Back in ?September last year I got suckered into Penny Poppleton's Marcelle medallion qal. I just couldn't resist. I had a million projects lined up and several wips on the go but I do love a good qal, I adore a piecing challenge and I'd spied several of these lovely medallion quilts on instagram already and been very tempted indeed.
So I bought the book and set myself a new challenge - to work from stash, and to work outside of a fabric line. Since my first quilt I had come to rely on the creative convenience of whole fabric line quilts. Jelly rolls, charm packs, layer cakes, even f8 and fq bundles just make this so easy. I am not a naturally creative person and loved letting the fabric designers do the hard work for me. But I knew that wouldn't work for this quilt. Some of my work had been lacking in sparkle somehow and working harder for my fabric choices seemed like the way forward.
I started with a piece of my favourite floral, Blythe by Rebecca Bischoff for Robert Kaufman, and pulled a super bundle. I wussed out of the y seams and foundation paper pieced the central star instead.
And then started building borders. Pesky triangles, teeny geese, agonising fabric choices. I had started with a mixture of prints and solids and continued to build on that. I need a system, a plan, I don't do scrappy, so decided to alternate warm and cool. The top came together fast - mostly due to my unrelenting obsession with it. And then like all my tops it sat. I grabbed a bargain piece of Pam kitty love at 50% off from fat quarter shop but felt utterly daunted by the quilting. In my head I would love to do awesome fmq, but my skills lag well behind my aspirations. The purchase of a new janome horizon 8200 over the summer meant that sending out to a long armer wasn't an option. So it sat some more. And more. And then Christmas happened. And still it sat.
Until last month. Inspired by all the FAL posts I resolved to start 2014 by finishing my outstanding quilt tops. I tackled the gigantic 98" square swoon first so teeny Marcelle felt like a breeze in comparison. I went for a simple wavy stitch which is one of my machine settings, on a diagonal to avoid accentuating any wonky borders. Initially I quilted 2" lines then decided more would be more and went for 1". Quilting was a battle. I think my machine was protesting, as was I, at quilting 3 quilts in a row. And I think it hated all those seams. Tension issues abounded. But I conquered them, then procrastinated some more on the binding, then it was done.
So many favourite fabrics. I love all the saturated jewel colours. I learnt so much making this quilt, about me, my preferences, my choices. I need to pay more attention to those this year.
I think this one needs to go on the wall. That means my husband doing some quilt hanging work. That may take some time. So for now, it is on my bed. On top of swoon. Snuggling under my 2 favourite quilts is really very special indeed.