Travelling Quilt Bee 2019
A couple of years ago I was lucky enough to be part of a Travelling Quilt Bee it was an amazing experience for me, I made some great 'virtual' quilt friends many of whom I am still in regular quilty contact with, as well as being a great opportunity to try new things and develop my skills. This was largely due to the fact that back then I wasn't overly brave when it came to fabric choices, colour palettes or block/pattern choices and had a real tendency to stick to what I knew and whilst I still do that to a large degree, I've found that being part of something like this where you're making part of a quilt for someone else to their specific requirements, is actually rather liberating!
There are so many gorgeous quilts that come up on my Instagram feed (@thatssewkerry if you are interested) that have been made as part of Quilt Bees, a Round Robin and Travelling Quilt Bees, such as these below:
I really started to feel the calling again, having looked for inspiration and a group of like-minded people to join me, I set off on an adventure to create my own Travelling Quilt Bee - a daunting task as I've never been a quilt mama before or set up my own bee, but thankfully a well received plea meant that by the end of August I had 11 wonderful ladies set to join me for the next 12 months on a epic quilting adventure.
I wanted to try something completely different to the last one and to push myself out of my comfort zone, with this in mind I settled on 'Modern Rainbow' I wasn't sure what form this would take, but that's what I was aiming for. I'm not really modern when it comes to fabric choices or block choices so both of these together was definitely a challenge! I had bought the Aquamarina pattern quite a while ago, I take it out every now and again to look at and then put it away for 'oneday' so I decided this was the time. I had previously seen this version by Quiltmekiwi and just fell in love with everything about it, mostly because it is nothing like anything I've attempted before but also because it looks so clean, fresh and well modern!
With this as my inspiration I set off on my most favourite part of quilting - fabric buying! My intention was to source modern fabrics across the rainbow avoiding anything I would usually be drawn towards, I am very pleased with the end result although the same cannot be said for the bank balance or the husband.
One of the things I loved the most about this pattern was the fact that it is 90% foundation/paper pieced, which those of you who regularly follow my adventures on here will know is my most favourite type of quilt pattern, the other thing I loved about it is the giant New York Beauty element. With my rainbow set out and ready to go I had to decide on background fabrics, I knew I really wanted to include some kind of 'text print' - having said I'm not really modern in my fabric choices, I do have a slight obsession with low volume and text print in particular, but as for the rest I had no idea.
The rainbow fabrics are a mix of Alison Glass (all collections), Guicy Guice, Karen K Lewis and some Art Gallery thrown in for good measure and the background is More Paper by Zen Chic for Moda - one of my all time favourites that I really wished I'd bought several yards of instead of just the one (rookie mistake always buy at least 3 of the good ones!)I tested quite a few fabrics to use for the main background, again I wasn't really sure what I wanted to do with it, I had accidentally tried out Fairy Dust by Tula Pink from her Pinkerville range (another one I have several yards of) and as much as I didn't want to cut up my precious Tula, I couldn't seem to move away from it, so had to give in and take the plunge.
I really love the way the birds subtly pick out the colours around my rainbow and blend in rather than overpower it, I also fussy cut the same birds for the arrow heads trying to match each sections colour way so it all tied together - I really love the detail you can get in a quilt from fussy cutting.
A bazillion flying geese later I had the borders almost ready and set about fussy cutting some corner squares, again with the Fairy Dust birds to finish off the first border section.
It was then a super quick run to the finish with the outer border and my giant centre block/starting block was done and ready to travel for the next 12 months!
I am really pleased with how it turned out, there are a couple of mistakes that hopefully you won't notice (but I really do!) but I challenged myself and stuck to the original plan of trying something new and modern. It was very daunting and I can't say that I enjoyed the whole process but I did learn a great deal and I am happy with the progress I made in my own quilting journey.
The hard part now is waiting to see what all the other lovely ladies make to go along with it and having to wait a whole year to get it back. The blocks went travelling on October 1st so we've already made one lot of blocks for the next person in our chain, but that is a tale for another day.