Well I didn't quite manage to find the glorious sunshine I was dreaming about from my office window on Friday afternoon, but I did find some daylight to do some justice to my latest magnum opus. Are you ready? Here it is in all its glory:
My sparkling orange mint choc chip quilt.
The name comes from both the pattern and the fabric. The pattern is from the book Jelly Roll Quilts by Pam and Nicky Lintott and was originally called Sparkling Gemstones.
The fabric (is it worrying that I keep accidentally calling it yarn?) is mostly a Bali Pop (equivalent to a Jelly Roll) of Hoffman Batik fabrics with the colourway Mint Choc Chip that came from the Kaleidoscope Fabrics stand at the quilt show in August.
I chose the orange for the borders at the same time and although I thought at the time that it might just be a step too far along the crazyometer of colour, I'm really pleased with how it turned out - it's one of my favourite colours and it's a great contrast colour to all the blues and greens in the bali pop.
At one stage we contemplated a soft blue green for the borders which would have given a completely different feel to the quilt - more deciduous woodland whereas mine is blazing autumn glory.
We had originally picked a bright contrast turquoise semi-solid for the borders but in the event it turned out to be too bright so a little trip up to Cotton Patch in Hall Green last weekend found the fabric for the border, which I also used as the fabric for the backing.
I spent last weekend attaching the borders and then free motion machine quilting the entire thing. My previous quilt has, shall we say minimal quilting - I'd spent so long on it and was so worried about messing it up, combined with a really tiny desk space to manipulate clouds of starry quilt that I confined myself to outlining each star and a few diagonal lines. This time I bit the bullet and went for stippling, or rather, my version of stippling which is basically rippling lines quilted haphazardly over the entire surface.
I'm clearly no expert, and there are a few good puckers on the back of the quilt but for a first attempt and properly quilting a quilt I'm pretty happy with it. The puckers only show if you (a) look at the back and (b) hold it out to look for them; I'm just hoping that with practice and all the tips I can glean from the internet I might one day finish a full size quilt without puckers - I'm not averse to the practice though.
I did branch out a little to quilt the borders, adding a quasi leaf pattern to my wiggly lines, to work with the autumnal theme.
This last week has been spent in one of my favourite stages of quilt making - hand sewing the binding. I machine sewed one side last Sunday, and spent the next few days working my way around the edging.
I know for some quilters, sewing the binding is akin to sewing up for knitters but I find there's something essentially cozy about being wrapped up in an almost finished quilt with my feet tucked up underneath me, needle in hand - a test drive of the quilt perhaps?
And then all that was left was the final touch:
Made by me!
And now the quilt (and matching cushion) have pride of place on the sofa - perfect for a lazy Sunday afternoon.