January was a great month for me and my completer-finisher tendencies with 3 big quilty finishes so it only seems right to get them documented here.
Swoon. Who doesn't love a swoon? I have had this pattern for ages, ever since seeing Katy's triumphant effort. Somehow I missed all that swoon-a-long madness, I must have been working or something, but wow what a quilt. Bought the pattern. Read the flickr group. Got intimidated, got distracted. That was that.
Then last summer a new swoon a long was born. Fairy Face Sarah kicked off #swoon2013 on IG and it was just the kick I needed. Are you seeing a theme here? What is it with me and quilt alongs? I had long since chosen my fabric, a hoarded FQ bundle of Kate Spain's Good Fortune line, and had even purchased yardage of cream sketch as my background. My piecing skills improved dramatically over last year, in huge part thanks to discovering Cristy's amazing glue basting technique through the Pile O Fabric skill builder BOM. The quilt remains - ahem - something of a wip but the skills are being used at least!
So swoon. I made one block. Awesome. I love a big block and these are huge. 24" square if I remember correctly?
I chopped up my fabric for 5 more blocks, only wasting 2 precious fqs in the process. This pattern requires careful cutting people!! I had battled a bit with block 1 in terms of seam pressing and general construction and heard a rumour that Camille's Craftsy class cleared that right up so when I got one of those hard to resist emails through I went for it. I would totally recommend the class ( precut piecing made simple) to anyone wanting to tackle swoon. You get the pattern for free with the class and it definitely makes perfect sense of the block construction. Plus Camille is lovely to watch.
I production line pieced those next 5 blocks which was so so satisfying. Love a production line. Admired my blocks. Got distracted by my Marcelle medallion ...
And so towards the end of last year I decided it was time to get it finished. I had great plans for this quilt you see - to boost its size with borders and get it on my king size bed. I had been feeling rather daunted by the prospect of quilting it but having purchased a Janome Horizon 8200 with a mammoth 11" of throat space that reason for stalling was pretty much null and void. So I got back to it. Some tricky fabric pairings - even working within the Good Fortune fabric line it was hard to choose the right balance of colours and value placement to get the final three blocks working just right within the quilt. More cutting, glue basting, chain piecing - and the 3 final blocks were done!
I got my completer finisher head on then. Sashing, borders, making a gigantic back. I used some of my leftover Good Fortune FQs for this - some had larger scale and pictorial prints that just wouldn't have worked within the swoon blocks themselves. Basting - we have great floor space here but I had to rearrange my kitchen furniture to baste this one. And onto the quilting. I've said it before, I'll no doubt say it again, it isn't my favourite thing but I slogged through 8" diagonal straight lines to stabilise, then 4", then 2". All marked out with a hera marker. Happily my machine decided to play nicely throughout which made the process a lot happier for me. Wrestling the huge and heavy quilt was a challenge but truly that 11" throat made it as easy as it could possibly have been.
It's funny really, because in a lot of ways the colours in this quilt aren't entirely 'me'. There's quite a lot of purple, and despite being bright the colours have a muted feel to them rather clear tones. But I just love it. I love the detail in the prints. I love the sketch. And that grey tiny dot border.
Happy happy. This is on my bed. And loved by everyone. Even those that aren't supposed to be on beds.
Some detail, for posterity I suppose.
Pattern: Swoon by Thimbleblossoms
Fabric: Good Fortune by Kate Spain plus cream Sketch
Back: More Good Fortune plus random grey and cream yardage (a grey tiny dot plus cream oval and lace elements)
Size: 98" square
Quilting: Diagonal 2" straight lines