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I finally finished my Japanese trip around the world quilt. I called it "Trip around Honshu" because that's what I did last November during some of the happiest few weeks of my life. I tripped. Around Honshu in Japan. So cool.
I finished the quilt top in about August or September last year, around the time that my quiltjo went walkabout. I really didn't like this quilt at all. I'd just come off making a bright rainbow of a quilt, all my other UFOs were bright and loud and sassy, and then there was this beast just sulking in the corner, neither of really caring whether I got it quilted or not.
I take a lot of pride in quilting most of my quilts myself (because then they really feel like they are mine, and not a team effort), but the true beasts I tend to send out to a professional because I worked out long ago that professional quilting is cheaper that physiotherapy. I hadn't used the long-arm skills of my friend Gemma from Pretty Bobbins before, except for an emergency hug quilt our modern group had made that she kindly (and very beautifully) quilted, so I thought now was the time to get her help in working out what the heck to do with this monster. I was keen on something geometric but really couldn't decide, and then at the last minute she showed me a wavy edge-to-edge pattern and I was sold. It really is the perfect pattern for this quilt. The thread is King Tut, from memory. It's kind of a variegated dark pink to red colour and it's perfect for this quilt.
As I've already mentioned, I'd stopped caring about the quilt and just wanted it DONE, so rather than piece a back like I usually do, I bought a wideback fabric online and had it sent to Gemma's studio. It was perfect.
I got the quilt back home just before we left for Japan, but I took aged to trim it, then bind it. In the end I finished the hand binding in only 5 hours on the couch (with breaks). That's 8.5 metres of binding. Is that a world record or something? Totally should be.
I have a lot of favourite blocks. A couple of them have the fabric that my beautiful niece had in her wedding invitations - they remind me of her and her wedding day. I also have blocks that have scraps from skirts I'd made. And lots of blocks with fabrics I remember the exact shop in California that I bought them from. But my favourite block is the one made entirely of owls. I bought all the fabrics from Shuji and there are owl squares throughout the quilt, but I figured I had to have at least one entire owl block in there, right?
So there's my quilt, my Japanese scrappy trip around the world. I showed it to Shuji last weekend at the SCQuilters retreat and he loved it and could identify all his fabrics. People at the Canberra Quilters meeting last night loved it as well. From a distance it has a tendency to sparkle with the lighter creamy fabrics, which is what I think people love about it. It's definitely one of those quilts that is full of memories for me. and I am growing to love it, even though it's not really my style any more. But that's totally OK with me. It might even get a turn on the bed this summer.
Pattern: Scrappy Trip Around the World (tutorial by Quiltville)
Size: 84 " x 84 "
Size: 84 " x 84 "
Fabric: FQs and F8s of Japanese and American Japanese fabrics, collected since 2003
Backing: Wideback from Widebacks.com.au
Quilting: An edge-to-edge pattern by Pretty Bobbins quilting.
Thread: pieced with Rasant, quilted with King Tut.
Batting: 100% bamboo
Started: January 2013
Finished: 4 July 2015