Though I very nearly didn't - the sampler quilt is 25 blocks and when I pulled them all out I only found 24. Some frantic hunting yesterday and I can put your minds at rest - I have found the awol block.
In the past week I have reduced the amount of hand quilting required to just 2 and a half blocks. Some of this was accepting that the quilting already done was enough - it was my view of what the block needed at the time I did it. But I've also done quite a lot of quilting. Worryingly, some of my hand quilting from two years ago is neater than my hand quilting today....
And the biggest achievement was adding some of the quilted blocks to the centre of the quilt. At the start of the week I had nine blocks pieced together, and needed to put another row of blocks all the way round.
I will never ever put together my QAYG blocks like this again. The theory is that you trim the front layer to size (not helped by the fact my blocks are all different sizes so have different amounts of border), but leave wadding and backing over-sized. Then using a quarter-inch seam you sew the two front layers together, keeping the batting and backing out of the way. Finger press the seam, then trim the wadding so it butts up against each other. I cannot do this step. Mine looks horrific. I'm using an iron on tape to hold this seam together once it's trimmed and it's just as well as it also holds in place the pieces I've had to patch back in so there isn't a massive hole in the batting once I'm done...
Finally, you trim the backing, fold over one piece and slip stitch it down. The quality of my slip stitching two years ago is quite poor, so I'm seriously considering reinforcing all of this construction with some simple machine quilting in the borders. I'm not sure how as it may just emphasize the fact that the blocks are different sizes!
Here is the quilt top as it is right now! I just need to add a row of five to each side. I'm so pleased with the progress I've made and I'm loving the simple colour scheme!
So what's my plan going forward? In March next year I'm delivering a talk about quilting to my Mother-in-Law's "Tuesday Group" - it's a group at church that use to be called "Young Wives" but they changed the name when they all turned 70 years old - it's a bit like the WI. I'm not quite sure what I'm going to talk about yet, but this quilt was my first start (definitely not my first finish...) and it would be lovely to share it. And for the first time I can see the end of this project. When I thought I was missing a block I pulled out the remaining fabric to see if I could remake it (the answer was no way). I found loads of the bright pink Tilda fabric left, so I'm going to bind it in that. Originally I had planned to add a border. But no. Not with this QAYG technique. And to spur me on, it's going to make an appearance in my Q4 Finish Along List (if you thought my Q3 list was stupid, wait till you see Q4). Maybe, by the end of the year, I can have this quilt on my bed. That's the dream.