Monday, 3 February 2014

Rainbows and Embroidery [a finished quilt top]

This one has been a long time in the making (in case you haven't noticed)!


After saying on Saturday that I had lost the impetus for this project, I haven't touched anything else since and it is now finished. It was a bit of a journey - there were times when it was a commitment I regretted taking on - though I couldn't have known for sure I would fall pregnant half way through! But there are times, especially today, when I am really proud of what I have achieved - a whole quilt designed entirely by me!


This quilt was born from my love of rainbow colours, my love of tiny blocks and my love of languages - that's why the border to each embroidery is the name of the month in different languages. I learned so much about monthly customs and events while researching these designs - if you follow the link to the Thread Along page, you can open up the documents for each month which explain the reasons behind the motifs I've picked. A lot of them are quite British (especially the weather ones!) but I tried to include some international ones too. Needless to say, some months are more interesting than others! I also tried very hard to use stitches other than back stitch - some months were more successful than others! But I think this thistle for St Andrew's day, on the November block, may be my favourite motif! For today at least...


I've been able to use some of my favourite fabrics in this quilt top, as I mostly just needed tiny scraps. It's a real mixture of Kona solids, Art Gallery, Architextures, and Pearl Bracelets just to mention a few. I also noticed, when I came to assemble this quilt top, that I managed to use Kona Snow for my January block and Kona White for the rest of the blocks... luckily it's not too noticeable - and there is no way I'm redoing it! I've also noticed that on the January block I embroidered some extra circles in the applique section, then subsequently totally forgot for the rest of the months, so there will be a little bit of embroidery before I baste this quilt top!
My favourite block. Possibly.
The Dresden in the centre had a few different incarnations. Right up until I pieced it, I had intended to applique numbers on the blades, like a clock face, but when I came to it I preferred to let the fabrics shine. I don't regret this decision at all - there is so much detail in the monthly blocks, that I feel more in the centre would have detracted from them. I may use the quilting to imply the passing of time as I had intended with the original applique idea.

You can find the instructions for the central Dresden block and the outer borders here and you'll need the Dresden template too. With these final two files you can create your completed quilt top. I finished these instructions with the dreaded words "quilt as desired"... I'm sorry. My personal plan is continue the journey a little bit longer and hand quilt my quilt top. I've bought some no. 16 perle cotton in white and there will be some outline quilting. Beyond that I haven't really decided.  I've even toyed with a mixture of hand and free motion quilting. For now, I'm going to let it sit and the ideas percolate. Although this is the final post with instructions, I do hope to pop back occasionally with more information on how the quilting is going and I look forward to seeing what you decide if you've been following along. And of course, once quilted I have rather a lot of buttons picked out ready to add to the embroideries (and hide the centre of my Dresden).

Or perhaps these beach huts make this my favourite block...
The links to all of the blog posts and all of the embroidery designs and information can be found on the Thread Along page and this will remain on the blog as long as the blog remains, so there is no rush to get finished, and if you would like to join in, the patterns will be available whenever you are ready to have a go.

I need to thank a few of the people who halfway through the year asked if I was planning on continuing with this quilt - you guys were just the kick in the bum I needed, so thank you for your patience! I really hope you like the finished quilt.

If you are making this quilt I would love to hear from you, and don't forget there is a Flickr group too.

6 comments:

Sharon - Lilabelle Lane said...

You should be so proud of this creation. it looks great. hugs

mumasu said...

Beautiful quilt. Love the mixture of embroidery and quilting :)

mumasu said...

Beautiful quilt. Love the mixture of embroidery and quilting :)

Diane-crewe said...

so glad you did keep going with it because the effort is WELL worth it x

Elita@Busy Needle Quilting said...

It is BEAUTIFUL! I absolutely love the layout and am looking forward to getting on with mine. Thanks for a GREAT Thread Along!!

Ada Kopitopoulou said...

Congratulations!!!! Beatiful!! I love the pattern and colours. And th embroidery is very sweet.