It is finished, the big quilt I have been working on since last summer. I am really happy and I am not even sad that I can no longer work on it.
I follow Amanda's Crazy Mom Quilts blog and have found the inspiration for my quilt here. Amanda herself was inspired by a vintage quilt, which belongs to a member of her quilt guild. I fell in love with this quilt when she first wrote about it in June 2016. I eventually worked up the courage to cut into my considerable stash last summer, when I decided to wash all my fat quarters, iron them and sort them by colour. I wanted my quilt to be a riot of colours and I am sure you will agree with me, I have achieved this. I just spotted not one but two pieces of fabric that both Amanda and I used! Isn't that funny? I didn't set out to copy her quilt but our quilts look remarkably similar, although I have maybe chosen slightly darker colours. If I use an analogy from nature, I would say that Amanda's quilt represents early spring leaves, mine the same leaves at the height of summer.
Here some numbers because this quilt is truly mind boggling. I usually quilt in inches because my quilting rulers are imperial only but I give you the metric measurements, too.
Total size of the quilt is 82 x 82 inches. This is 210 x 210 cm if you are not familiar with the imperial measurements. It is funny actually, although all my quilting and in fact most of my sewing is imperial, I have a poor grasp of the actual length of an inch or a foot etc. I can immediately see a metre in front of my imaginary eye but I cannot do the same for a yard. Inches are worse still.
The quilt consists of 729 three inch squares made with 2187 pieces of fabric. Yes, that's 2187 pieces of fabric. I didn't count them at the time of course, just plugged the numbers in my calculator. It didn't feel like that many either. A tendency for self punishment meant that I did not batch sew any of the squares by sewing longer strips of fabric together and cut the squares to size. I made each and every square individually. I'd like to say that there is no duplicate square in this quilt but I can't be sure.
I didn't buy any fabric for this quilt and I am ashamed to admit that I barely made a dent in my fat quarter stash. You may also recognise bits of both Annie and Sam's quilts, and there are a few of my dressmaking remnants in there, too. I had to buy wadding, this is not something I keep. I think I deserve a little luxury and splashed out on a silk/cotton/bamboo/tencel blend. A quick Google search tells me that tercel is made from wood cellulose and is apparently eco friendly. It should be sumptuously warm and I really hope it is because our bedroom is like a freezer. I made the binding from a semi sheer cotton lawn that I had intended for a top but I didn't fancy wearing it in the end as it wasn't as soft as I expect cotton lawn to be. I doubled the fabric up to give it some substance.
I quilted this beast by hand with Aurifil 12, a thickish cotton thread. I wanted to make big visible stitches. I like big stitches. After days and days of expert procrastination I opted for chevrons diagonally across the squares. I spent a lot of time stitching during the Christmas holidays, some days, when every one was at school and work, I stitched for several hours. This didn't go unpunished, I have repetitive strain injury of sorts. My right wrist is sore and sometimes the ache runs back to my elbow. I usually enjoy stitching the binding on by hand but I did find it quite painful and was pleased to finish.
All I have left to do is stitch a label on. I promised James I would make him a quilt next. I hope he finds enough fabric in my stash, I really need to stop buying quilting cottons.
Thanks for stopping by and saying hello. Have a great weekend all xx
P.S. I am linking this post to "Finish it up Fridays" on Amanda Jean's blog