Back when I first saw Carolyn Friedlander's Collection Quilt, I knew I wanted to make it. It took a while to arrive in the UK, but back in December, Simply Solids announced their block of the month programme for it: the pattern plus all the fabric you need. This was perfect for me - I simply couldn't justify the cost of the pattern and all the fabrics all at once, as some other shops were offering.
I signed up straight away. Received my first envelope and made the first block. The whole quilt is made with hand applique - not a technique I have a lot of experience with. The first block was straight lines. The instructions were to bast 1/4" from the edge of the fabric, then needle-turn to this basted line. I basted on the machine. Easy peasy. Except when I took the basting stitches out, there were a few holes in the fabric that didn't want to go away.
Then life got in the way, as life has a habit of doing. I'm going to blame pregnancy - it's a good excuse for a lot of things. So is having a small baby, I find! I continued to receive envelopes full of pretty fabrics, but it wasn't until April that I picked up block 2. It was during the first few weeks after Jess arrived in those few quiet hours while Michael was still on paternity leave. And it was a disaster. I decided to hand baste, rather than machine baste, and it turned out that I can't eyeball a 1/4" quite as well as I thought, so there wasn't enough fabric to turn in, and there was fraying, and there was quite a lot of swearing. I put it in a box and ignored it.
We've now received the last installment of the block of the month, and earlier in August I saw the first finished quilt. Jules is great hand-appliquer and so hadn't had any of the bother I had had and her quilt was stunning. I was reinspired. I got out the piece I had shoved in the box and did another section. This time I carefully measured the 1/4" and marked it with a frixion pen before basting. The other tip I picked up was to use a cocktail stick to turn the fabric under rather than the needle. These two things together made the world of difference! In just two weeks I have totally salvaged the mess I had made and I've completed block 2. And I thoroughly enjoyed it.
I need a bit of piece and quiet and then I'll prepare block 3 ready for some more slow sewing on the sofa! I know I haven't finished the applique yet, but I'm really looking forward to hand quilting this project too!