The past week I have been sewing like a mad woman. In true gnome style I left everything to the last minute so I’ve been trying to squeeze in sewing of the swoon quilt in between being a Mum, a wife, a dogsbody and a sub-par friend. You know; life.
I have had to put so many things to the back burner in order to try and get this quilt done in time to go to the long arm quilter (Helen of Altogether Quilting). It’s been a miracle that the house hasn’t burnt down while I’ve been neglecting my duties.
It’s been totally worth it though. I have all 9 blocks finished and I’m on my way to having them all joined and finished.
It took a family effort though to get it to this point. Not only did HUBBY take on extra baby looking after duties while I was in the sewing room he also helped me cut half square triangles on my foxy block so I could get to bed faster. (Sleep, oh how I miss thee…)
The Little Man even got in on the act and helped me sew a few pieces together. Who knows, this could be the beginning of a big career for him in the textile (or fashion) industry. (Must get on to teaching him how to say “make it work”!)
In what has become a signature of this quilt the completion of it has not been without it’s screw ups…
I’ve managed to sew a block on upside down – a novel interpretation of the block but not something that I can see taking off any time soon.
I also managed to swerve while cutting a half square triangle and cut the end off a triangle. (Seriously nearly lost my marbles over that one!) Lucky I was able to selvage enough off a scrap of the print fabric to make a replacement. Seriously though… cursed!
I’ve managed to sew 80 inches of sash on with the wrong side to the right side (thus leaving a seam join exposed). I seriously contemplated making this a rag quilt at this point…
This quilt has been a comedy of errors. I’m hoping that it’s limited to just me and it doesn’t go off to the long armer and cause her any disasters!
But even with all the mistakes I am so very happy with how the quilt is coming together. It’s the first quilt I’ve done all by myself that’s not a simple block pattern. This one required a lot more cutting and piecing than I’ve ever done by myself. It’s the 5th quilt I’ve ever made and I love it.
I love that it’s bold and full of punch. (I’m not a fan of shy and retiring when it comes to my quilts.) I love colour – love it! The crisp of the white really helps to make these blocks pop. (When I get it back from the quilter I’m going to take some better photos of it to hopefully illustrate the popping!)
I love the fact that it’s going to bring a ray of sunshine into our bedroom in the dark and dreary Canberra winters. I can’t wait to see it all done and laying on our bed.
My plan when pulling fabrics for it was to do 2 matching blocks that are the reverse of each other. For example I had the combination green and fuchsia so I did one block with fuchsia in the center and the other with lime in the center. I figured it would make a nice contrast in the pattern.
Finding the right placement for each block was a little tricky because I didn’t want the pairs to be beside themselves. I decided on the above layout and stacked the blocks in my sewing room waiting to be joined.
In the meantime I facetimed my Mum and during the course of our conversation I decided to show her the blocks so I went through the stack and mixed them all up not thinking about the hours I’d spent trying to work out the perfect placement.
Came back into the room later that night and started joinging them altogether and wham, bam, thank you Ma’am the blocks have now been joined in a completely different layout. Sure I could have unpicked them but I was so past the point of caring (but not past the point of tears) that I couldn’t be arsed.
I’m telling you this quilt is cursed.
…backing fabric: scribbles in orange (binding) & pink spots (backing)…
Normally I like to piece a quilt backing out of the left over pieces from the quilt front but given this pattern likes to squeeze every last drop out of the fat quarters and I was a little cut happy there was bugger all left of it. Plus I was running out of time, so I made the executive decision to go and by a piece of fabric specifically for the back.
The wonderful Michelle (of Buttontree Lane) joined me for a spur of the moment (because I had totally flaked and not factored in postal times when thinking about my backing!) shop at our Local Quilt Shop; Addicted to Fabric.
I ended up selecting a fabric that I never thought I would use in a million years to back the quilt. It’s just so loud and not at all like the fabrics I’ve used for the front of the quilt, but I love it because it reminds me of a biscuit from my childhood; Arnott’s 100s & 1000s.
…horrible feeling Arnotts no longer make these…
The binding however will tie the fabrics on the front in to the backing fabric. I love this print. It’s fun and bold and will only add to the illusion that the back is a giant biscuit.
I did manage to take a time out of all the swooning to go to the first Canberra Quilters Guild Meeting. I decided to fish out the hexies that I had made for the HexyMF Quilt (you know, that quilt I started in July last year!).
While I may have powered through the cutting and basting I was stalled on the actual hand stitching part. I had only joined 3 petals to a central flower – that’s not even one complete flower.
But thank goodness for the Guild Meeting because I managed to get that flower completed and start on a new one!
I was so chuffed with myself for getting one finished. (Although the lady sitting beside me (not Michelle (of Buttontree Lane) who kindly took this photo) informed me that I was doing way too many stitches in my joins and I could cut back.)
I’ve decided that I’m going to take my hand stitching (otherwise known as HexyMF) out with me where ever I go and will have spare hand capacity (so most likely without the Little Man) so that I can slowly knock this project over.
Ever since I picked it up I’ve been thinking about it and wanting to get back to it. I strangely found the hand stitching rather relaxing and zen like, no wonder people get addicted to it!
Such a busy week; I’ve loved it. (Although the pressure at times has been a little… stressful) Can’t wait to get started on my next quilting project! March is the Anna Maria Horner Feather’s Quilt.