This is a first anniversary present for my son and daughter in law, both great fans of grey and royal blue.
I made it with the blocks from my Block Party on Bee Desi, my virtual quilting bee from the Desi Quilters group.
Before I show you the full quilt, I must show you the beautiful Mod Mosaic by Elizabeth Hartman blocks made by the Desi Quilters!
There is something so fascinating about bee blocks! My son had got engaged at the time these blocks were being sewn. How appropriate that they should go into a quilt for him and his wife on their anniversary! I thought about the difficult time our family was going through with my daughter critically ill, around the same time. Somewhere, the love and care that each quilter poured into each of these blocks reached out to me and my family… As for the blocks themselves, as I quilted them I wondered about the story behind each print. I thought of a quilter generously cutting up some favourite new fabric to put into her block. Or were they scraps left over from a dress made for a daughter or a grand daughter? A much loved cushion? Or even a quilt? Who was using them now ? The child scraps, travelling miles away from their home to be made into a quilt which will now go all the way across the oceans to America…How very special bee blocks are!
I had a total of 9 blocks, all of different sizes and putting them together to make a whole quilt was impossible. To cut a long story short, I decided to put the blocks together in a horizontal row of 30″ with grey above and royal blue below! Then began the calculations as I wanted a straight line across where blue met grey! I worked on the free quilt design software, QuiltAssistant and came up with this!
Each giant block was a different width and quilt as you go (qayg) seemed to be the only option for putting it together! I used a great tute at the Quilting Edge, but I hated the qayg! The quilt came together in 3 panels, finally.
I used a cambric print in royal blue for the backing, joining up the qayg blocks and panels with narrow strips of a blue and lime green fabric. The batting was a thin 120gsm polyfibre.
The 46″ wide grey was quilted with a giant spiral covering almost the width of the panel, in a variegated grey thread in the centre and lime green on the outer circles. The rest of the panel was majorly filled up with a boxy version of the “etch and sketch”” filler stitch by Leah Day, petering out into wavy lines ending in tiny spirals on the left edge. To do this, I drew lines 1″ apart on the top and worked on that. Here, the quilting was in lime green thread near the spiral and a dark grey matching the fabric in the rest.
For the royal blue, I used Leah Day’s ‘cubic ripples’ as an inspiration, but gave them more structure and developed it into a ‘Tetris’ game like pattern. I drew lines at 2″ apart vertically on the 16″ row and quilted 2″ and 4″ squares and 2″x 4″ rectangles. This was a fun design, as I challenged myself not to stack up similar ’tiles’ in close proximity.
For the binding I chose a lime green to brighten up the drab grey which made up half the quilt. I cut the binding the wrong width – just 1.5″ but there was no way I was going to waste 400″ inches of binding. And I had already sewn half a side before it struck me what I was doing! So I decided to go ahead with it; I do want to think the 1/4″ binding adds a touch of elegance to the quilt – so “not over the top”!
All the quilting was done on my Husqavarna Viking Topaz 20 with its inbuilt auto sensor system for fabric thickness. I had some problems initially when using the spring action fmq foot, but when I switched to the echo quilting foot, I soon got the hang of the right rhythm and everything went smoothly – like a dream!
So here are the pictures, I’ll shut up and let them do the talking…
Ready for packing? Not before one last look at it!
Thank you, all you beautiful ladies, who made the blocks for this quilt!