Wednesday, 26 June 2013

FOQing ready - Geek Boy Quilt

I finished it! My Festival of Quilts quilt is pieced, quilted, bound and done. It's the biggest thing I've ever made and I'm so chuffed I can't tell you (some blogger I am), but I'll try.
Geek Boy Quilt front - aiming for movement and distraction see?

Geek Boy Quilt Back - neat and ordered but dotty just the way I like it

It changed a lot along the way from concept to completion and there are/ were so many mistakes! I couldn't visualize the quilted dimension and leaving space was difficult. The piece of dotty fabric that I had for the backing fabric just wasn't quite big enough so in went a row of hexagon blocks. Deciding to make the quilt double-sided then changed up the design again because I wanted the quilting to make sense on both sides and neither side to be wonky. The arrogance of starting with a double-sided quilt for my first go did bite me... but I love the back and am so proud that back and front both work!  

There was quite a lot of unpicking from the original piecing which had a variety of shapes appliqued on the front, not just hexagons, but gradually I took them all off - apart from the cyber men in the middle. It just didn't feel right and no amount of reassurances convinced me of it. I now know just to trust my judgement with such things. 
The squares had to come off!
Scattering of mini hexies and shadow hexies replace the ejected squares in the top right corner.
The 'back' of this quilt I love, it's hexagons, dots, framed blocks in a row and my hand quilted hexagons show up a treat. Control freak enthusiast that I am it brings me joy and peace.

On the other side, (a.k.a. the 'front') you may recall my goal was to achieve a feeling of movement. It was intended to be a proper quilt, to provide comfort and distraction for poorly or sleepy circumstances, and it seems that it does - but for now at least I struggle not to just see the flaws on it. I learned a lot in the making of it, and I am so proud of it but it's still doesn't have my heart... then again it's not FOR me. It does make its new owner (to be) happy and it is what I aimed for.

I have learned a LOT in the making of this: 
Handbinding mistakes take some time to remedy!
1) If I don't love it it's not going on. 
2) There are good reasons to use for a whole back to quilts.
3) Double-sized quilt design is HARD! 
4) Appliqueing straight lines is crazy-making. Ridiculous. Foolish. I will find a better way. 
5) Properly basting a quilt is not only so worth it, but also gives a TA-DAHhh feeling when it comes out at the end.  
6) Cutting into English Paper Pieced hexagons and having it go wrong - not a big deal. Fixable in fact.
7) Preparation is everything. Buy too much fabric, make too many hexagons, practice, play, measure and be ready. There's no such thing as 'too big of a fabric stash' after all. 
8) I really need to try out machine quilting and binding. Hand piecing, hand appliqueing, hand quilting and hand binding is lovely - but pretty sllllloooooooowwwww.
9) For a bigger quilt I'll need to move out a sofa from my flat.
10) Do not sew-up or cut-up a project that is the same material as the dress you are wearing. 

There are many yummy fabrics in the mix but the highlights for me are:

1) Inclusion of scraps of fabric from Kitenge in Rwanda - given to me by the recipient's sister.
2) Blueprint fabric from Spoonflower - the recipient being an engineering sort.
3) Cyberman fabric from Spoonflower - the recipient being a robot enthusiast & Dr Who viewer.
4) Cow print from Darn it and Stitch - to represent Oxford via G&D's ice cream. 
5) Hello Cupcake fabric from Asking for Trouble on Spoonflower - one of the recipient's nicknames.
6) Little boy and bunny print from Darn it and Stitch since the recipient had a 'bunny blanket' as a small person.

Handquilting and orange binding? Joy.
+ The orange binding I do adore. You can choose just to see the twirling orange hexagons and orange of the the binding too. 

I doubt very much whether most folk that attend FOQ will like my quilt. The tough-to-please ladies judging the competitions in particular, and I base this on feedback some of my friends have had from their submissions in previous years, and these folk are way better than me. All that they won't like about it the new owner does though so... meh. It's pretty imperfect, but then again it is in the 'My First Quilt' section - because it is just that, my first. There are more photos over on my Flickr.

Mostly I am pleased that I said let's submit Modern Quilts and that's what I'm actually doing! I've never seen one like mine before, so at least that'll break up the impeccably made traditional quilts some.  

The owner of this quilt isn't me and I hand it over fully once the Festival of Quilts is over. Soon I shall have to start the next... and this one will be for me. I'm thinking MORE HEXAGONS! 

nbnq x


  1. I can confirm that this quilt is excellent for napping under and I look forward to having full ownership of it.

  2. I think it's *beautiful*. And the lessons look like good lessons! I've never used a whole back for a quilt, ever. (I don't think). I love a pieced back - the surprise of a different story on the flip side - like those books you used to get when you were a little girl, where there were two stories - one started at the front, and you flipped it upside down and the other started at the back. No? Just me?? Oh well... And about stash. My old patchwork teacher used to say "she who dies with most, wins".

    1. Thanks Flylilypad, aren't you kind? I am a bit beginning to feel anxious about seeing it *there*... but since shopping is off for me, that will likely not stop me from sneering at the work of better quilters than I who do not meet my aesthetic.