On March 6th 2005 I was at the Sydney retreat for the Southern Cross Quilters and attended a class on twisted hexagons taught by Anne Munro. I took a small pack of 1930s reproduction scraps along with me, and learnt the gentle art of English paper piecing from a very gentle teacher. I was hooked.
On March 6th 2012 I finished piecing the quilt top. The fact the quilt top was finished on the seventh anniversary of starting was serendipitous - it was only by searching for the photos I took in that class that I realised what date I started my first twisted hexagon block.
For the last few days I've been preparing the quilt for the machine quilter. First I pressed all the ends, clipped the basting threads and removed the papers. Then I stay stitched the quilt. This made me rather stressed - wrestling a massive and heavy handpieced quilt through my sewing machine was hard, and I was worried about tearing the stitches.
But once the stay stitching was done, I trimmed the top and bottom of the quilt so they were straight.
I still have a lot of papers to remove, but I'm going to do that tonight while relaxing at a friend's place (I hope her cats don't like sitting on half-made quilts).
I laid the quilt on the living room floor to measure it. Thank heavens our living room is enormous - this quilt measures 235 cm across, and 240 cm from top to bottom. I had to take photos so that I could include them on the entry form for the quilt show I'm entering it into.
I have to admit I stood in front of the quilt for quite some time just saying "wow". I impress myself sometimes. It's just so damn beautiful.
But my stresses weren't over. I had over seven metres of fabric to join together for the backing.
Personally I find quilts backed with just one fabric boring. I wish I didn't, because putting the back together would be a hell of a lot easier.
I laid the backing out on the floor, knowing it was going to be too big. But better too big than too small, right? And then I trimmed it with my scissors so that I had several inches excess at each edge of the quilt.
Tomorrow after work the whole kit and kaboodle goes to the machine quilter. I am so nervous, but also relieved that I don't have to worry about the quilt again until it's time to do the binding. And I love binding (perhaps I won't love binding after I maneuvre the quilt and binding down those angles at the sides of the quilt).
And perhaps one day I'll stop staring at photos of this amazing quilt which has had so much love put into it from beginning to end. I can't wait to put it on the bed in the spare room.