This particular quilt has been a long time in the making. Or perhaps that should read 'waiting'. I designed it ages ago for Eleanor, then on realising it wouldn't match her wall quilt, decided to make it for my niece instead. I then designed the matching teddy quilt (below - which got made ages ago!). Meanwhile, Eleanor is still waiting for her own bed quilt, and is using one I made when she was a baby.
I ended up simplifying the piecing a little from the original design, to leave space for more quilting - mainly feathers.
My original layout had no unpieced blocks and something like 700 more pieces! The change was a definite improvement in more ways than one!
Apart from the white background which is a snowflake print from my stash, the fabrics are all from Patty Young's Flora & Fauna line.
I really like the octagonal feature blocks, and will probably use them again in a different setting.
I used a similar style of quilting to the teddy quilt, but not exactly the same.
It was difficult maintaining even quilting consistency across the top while leaving the octagons unquilted, and not over-doing the quilting; it's to be used on a bed, so I wanted it reasonably soft and snuggly.
I also really like the free-hand feathers in the outer border, but I'm kind of disappointed I resorted to stippling the green border!
I left the red border unquilted, but all the borders are quilted in the ditch, so it's well stabilised, and I like the smoothness of the unquilted space.
I marked the feather spines only. I quilt from the bottom up on my feathers, so I stop at the start when the first side is done and start again at the bottom for the second side. I also quilt each plume separately. Occasionally I try the bump method, but I generally prefer the results of my own quilting this way.
The photo below shows the whole back. I used a charcoal tone-on-tone wideback, and matchched the bobbin thread to the top thread, so the back shows white, silvery-grey and lime green.
I used BottomLine in the bobbin for the whole quilt and a combination of BottomLine and white Guterman 50wt cotton on the top.
We delivered this quilt to my niece this afternoon. Despite the fact that she'd just had a long nap, she jumped straight underneath it as soon as it was placed on her bed and was more than a little reluctant to get out. This quilt is one of my favourites, and I think it can be counted as a success as a gift, too!