Fast forward 6 and a half years. And he still hadn't received that quilt. When I saw the Kinship quilt pattern by @Gnomeangel and @Skyberries I thought it would make a great quilt for him: I could make good use of the larger scale batiks, but it was a realistic goal as the blocks were quite straightforward, unlike my original plan of more complex 6" blocks. And even better - it was a quilt-along! I decided to make a non-batik version as well, using fabrics from my stash in a rainbow. And I have to confess that I did prioritise those blocks ahead of the batik ones. I finished piecing the rainbow one whilst on Retreat and I love it, but I haven't finished it yet.
The batik one did not inspire me. I didn't enjoy working with the fabrics (they feel funny) or the colours (there are some bright ones but most of them are quite muddy). I forced myself to keep working on it - quite a lot of the blocks were cut in hotel rooms in Oxford while travelling for work, where I had no distractions.
I knew I would be seeing my Uncle at the start of December. I only see him once or twice a year so I also knew that if it wasn't ready for this family gathering it would be at least another year before the quilt was finished. I confess, mid-November I wrote it off. No way was I getting it done and I didn't want to stress about it. But then the other side of me kicked in - of course I can do if I set my mind to it. So I did. I took a day off work to finish the quilting and get it bound and it was done and dusted with three days to spare!
The front is made up of my stash of batiks, which I collected back when I was making my Farmer's Wife quilt. I've sworn I'll never work with batiks again and I have sold all but a handful of the fabrics in the last couple of weeks since I finished the quilt! The black is also a batik, one I bought when I first started the quilt - because of my change of plan, I have loads of this left and it's not too horrific to work with so I'm still deciding whether I'll sell it or not. The backing is a large piece of batik I also bought back when I first started the quilt. I saw it at a show and knew it was perfect!
It's quilted with an all over stipple in variegated yellow. Except I ran out of variegated yellow, so some of it's in a solid mustard - but I think you'd only spot it if you knew and looked hard! And the binding is made up of pieces from the batik stash - a scrappy colourful finish seemed to suit the quilt. The quilt finishes at 76" x 85".
I gifted it to my Uncle at the start of December and all my dislikes and grumpiness about the quilt disappeared. I have given away a lot of quilts over the years, but I've never had a reaction quite like his. He was absolutely blown away. He studied it for a while and then stood in the middle of the living room, surrounded by family chaos, wrapped in it. He asked lots of questions about how it had been constructed, and what the fabrics were, and was going to proudly show it to his friends. It made every minute working on the quilt totally worthwhile. This is a quilt that will be used, loved, admired and appreciated and you really can't ask for more, can you?
This is a finish from my Q4 finish along list which you can find here.