I thought it was time to reveal one of my 2013 show entries. I used a pattern by Judy Martin
, who designs very clever and intricate looking quilts, that can be rotary cut and go together really easily even with unusual shaped patches. This pattern is called 'Ring of fire' and is from her book 'Scraps' published by Crosley-Griffith Publishing Company. I did use lots of 'scraps' and have no idea how many different fabrics there are in this quilt. At least 50, probably more.
I am currently drawn to more modern quilts, with improvisational or simple piecing and quilting. However when it comes to show quilts, I like to make something a little more traditional with lots of space for my favourite part - quilting. I like the idea my show quilts might become heirlooms and in fact this entry is earmarked for my eldest son when he 'comes of age', while last years entry is for my youngest. Last years entry was called 'Round the Garden like a Jelly Bear' but was nicknamed 'Big Red' which is why this quilt is called 'Big Blue'. There are pictures of Big Red on my gallery page about 1/2 way down the page.
I love the appearance of curves this pattern gives, although it is made from straight seams only. I wanted to bring that out in the quilting, hence the circles on the the star block with pebbles on the inside of the circle and 'McTavishing' on the outer. I free motioned dense feathers in the borders, both in the the cream and the navy. I used a wineglass/orange peel design in the little squares to join the two feathered borders. In the open space created by the sashing I used a stencil designed by Cindy Needham
for a double wedding ring quilt which further accentuated the circle effect. I used Mettler silk finish thread on top and Bottom Line thread by Superior in the bobbin. The little pebbles in the circles were done using 'Fine line' thread also by Superior. I am starting to get a thread stash, and enjoy trying different threads on Hewie (Bernina 440 QE). I do all my quilting, even big quilts on my domestic machine. This quilt is 80" (203cm) square.
I started this quilt several years ago so when I decided this would be my entry for this year, I already had a few blocks pieced and most the patches cut. Saying that it still took a while to piece and time factors meant it became 4x4 star blocks, instead of the originally planned 5x5. The quilting took longer. I am not sure how long but in the last week before it had to handed in, I did 4x16 hours days! Not to be recommended, especially if you read my post
about my resulting health scare. I specifically asked the doctor if my Bells Palsy could have been caused by quilting, she said 'no', but I can't think that it really didn't help.
This quilt got a first in the Traditional Amateur Machine Quilted section at the Sydney Quilt show at Darling harbour. I was so excited to receive the phone call from the guild president suggesting I attend the awards ceremony. I was however still recovering from Bell's Palsy and feeling really tired, so I couldn't make it. My mum and sister went up on awards day and my sister accepted on my behalf (as well as collecting her own award
for 2nd place). I also entered The Canberra Quilt show with this quilt and was thrilled to get a 2nd place and for my sister and her gorgeous snowflake quilt to get first. Such a lovely situation to share first and second between the two shows with my favourite quilting person - my sister Lynda. I think I was happier for her than I was for me.
The Canberra quilt show is on this weekend. Starting Thursday 8 August until Sunday 11 August. I have seen the quilts that will be on display and they are amazing. If you are in the Canberra area then get along to EPIC and enjoy.