Another Thank Goodness It’s Finished Friday post! This is my second WIP quilt finish this year, and I couldn’t be more pleased that I am on track with my sewing and quilting goals.
This quilt was my first Bee experience. This quilting bee started on Instagram not long after Lindsay Conner’s book, Modern Bee — 13 Quilts To Make With Friends was published. Someone had an idea to organize a virtual quilting bee and I jumped at the opportunity. Suffice it to say that this experience is also the reason I will never participate in a bee again. There were many lessons learned about being a bee member, and what not to do when participating in a bee. On a positive side, I met more than a few people who have become great Instagram friends and for that I am grateful for this experience. And, as Forest Gump would say, that’s all I have to say about that.
My month in the bee was November of 2014. At that point in the bee I think everyone was pretty much over it, so I asked for everyone to make the Come Together block in the book since it was easy. I requested that they make a scrappy block with fabrics that they were drawn to and that represented them. I put no restrictions on colors, I just wanted every one to have a low-key, no pressure month with their bee block. And also use up some of their scraps if they wanted! Once I received all the blocks I put them away as I was feeling a bit down about the bee experience and I didn’t want to look at them for a while. I pulled the blocks out in August of 2015 and realized that many of them were smaller than the 20.5″ they were supposed to be. Since this is a forgiving block, I trimmed them all down to 20″ and sewed them together into the top. When the top was done, I really started to love the scrappy look it had.
For the quilt back I used the black words on white background wide-back fabric from Whistler Studios for Windham Fabrics. I enjoy the look of the texty background and I think it’s brings some cohesiveness to my scrappy front. Also, I thought it was awesome that I didn’t have to spend time planning and piecing a back after having recently done the Grungy Windows quilt backing! I loved being able to just starch and press the fabric, measure and cut it, and BOOM! I was done! I may possibly be getting more wide-back fabric in the future. This was fantabulous!
Since I was on a roll with the speediness of the quilt backing coming together, I chose to quilt a large all-over swirl pattern. I used 40 weight Aurifil thread, and it quilted beautifully! I did much better with my machine speed and hand movements, so I don’t have many thread goobers on the back as I did with the Grungy Windows quilt. Yes! Oh, I tried a different batting this time too. I used Quilter’s Dream Orient and I had ZERO thread breaks. The machine felt like it glided around the entire quilt. I think I have found my perfect quilting combination: Aurifil thread and Quilter’s Dream Orient batting.
After it was quilted and squared up, it took me about an hour to figure out what to do with the binding. I was hoping to find a multi-colored fabric in my stash, but nothing really jumped out at me. I grabbed this Jenean Morrison True Colors Ribbon Red print and when I held it to the front I liked how it looked with all the various blocks. When I held it to the backing, I was in love. I think that texty fabric and this True Colors print is a match made in fabric heaven!
I remembered to add my quilt label, but only after quilting. I didn’t want to piece it into the backing, but I regret not attaching it before quilting so that I could have it quilted on. I really like the look of the label being fully integrated into the quilt, rather than having it sewn on (and potentially taken off by someone else later). Next time I will fuse it down and then quilt, rather than hand-stitch it into place.
Although we had some bad moments with this bee, I am glad for the beautiful quilt that resulted from the experience. It is my first scrappy quilt, and I can guarantee there will be more. I adore the scrappy look!
58.5″ x 78″
Come Together block from Modern Bee — 13 Quilts to Make With Friends
(trimmed down to 20″ unfinished from 20.5″ unfinished)
Various fabrics (Top)
Writing by Whistler Studios for Windham Fabrics 108″ wide back (Backing)
Jenean Morrison True Colors Ribbon Red (Binding)
Quilter’s Dream Orient
Pieced with various threads
Quilted with Aurifil 40 wt 2021
Binding stitched with Aurifil 50 wt 2021
Free-motion all over swirls
February 10, 2016