I requested (another, I know) whopping 24" block, instead of the usual two 12 inchers. I toyed with just asking for random placement, but then decided on the Diamond Ripples block by Lara Finlayson from the Modern Blocks book.
Here's my original block...
Obviously as it was to be a Brit Bee quilt, Diamond Ripples was immediately renamed Diamond Nipples in my head at least, and is now affectionately thought of as my Brit Bee Nips! You can stick to Ripples if you prefer.
I received all my blocks back by the end of February, and since then I have stitched up the mega-siggy block, embroidered over all our names, pieced and then quilted my new favourite quilt.
I am really trying to build up the tension here, but what the heck, here it is...
I madly decided that I wanted to contrast with all the pointy angles with some curvy quilting. But FMQing is not my friend, and the only pattern I kept coming back to was the continuous spiral, on a 72" square quilt, with 1.25" spacing...
As it happens, that's 42 full 360 degree turns, plus corners!
NB. If you quilt an anti-clockwise spiral, you will end up with more and more of your quilt passing through the throat of your machine until you reach gridlock. If you lie awake at night knowing there must be a solution, and then finally twig that flipping the quilt and working from the other side will rectify the problem, and an ever decreasing throat-mass, you will be a lot happier. If you are smart like Fiona, you will realise this quite quickly; if you are a bit slow, like me, and are too stubborn to google it, take heed!
Anywho, this quilting was hard, I still ache, but I LOVE IT!!!
I used a variegated 28wt Aurifil thread (4657), it's reddy-pink, orange and yellow, and works perfectly. I almost chickened out and went for a straight grey or orange, but I am so glad I didn't.
Once it was quilted I thought I wanted a solid for the binding, to give it a proper frame, but firstly I didn't have enough of any solid, let alone a perfect one; secondly I didn't want to wait, and thirdly I had the perfect print ready and waiting. Patty Young's Dandelion print in raspberry. I bought a couple of yards ages and ages ago on sale, and the last serendipitous 20" was absolutely perfect as an almost solid in the colour I wanted...
As you know, I was a bit worried that the embroidery of the siggy block was going to end up looking like a dog's dinner after a wash and tumble; so many useful and wise suggestions received, brain not fully in gear, I promptly forgot them all and remembered at the point when I had basted the whole quilt!
But fear not...
|Before & After.|
I cannot thank all my fellow Brit Bee ladies enough for their sterling piecing, and speedy return of blocks, you have enabled me to have the most wonderful quilt...again! Mwah mwah mwah xxx
As you are probably aware, us Brit Bees are an emotional bunch, and not getting this quilt finished quickly, (even though it is on my FAL list), was never an option. I know that as a Bee quilt some people may not think that I have made best use of all the mighty skills we have between us, but the fact that these blocks all merge and flow together is exactly what I love about it. A lot of love and meaning got stitched into this quilt, and it will rank up there as one of my most treasured possessions for always.
If you need me, you know where you can find me, cosy and smiling xxx