It's been a glorious weekend here in Cork. Hazy, sunshine filled days...something we had almost forgotten could happen in the last couple of years. The garden has been weeded and the grass has been cut. The kids bikes have been ridden for miles up and down our road. The local insects have been adopted as pets.
The washing has all been line dried. A lot of ice cream has been consumed. (The house has gone to pieces, but who cares when you spend the whole day outside?)
This quilt was my biggest and longest-standing UFO. I started it last April...almost a year in the making. When I cut the fabric for it, Kate Spain's Central Park was high on the trendy fabrics list, and I remember seeing it on so many blogs. One year on and I really think these fabrics from that line still look fresh and gorgeous. I love the purples and blues together.
I used Kate Conklin's pattern to make this quilt, and I really loved it, plus I learned a new technique for piecing while doing it (Stack and Slash). There's no reason it took as long as it did to make, as it was relatively straightforward to piece...I think it was just the size - the thoughts of quilting it! - and trying to decide on the backing that delayed me.
Once I decided, after doing some small handquilting projects, that I wanted to hand quilt it, suddenly I couldn't wait to get to it and I have spent a very pleasant couple of weeks working on this in the evening in front of the tv.
I loved the original Skittles quilt so much that I decided to use the quilting in that as my inspiration, and meandered a line in deep purple perle cotton across my rows. Occasionally I broke it up by adding in some turquoise and teal threads, outlining individual stitches. I like how the different colours break it up a little.
The back is a lavender whole cloth piece of Klona solid, with appliqued small panels of Saffron Craig's magical land. I had intended not running the handstitching through the panels, but did one by accident and loved the effect so much I kept at it.
I used an aubergine coloured dotty poplin to bind it. Its a much darker purple than those in the Central Park fabrics, but it matches the thread colour pretty closely and I think it works really well to frame the quilt. The finished size is a generous lap size quilt at 72" x 52" approx.
I can't tell you how proud I am of this quilt, or how much I love it! I adored the process of making it, and I just love the effect of the hand stitches. Hubbie loves it too, and even the kids have commented on it (and I found them using it one morning when I came downstairs, while it was in the process of being quilted. The raw edges and messy bits of batting sticking out didn't bother them at all!