Well it’s happy dance time and I’ve got my best dancing shoes on as I love this quilt so much! It’s the Cottage Garden quilt from the book of the same name by Kathryn Whittingham. Three weeks ago when I last posted I was making my way round the border and still pondering about the binding…
It didn’t take long to finish the quilting on the flowers as I’d worked out a pattern which I could get into a good rhythm with, with three rows of scallop shapes and then the middle petal. For the corner blocks I just stitched another four petal shapes and quilted a quarter inch inside round the little appliqued blocks.
I’m well chuffed with how the quilting came out, I used Gutterman’s Sulky thread, three different variegated ones. It was lovely to quilt with and the colours worked perfectly. I used a different batting to my usual too, unfortunately I don’t know what it was called as it was easy to quilt and has a nice loft, it feels slightly more polyester-ish to me than the usual 80/20 cotton ones I use.
I was still pondering about the binding, I had the two pieces of the olive green and a small amount of the dark red, a few readers were wary of scrappy borders due to the risk of trying to get a neat corner if the seam falls on it and I could see the dangers lurking there! I decided to consult with the Queen of scrappy quilts, Kate form Tall Tales from Chiconia! Kate was really helpful, she makes her scrappy bindings in four lengths so she can control the corner strips. She also advised on lengths of scraps etc. So a big thanks to Kate for giving me the confidence and know how to go through with my idea of a scrappy binding.
I cut my green binding strips into 2.25″ by 12 to 15″.The red one I just left as 2.25″ strips and trimmed as I went so as not to waste any. My original plan was to have a red square in between each green strip, in the end I decided I just wanted a couple on each side, so I put them every other green strip instead.
My first length was long enough to go down most of the first side, round a corner and almost to the second corner. This meant I could carefully pin it on to ensure I had a decent length of binding with no seams at the corner. I then carried on adding strips as needed. I did get cold feet half way through about the red, was it going to be too much, but of course I was looking at the 2″ square not the little strip which is visible at the end.
Well I love the scrappy binding and of course the red doesn’t over-power, it just adds that little pop to the edge. In fact I think it barely looks like a scrappy binding as the colours are so similar and sort of blend in.
All that was left was to embroider a name. All quilts should have a name, usually by the end I’ve thought of something, but this has always been known as ‘the cottage garden quilt’. I debated just embroidering that but I decided that was the name of Kathryn’s quilt, mine should have it’s own. After much thought I’ve called it ‘Bees & Blooms’, there are little bumble bees all over the quilt and all the blocks include flowers and I’ve quilted flower shapes too. I embroidered it in back-stitch on one of the squares at the back, together with my initials and the date.
So it’s finished! I don’t think I’ve ever enjoyed making a quilt as much as this one, every stage has been a delight, from embroidering the appliqued blocks to piecing and finally hand quilting and binding it. Yes I even enjoyed the hand quilting!!
I have to give a big thank you to Kathryn Whittingham for sharing this gorgeous quilt in her book, if you fancy making one too please follow the link to her website, Patchwork Katy. My next project will be another of her quilts, the Seaside Quilt, I’ve already got my fabrics ready!
In the meantime, there’s lots of hand quilted inspiration if you follow the links below;
Hand Quilt Along Links
This Hand Quilt Along is an opportunity for hand quilters and piecers to share and motivate one another. We post every three weeks, to show our progress and encourage one another. If you have a hand quilting project and would like to join our group contact Kathy at the link below.
I’ll also be linking up to Kathy’s Quilts for Slow Stitching Sunday.