Saturday, August 6, 2011

Bee Quilt

I finished up this quilt at the beginning of July and gifted it almost immediately. It went to some friends who were in need of some encouragement during a difficult period in their lives.

I made the quilt with some blocks from my two online quilting bees (Circuit Block Party and The Maple Leaf Bee) from 2010. My original vision of the quilt did not come to fruition due to blocks being a variety of sizes instead of 12.5". (One of my own star blocks was not included because it turned out to be 12".) So, I had to put on my creative thinking cap to come up with a solution to this problem. I had 5 star blocks and 10 improv blocks and my desire to have a quilt that was a decent lap size. I wanted it to be 5 by 5 blocks. The photo above shows what I was thinking at the beginning of this process.

I went to work making blocks. I made 4 improv blocks with lots of small pieces of leftover fabrics. (Those blocks are in the outside centers of the quilt in the photo above.) Then I wanted to make 4 more blocks that were keeping with the scrappiness of the quilt, but had some structure to them. I came across a photo on Flickr that had a block I loved, so I decided to make my 4 blocks with it.

In the end, this is the layout that I went with. I put the star blocks in center of the quilt and put my mosaic blocks in the corners with the improv blocks spaced in between everything. I wasn't really loving the results, but I had a quilt top anyway. I decided to make it a bit longer, but instead of doing more blocks, I added a top and bottom double border. I think that it really helped to tie everything together. (See first photo.)

I decided to just piece the back together out of leftover chunks of fabric. I think it turned out pretty good. The grey solid actually isn't the same as on the front, but I figured nobody would notice that.

We had a lovely day to take photos of the quilt and Nader's shirt even matched the quilt. He begged me to take the label off and give it to him instead. I guess I got him hooked on my quilts!

For the double borders I decided to try a new free motion quilting design. It shows up best in this photo of the back. The bigger circles were in the solid yellow border and the flowery design was in the larger print strip. They aren't perfect by any stretch of the imagination, but it was fun to try out a new design. I'll definitely do them again.

I decided to bind the quilt in the charcoal solid fabric and I love the way that it frames the quilt. To save time I machine sewed it and it looks really good! In the end, I am pleased with the quilt and I know that our friends love it so much. I hope they get lots of use out of it (now that it is in Australia!).

I have some other exciting news, but I will save it for a future post. I am running out of steam tonight!

xo Nicole


Carla said...

Oh Nicole. What can I say? That quilt is so amazing. Hopefully you can do something similar for your hubby. Look forward to hearing your exciting news.......

beth said...

What a BEAUTY!