I feel like this quilt has taken me FOREVER, but in reality, it's just been a process of patience and lots of love. It all started in April, when it was my turn to be Queen in our paper piecing Wombat Stew bee. I knew I had lots of quilts to make for 40th birthdays in the coming 12 months, so tried to think of one in particular that could use some paper piecing blocks. It didn't take me long to propose London themed blocks, and the lovely Kristy designed some amazing patterns for us to use, as well as Alyce designing her own Big Ben block!
The finished blocks started arriving and I was gobsmacked at how fabulous they were! I received seven in total, so then just had to make up the rest myself. I ended up with 13 paper pieced blocks, and added two fabric blocks to make up the numbers. The lovely Deborah Gun on Instagram sent me a fat quarter of London subway fabric - it's amazing! Putting the quilt top together was painstaking......literally, my brain was in pain with all the maths required. Nine of the blocks were the same size, the others were all over the show!
So I just sat on my loungeroom floor with a calculator, pen and paper, and worked out how big each row of sashing needed to be between every single block, in order to end up with a balanced quilt top. I'm incredibly proud of myself for making it work!
When it came time to quilt, I really had no idea where to begin. I threw it open on Instagram for suggestions, and I believe it was Melanie Sim who mentioned cobblestones....... When I sat down at my first ever Melbourne MQG day, I thought I'd give it a go. If you ask the ladies I was sitting with how much I enjoyed the pebbling process, I think you would hear a few expletives. I think in total, the pebbling over the entire quilt top took me about seven hours. I tried really hard to make the majority of them largish, so as to cut down the time - but really, who was I kidding?!?!? I am very glad I stuck with it though, because I love the texture and character it has given the quilt. I used a gorgeous variegated Aurifil thread #4060 - which is creamy/mossy/grey tones.
The backing I actually picked up at the beginning of the year! I was at a Spotlight sale and this Union Jack/British newspaper print was reduced to $3 a metre! I bought a few metres and stashed it away for the quilt I knew I'd make. I did THE BEST print joining on the seam - you can't even notice it's two pieces of fabric!
Now - let me just take you through each block, because they're all so special!
I knew I had rain drop fabric stashed away for good reason.... Kristy upsized her umbrella pattern for me!
Marieka made this super cute Bus! I free motion quilted the LONDON on!
I pulled out my stash of these dots for the Beef Eater, and was able to use the same prints throughout the quilt. I also use felt for faces in paper piecing - it adds a great texture!
Gina sent me my London Bobby! Isn't he fabulous!?
Alyce's fabulous Big Ben block! The fussy cutting of the Comma fabric is spot on.
I also added the teapot. Another Quiet Play pattern. It's actually one of my favourites blocks in the quilt.
A very simple but great Underground sign.
And my London Cab. I wish I had "London" on fabric to use for the bumper bar, but thought French would work!
Kristy made the Guard block, and her fabric choices just make it pop!
Jane made the telephone booth and embroidered all the details. Love it!
And Lara's crown block is awesome!
When I was one block short, Kristy just "whipped" up this post box block for me - she's amazing!
So - there you have it! I finished it all off with a lovely navy and white spot for the binding, which I think works beautifully. I am reallllllly looking forward to handing this over to one of my best friends tonight, she's receiving this as it is being published!
Size: 61" x 44" - Lap Size
Fabrics: A cast of millions!
Thread: Aurifil #4060 40wt
Batting: Wool/cotton blend - it's fabulous!
Recipient: Karen - who just happened to live in London up until 18 months ago, when she returned to Melbourne!
I'm linking up - This was ready to post yesterday, but I didn't want the recipient to see!