I'm so happy I finally have a quilt finished. It has only taken me about 18 months.
It is a quilt for my sister's big *0 birthday last year. Surprisingly, cough cough, I didn't have it finished in time for her birthday but I had made headway with it, so I "gave" it to her half finished and said I'll finish it for you in time for Christmas. I meant 2012 not 2013, but as usual, life and my tardiness got in the way.
The story behind this quilt.
Back in 2009 I travelled to Europe, and while in Paris I bought a present for my sister. Her name is Fi, and I know that Fée is French for fairy but I just couldn't resist this seriously cute cushion cover. My sis loved it but eventually said to me that it wasn't getting used as a cushion because it's quite big, Euro pillow size, and would I please make it into a quilt. The cushion cover fabric is a very fine pure cotton and creases a lot! A search through my fabric stash and voila, some coordinating fabric. Even though my sister wanted me to make a quilt, she wanted minimal piecing and minimal quilting. The front of the cushion cover was unpicked from the backing and I started adding borders.
Minimal piecing meant I chose to make a medallion style quilt with simple borders. Minimal quilting ended up being stitch in the ditch, using Aurifil 2021 and 2024 50wt. I love quilting with the Aurifil thread as it's fine and it sits nicely into the fabric, it's perfect for stitch in the ditch quilting. I also added a couple of extra machine quilted lines to add some very subtle quilting detail.
I had a dilemma with the wide Paris map border. It was too wide to just stitch in the ditch, so I chose to stitch along the streets. I really like how that turned out. It was a bit of a headache trying to plan ahead with minimal stopping and starting but I think I did quite well and the further I went, the more creative I became following the streets.
The next challenge was how to quilt the centre panel. That took a lot of thought, I eventually machine quilted around the outside of the fairy, and then used white Perle 8 to add lots of daisies to the design. The original design had embroidered red and blue daisies scattered across the background. I couldn't match the thread colour and weight so I added white. They are hard to see in the photos, but that was the whole idea, I didn't want them to be a distraction. I made each daisy adding two to three stitches in the centre of each flower, going through the backing to anchor it.
For the backing I used the cute dog print from Aneela Hooey's Sherbet Pips. Not particularly French, but my sister loves it and I think it works really well.
I'm really happy with the whole quilt and I absolutely love the grey and white stripe binding.