, nor do I really care. He’s another delightful cousin that I am fortunate enough to call a relative! I missed meeting Oliver in utero at the baby shower (I was taking a course at the time), and after his birth. In fact, I met him for the first time at his first birthday party. I make quilts for all the new babies, and I had long planned one for him, but did not get going on anything until two weeks prior to the party. Typical me! Like the foxes quilt, I had a lot to accomplish in a limited amount of time (work really interferes in these things…).

Hazel Hedgehog by Elizabeth Hartman

Hazel Hedgehog by Elizabeth Hartman

After a positive experience with the adorable foxes, I had to try these adorable hedgehogs! I bought the pattern at the end of the Christmas break, and got to cutting.

My fabric choices: Figures by Zen Chic and Kona solids.

My fabric choices: Figures by Zen Chic and Kona solids.

I used a layer cake to make the quills, and Kona solids in two tones of light brown for the faces and bodies of the hedgehogs. The quilt background was Kona Slate, and backing and binding was Figures yardage. I opted for the baby quilt size, which meant nine little hedgehogs to make.

All of these pieces make one hedgehog!

All of these pieces make one hedgehog!

As with the foxes, I was very glad that I did not make a quilt with more hedgehogs! All of the rectangles pictured above become one hedgehog block! I forgot to take a photo of the completed block, but the halves are shown below.

Hedgehog face and legs

Hedgehog face and legs

Quills

Quills

As with the foxes, this was a great quilt for chain piecing. I stitched all of the hedgehogs at the same time, focusing on particular seams to get all nine done at once. It was pieced in a week, working 3-4 hours a night after work. The quilting took about a week, as well.

This is quite possibly the cutest quilt I have ever made!

This is quite possibly the cutest quilt I have ever made!

I stitched in the ditch around all the hedgehogs to define them. It also enabled me to get rid of most of the pins before I started pebbling. I asked myself, again, why I chose to pebble all of the grey areas. It takes forever (13 hours on this one, 11 on the foxes!).

This is why I pebble. The texture is amazing!

This is why I pebble. The texture is amazing!

The pebbling emphasizes the hedgehogs, which were only stitched in the ditch. The unquilted areas get pushed forward, up and out, and look really terrific. It takes time, but the effect makes it worthwhile.

Top left corner.

Top left corner.

I really strive for balance in terms of colour and pattern (of fabric) in a quilt. For this one, I focused on blue and yellow, which are both primary and complementary-ish (Yes, I do know that it’s actually orange that complements blue!) colours. The top and bottom rows are blue-yellow-blue, as quill colours.

Top right corner.

Top right corner.

The centre block does not follow the pattern, although there are yellow quills on either side. This, too, was deliberate.

The fabric that started it all. I know it's a flower, but it's not really all that flowery in this iteration. It also brings in the binding, as the salmon colour appears nowhere else in the quilt top.

The fabric that started it all. I know it’s a flower, but it’s not really all that flowery in this iteration. It also brings in the binding, as the salmon colour appears nowhere else in the quilt top.

I now present a gross error in my quilt. Can you spot it?

Bottom left corner.

Bottom left corner.

Balance of colour? Yes. Balance of pattern? Umm, what happened here?

I planned this quilt before I even started to cut, placing my quill fabrics so that I had a balance of colour and pattern. Somewhere in the assembly of the rows I messed up. By the time I noticed, it was too late. The layers were quilted, and I now have to live with this mistake! (Also, there are numbers in those little circles, some of which are upside down!)

Bottom right corner.

Bottom right corner.

I did include several flowers in Oliver’s hedgehog quilt, but they were so stylized, I think I got away with it.

The name of this fabric is Dandelions, another flower. It reminds me more of the Expo 67 structure in Montreal.

The name of the backing fabric is Dandelions, another flower. It reminds me more of the Expo 67 structure in Montreal than of flowers.

I think Oliver liked his hedgehogs (I know his mum did!). My aunt (his grandma) made him a lovely I-Spy quilt, so he was quilt-tastic at his party. He will never lack for beautiful quilts, that is certain!

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