The bee was to be a low pressure swap. I think I got to be queen bee about the third month in. There was a range of abilities in the group. Some were experienced advanced quilters and other complete beginners. Many of us were in between the two somewhere. When it was my month I gave my fellow hipbees the choice of making me whatever star block they fancied. They could go for a simple wonky star or a more complicated star block. I sent out packs of Denyse Schmidt fabrics from a selection of her ranges and some Klona cream to use as background fabric.
I got back a lovely range of stars and promptly put them to one side whilst I waited for one last block to come in. It gave me time to decide what to do with the blocks. The hipbee members were only making one block (not the usual two blocks a month most bees specify) and to get anything other than a baby sized quilt I was either going to have to make more blocks, add more negative space or do something completely different to make it a useful sized quilt. I kept pondering what to do for the best and not actually getting on with any sewing!
Back in the spring I got the blocks out and pieced them into a top. I made some extra blocks myself and added in some negative space. I'd wanted people to have a go at a block they'd enjoy and maybe try something new or challenging. But not get so stressed about the outcome that the bee experience turned negative. I wasn't overly worried if the blocks came out a bit bigger or smaller. I had so many worried emails from people who'd tried something and lost points on stars of miscalculated and made them a bit big or small. I sorted the blocks roughly into size and joined them together adding bits of extra background material as needed.
I added a border of more DS fabrics and then a sashing strip of background fabric. After that I basted the quilt and started hand quilting in perle. It was not an easy job as the klona was quite stiff to sew through. If you plan on doing a lot of hand quilting with perle you might want to invest in kona not klona. Whilst Klona washes up lovely and soft it has a lot stiffer texture when unwashed.
The weather turned and the last thing I wanted to do was sew in hot weather under a snuggly quilt. So I put it to one side and only went back to it when the weather turned. A few hours here and there over a weekend and in evenings and the quilt was quilted. (We just won't look at the stitching on the back ok?!)
Chief not turning up the other Sunday meant I could make binding and get the quilt bound. I then had to wait for the weather to improve enough for me to get some snaps.
I had promised myself I'd do proper quilt photo shoots and not just sling the quilts over the back fence, the front bench or lay them out on the lawn. But really I'm so busy right now and the weather is not playing ball, so I've had to resort to my usual approach after all.
I can't thank my fellow hipbees enough for making the blocks that went into this special quilt. Not all of them blog so I do hope they get to see this blog post and to see how the quilt worked out in the end.
This is also my first finish in Q4 of the finish along. My original list is here. Even if I don't finish another item on the list the most important one has been done.