Back in December this Quilt Along was announced and it kicked off in late January/early February. If you somehow missed it (for a while there it seemed the thing that everyone was talking about) the flickr group and 'host' Quilt Dad would be the place to start.
At the time a group of bloggers were asked to each design a block with a 9-patch or flying geese theme and two were posted each week for 8 weeks. The layout was to be a surprise, although this wasn't clearly spelt out until the second week. I finished all my blocks on schedule but it has taken me a while to get around to sewing the top together and quilting it because I have had some very negative feelings about the quilt along and, consequently, the quilt itself. A real shame because I am really growing to like the quilt I have ended up with.
This was the first quilt along I joined so I had the idea that the host or hosts would be spelling things out in much the same way as a pattern and give the specific focus fabric to be used I assumed amounts would have been checked . With that in mind, and a week before the first block was to be posted I ordered the fabric recommended, a fat eighth bundle and a few yards of co-ordinating solids and prints. At this point we were all assured that the fat eighth bundle would be plenty and there would be leftovers. There was, and there wasn't. A few days before the first block was posted a new list of requirements was posted that included a fat quarter of several of the prints in the bundle and a change in the requirements for some of the solids. It resulted in needing to purchase quite a few half yards and a petite fat quarter bundle if I wanted to be able to put to use the considerable amount of fabric I had already purchased and follow the mystery and have a quilt that looked cohesive at the end. After all of that at the end of the quilt along this is just some of the fabric I have left, quite a few fat eighths I never touched and lots of leftover from the petite pack and the half yards.
The kit we were all told was in the pipeline has never materialised - this quite clearly would have been the most efficient way to purchase the fabric but has not been made available. It seemed a little careless with so much lead time that exact fabric requirements could not be identified before the QA started, or that requirements were given that then changed so dramatically.
All which made me, and others, a little frustrated before the first block was posted.
One thing that has really struck me was the commericialisation of the whole thing, Sunkissed by Sweetwater was the line chosen by the hosts as the focus and the one I used to give me confidence I would end up with a cohesive quilt, and also because I liked it. Other, braver souls than me chose to use scraps or different lines. For them fabric choices must have been difficult without a finished reference or very little information about value placement or colourway spread because no information was given beyond how to use the focus line.
Fast forward 8 weeks and I have 16 blocks and the final design is posted. And I don't like it, at all. And it isn't quilted or bound. The 16 blocks just made formed the border of the quilt and I couldn't have thought of a worse way to use the blocks we just spent 8 weeks making. There were also another two layouts posted and I chose one of them.
And I have come up with this.
And this for the back.
I quilted 1/4" either side of the block seam lines and chevrons in the border setting triangles (the corner of which were not cut large enough according to the directions).
I've learnt a lot from the experience. I made my first flying geese units in this quilt. It is my first sampler quilt. If I haven't seen a finished sample of a QA quilt don't start it until I have. Be wary about quilts that require so much fabric to be bought.
And while there are a number of frustrations I am pleased to have finished the quilt and satisfied at how it has turned out.