My third finish for the Finish-A-Long is what I call my "Sew-A-Long Sampler". Back in 20T14, Erin at Sew At Home Mummy ran a the Classic Meets Modern QAL. Erin challenged us to put their own interpretation of a modern spin on classic, traditional blocks, and this really suited where I was at with my quilting. I started out really enthusiastically with all the bases covered - white background fabric, recycled shirt fabric, funky modern fabric, solid fabric... okay so I wasn't actually at the solid fabric stage when I started and I had lots of great hand-dyes so I used those. I went well for 3 months. Then in months 4, 5 and 6 the blocks were a bit more difficult and one turned out a bit 'off-size'. I started to question this wild assortment of fabrics I was using; were they really going to work? Was that white just too stark? The project went in the box and it sat around for a little while. Every now and then I'd dig it out and feel guilty about not progressing it. I'd look at the blocks I had made, and the instructions for the blocks still to make and worry about my fabric. Part of me felt that I was failing to be a modern quilter if I couldn't even follow a quilt-along. And so it sat a while.
Actually it sat around until 2016. At some point in 2016 I listened to a great podcast (which I've lost the link to thanks to having my laptop stolen) about how to get past procrastination and creative blocks. The quilter talked about reassessing your UFOs and deciding why they are UFOs. This insightful quilter talked about identifying what you liked about the project in the first place and what is needed to finish it. This helped me find a turning point.
I decided on a setting I liked, and then found blocks I wanted to make. I added in more of the strong yellow and blue fabrics, and added some small areas of solid. And all those funny fabrics and blocks I wasn't sure about came together with the new blocks into a quilt I liked.
The idea of quilting a sampler made me feel really nervous. I had been looking at lots of quilts with spiral quilting on them and I loved the idea of it. There are lots of tutorials around on how to quilt a spiral on your home machine and they make it seem achievable so I decided to give it a try. I can only say that this is the perfect technique for a big quilt on a domestic machine. The hardest part is in the middle so its out of the way first, there are no stops and starts to tie off, and it looks great. The quilting really brings the design together.
Lastly I finished the quilt with "Susie's Magic Binding". I love the effect of the little piping, and I really love that I didn't have to spend a long time hand sewing it down.
This quilt is a donation quilt for Foster Hope a group which supports children in foster care.
Linking back the to finish up here where there are lots of other lovely finishes to see.