Friday, October 20, 2017

quilts I'd like to do - the 2017-2018 version

So, I bought the pattern for the Aviatrix Medallion quilt by Elizabeth Hartman of Oh, Fransson! It was too pretty to resist and I've wanted to make a medallion quilt for a while. I thought about doing one of the Marcelle Medallion quilts

And there's even a Quilt Along happening!

Unfortunately, April->July is the worst time for me, what with the Sydney Quilt Show requiring my quilts, and winter and hockey and life generally, so I'm thinking that maybe after July, when I have a bit of time off this project and possibly a day or two free during the week?

I'd rather like to do this with a darker background - black, navy, charcoal, steel - and use pink-scarlet, orange-yellow, green-lime, skyblue-azure, violet-purple family groups as the blocks.

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Magic Numbers over at Sew Katie Did

arabesque quilt by Allison Jensen
- blues for Jeremy

lattice quilt by Mommy By Day, Crafter By Night
- blues and browns for Dan
- blues and golds for Cam

Landlocked Sea Lovers quilt by Cindy Sharp.
- Kate Spain Layer Cake
- Tula Pink Chipper layer cake

jelly rolls

Scrappy Granny Square Quilt also: Tropical Punch Quilt

boxes of Colour quilt
- excellent for the jelly-cut scraps I have in the box

Cosy Posy Triangle quilt
- I love triangles (and hate 'em) and this would be pretty awesome, I think...

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Priority:
1. Jeremy's Landlocked Blues
2. Dan's Lattice
3. Cam's Lattice

Monday, October 16, 2017

Q4 goals 2017 (but not the finish along)

I completely forgot to do the follow-up for the Q3 Finish Along 2017, let alone post the goals for Q4.

I did get the Technicolor Galaxy finished, and four quilts sent off to the quilter. However everything else was a bust.

So: this last quarter...

1. quilts for Dan and Cam

Dan and Cam are the sons of friends I gave a quilt to for their wedding, the boys are 8 and 6, and I stayed with them down near Ballarat earlier this year.

I think I'll make the quilt with the same block I did their parents' wedding quilt, only in the colours of their room. (And it might be time to make the parents a new quilt, in colours suitable to the style of their bedroom?)

This could possibly be postponed to April/May next year when they come to Sydney...


2. quilt for Jeremy

Jeremy is my cousin's son, to whom I promised a quilt to sometime this year, but which I will really need to get done before Christmas, which is when I'll probably see him again, our family being the kind to gather at Christmas.


3. Break Free or Build Upon (finish the top)

I just want the top done so I can decide what I'm going to do with it. Perhaps attempt entry to the Modern Quilt Show in the US?


4. Passacaglia

Penny Poppleton made an excellent suggestion for What To Do with my Passacaglia, and it might cut down the amount of time I spend finishing everything off CONSIDERABLY. Which is all to the good.


5. Sydney Mod Squad blocks

Group Quilt blocks need doing by December. Easy enough. (hahaha)


6. Swarm II

I'm thinking I'll make this (again), pattern it, and enter it into the Sydney Quilt Show next year, along with Break Free and Build Upon....

But gotta get moving first! So many things to do, so little time!

Thursday, September 7, 2017

it's been too long

Probably very few people who read this blog anymore, but hi! It's been a while...

I've been working on a number of things, but very slowly - struggling to get anything done. I've picked up again in the last month, but July was dead, August only slightly less so, and it's only now that we've hit September that there's any movement on the quilting front.

the home-made rolling-casters version of the Flynn free-motion quilting frame for domestic machines.

One of the reasons I'm looking at a home-made quilting frame is because I can't fit a professional one into my house (just no space), and while I could afford the Flynn frame, it might be good to try making it out of recycled parts if possible. And, also, the shop where I used to hire the machine only has one worker who's qualified to use the machine, which means they can't hire it out when she's not working, and she's just gone on sabbatical.

The other reason is because I have a commission quilt that was supposed to be done by the end of August and which has missed the mark quite significantly:

#eilidhsquilt layout 4

Without the availability of a longarm, I'm kind of stuck at this point. It's too large to push-pull quilt on a domestic (at least, without wrecking myself with RSI or exacerbating current bodily issues), which is why I'm looking at a moving frame. I could send it out (and will probably have to) but this is what I have for the moment.

I also made a couple of smaller quilts from the leftover pieces - kid quilts, probably for the twin kids of some friends:

August

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I finally started sewing together the big pieces of the Plain Jane Passacaglia. The goal is pretty much just to get it square-ish, and then either quilt it or cut it up and turn it into cushions.

August

Sewing, sewing, sewing...

August

Only a few more pieces to fit around the edges, and I've made up bags of pieces to sew on the afternoon train when it's crowded and harder to pull out the laptop to write on the way home.

Hopefully I'll have something to show in a couple of weeks!

Thursday, June 29, 2017

COMPLETED QUILT: A Duct Tape Galaxy

Charm About You

I've found that one of the best ways to achieve my Q2 goals is to turn them into an external deadline. Like entries for quilting shows...


I submitted my Technicolor Galaxy (the 2015 Skill Builder Block Of The Month Quilt by Alyssa at Pile O'Fabric) to the Sydney Quilt Show, which put it on a timeline, and meant I had to get a move on my quilting. At the time, I'd only just started working on it, although it had been out since 2015.

Choosing a dark design with heavy, saturated colours was a bit of a risk - all the other versions I'd seen made were pale backgrounds.

WIP Wednesday mid Feb

But once I got moving with it, I really rather liked the bright colours against the black. It gives it…punch. Pop. Zing. That little something more.

Duct Tape Galaxy Quilt 2017

Rather than doing quilt-as-you-go, as per the pattern instructions, I decided to join everything together and make it a quilt top, then quilt it. It caused a few problems - mainly in fitting everything together at the end.

Duct Tape Galaxy Quilt 2017

Also, making the background ‘patchy’, and trying to gradate the colours around the arcs of the circle? Was a pain in the butt! So many fabric shades, so many delicate shifts of colour – and the blues and purples are particularly awful for this!

Duct Tape Galaxy Quilt 2017

Meanwhile the yellows are not very varied at all!

Duct Tape Galaxy Quilt 2017

Duct Tape Galaxy Quilt 2017

The thing is, once you start putting it all together as a whole, you don't really notice the fine details. However, I note that never stopped any quilter from angsting over fabric choices!

Duct Tape Galaxy Quilt 2017

Also, I didn't quite follow the order of blocks for the pattern. I'm not really good at English Paper Piecing, or turn-under applique, so I tended to leave those until last.

#IGQuiltFest with @amyscreativeside Day 31 - Work In Progress: Block 7 of the #ducttapegalaxyquilt is Hexie Flowers, and I'm doing it at #scquilters today.

Orange peels. Better get a move on! #ducttapegalaxyquilt

And then it got accepted for the Sydney Quilt Show, and the pressure was on!

Why did I do this again? Oh, that's right: because it's pretty and I'm a show-off... #ducttapegalaxyquilt

So, I thought it looked pretty good when I had all the 'arc' sections done, but once I started putting the background together, I was blown away.

#ducttapegalaxyquilt all the pieces done now to fit it together!

#IGQuiltFest with @amyscreativeside Day 25 - Unfinished Quilt. Only half a galaxy so far... #ducttapegalaxyquilt

I think it helps that I didn’t have the radial lines of the section binding interrupting the flow of the colour, too. In the QAYG version, the quilt is usually put together in a dozen ‘spokes’ and each spoke is joined to the others by a strip of binding. Which would be great if the background is one colour and the spokes match that colour (or are a deliberate contrast), but isn’t so hot when the colour changes around the circumference of the quilt.

#ducttapegalaxyquilt Nearly there! Just have to join it all together.

Unfortunately, in the process of quilting it, I stuffed up. The back ended up all wrinkly and wobbly and sewn-in. If I was really dedicated to making this a quilt-show worthy quilt, then I could have redone it. I decided not to bother. But I’m going to have to work on my quilting techniques. They’ve been really bad lately. And no, I don’t expect to win any prizes, but it would be nice to have a decent back.

Ah well, it still looks pretty good from the front, even in the not-so-great lighting of the Sydney International Convention Centre where the Sydney Quilt Show 2017 was held!

Duct Tape Galaxy Quilt

I called it the Duct Tape Galaxy, because, like duct tape, it has a light side (the back), a dark side (the front), and it holds the universe together!

2017 Finish-A-Long Q3 Goalposts

If you don't know what you're shooting for, you can't possibly know where to aim, can you?

Charm About You

These are the goals I'm aiming at for the 3rd Quarter of the 2017 Finish-Along!

1. Eilidh's Quilt

Goal: Completed.
For the daughter of a friend. A variant of Aneela Hoey's Magic Stars, in rainbow on black background.

2. Break Free Or Build Upon




Goal: Completed.
I think I'll submit this one to the Sydney Modern Quilt Guild show.

3. Girt By Sea


Goal: Bagged and ready to sew.
Would like to get this done. Chances of getting it done? HAHAHAHAHA.

4. Backings for 4 quilts and sent off to quilter


Goal: Sent off
- French Farmhouse
- Valley of the Kings
- The Seaweed Is Always Greener (Mendocino 1)

5. Mod Squad Aviatrix

Goal: Bagged and ready to sew.
The Sydney Mod Squad (my local quilting group) are probably going to be doing an Aviatrix Medallion sew-along in the coming months. I've had the pattern for a while but haven't done anything. At this point, I'm leaning towards the Summer Palette that Hartman has put up. Maybe with Kona Slate or Steel as the background...

6. Passacaglia

Goal: Completed. (Or else, segmented into matching cushion covers for the lounge room.)

I'm concatenating this one. I was very tempted to lay it out, cut it into squares and make quilted cushions out of it, but a friend has persuaded me otherwise. At least for the moment. How long this persuasion lasts...I can't say. We need some new quilt cushions...

--

Yes, that's a lot of goals, but one might as well aim high and aim hard!

Monday, June 26, 2017

COMPLETED QUILT: Summer Meadow

Finish-a-long 2017 - 2nd Quarter success!

Charm About You

This is the Summer Meadow quilt completed! I finished the top back in Q1 of 2017, and in my Q2 goals link indicated that I wanted it completed during this quarter - and I succeeded!

I'm pretty happy with how it turned out, although I wish the quilting was better.

Finished and ready to rumble!! The #summermeadowquilt2016, block pattern by Lizzy House, layout, piecing and quilting by me.



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It started with a class with Lizzy House, whose designs a few of my quilting friends ADORE. I didn't mind the fabrics, but I rather liked the quilt, and since she was only teaching it in person, I attended the day.

We got the pattern pieces, the instructions on how to put it together, and the suggestion that once we did the 'eyes' (the grey centre and the two petals either side of it), then completing the rest of the quilt was practically a foregone conclusion.

Of course, there were some small problems with the blocks, which were very frequently not!square.

Summer meadow

I ended up redrafting the pattern as per Quilts Of A Feather's Instructions For A Meadow Quilt Fix, but by then I'd already made most of the blocks.

Ah well, next time! They were flat enough to join together at any rate...

Summer meadow

There was some fun with switching pieces around so they were the right way up...

Summer meadow

And the original configuration was a 4x5 rectangular 'field' of flowers, but I decided to shake it up.

Summer meadow

I rather like the result!

Summer meadow

My impetus for completion ended up being the wedding of my cousin-in-law when he remarried this May. I never got to give him and my cousin a quilt before she died, but I did manage to give him and his new wife (a lovely woman) one. And my cousin is represented in the flower that isn't pieced, only quilted.

So, it's not the flattest quilt ever...but it's quilted! #summermeadowquilt2016

It's still not the flattest quilt ever, but it's not too terrible!

Tuesday, June 13, 2017

Show quilts and Slow quilts and fingers - oh my!

I just handed in the Duct Tape Galaxy for the Sydney Quilt Show. It's kind of spectacular when you get to see it from a distance.

#ducttapegalaxyquilt

Unfortunately, I had to cancel "Break Free, Or Build Upon?" because I bashed a finger at hockey a week ago, and got a full-time job a month ago, and I simply didn't have the time to piece and quilt it. If I can get the last 10 blocks done in the next few months, then I'll enter it in the Australian Modern Quilt show in November and see if they take it.

The next quilt on the list is going to be Eilidh's quilt - the daughter of a Canadian friend of mine, who's asked for a quilt for her daughter at the end of the summer. I have a plan (Aneela Hoey's Magic Stars) and a few ideas on how to incorporate the rainbow of colour that her mother wants. I need to work out the mechanics of the quilt before I can actually start pulling/cutting fabric. That has a deadline of August for completion, and it's going to be a lot slower since I got the job.

In the meantime, my brain is on medallion quilts. The gals in my quilting group are thinking of us all doing Elizabeth Hartman's Aviatrix Medallion together. And I bought the pattern for Girt By Sea (designed by a group of Australian quilters), but was too busy on my show quilts to get involved with the quilt-along for it. But I have plans for that too.

Aviatrix

I really like the summer palette for the Aviatrix Medallion. Although my instincts are to go for black and grey backgrounds and saturated colours to pop...

Do you get the feeling I like rainbows on black?


Girt By Sea
- red centre, orange sands, the boundless plains, the verdant mountains, the green rainforests, the shining ocean

Probably scrappy.

I'm thinking about doing the star in yellow, with black above and red below, before surrounding it with the orange of dust. Then golden plains of wheat with white windmills, green rainforests with bright floral bursts, blue mountains, and indigo sea, with the multicultural braid in a rainbow of colours against a black background.

--

But first: Eilidh's quilt.

Wednesday, April 19, 2017

100 Days 100 Blocks 2017

I am tempted to do the 100days100blocks2017 challenge - but not with the Tula Pink book (which I don't have and don't really want to buy).

Instead, I would make 8" blocks from Quilter's Cache - free blocks patterns, stick with the paper piecing ones. I'd make it a rainbow, and use the scraps I already have in my collection.

Of course, in doing so, I wouldn't be eligible for the prizes of the 100 Days 100 Blocks challenge, and they are lovely prizes. I just don't want to pay the money for the book - I already have two books of blocks that I don't use - The (in)famous Farmer's Wife Sampler Quilt, and Carol Doak's 50 Fabulous Paper Pieced Stars. The Farmer's Wife book (the old one) requires printing out individual template shapes from a PDF, and The Paper Pieced Stars requires photocopying. I could scan the Paper Pieced Patterns, but the Farmer's Wife book is a real tickler, unfortunately...

So, choices. Decisions. Plans. To do or not to do?

Also: this may not be a good time to do 100 days of anything. My Quilt Show quilts are due (they've actually asked me to retract one, apparently they have so many, they're having trouble choosing), and I also have a commissioned quilt to make, as well as roman blinds for my father. So. Busy.

But I am really tempted.

Sunday, April 16, 2017

The Parisville Bowl Bag!

You know when a really valuable fabric comes into your hands and you're stuck wondering what to do with it?

Parisville

Well, that was my problem with the length of Tula Pink's Parisville Cameo that I bought in the last year. Yes, it was ridiculously expensive. Yes, I bought it anyway, because I liked the pattern. The colour wasn't quite right, though. A little too clashy for me to match with anything I had. So when one of those instagram quilty pay-it-forward kind of things turned up in late 2016, I asked if anyone was willing to swap me another colourway of the Parisville Cameo.

Enter myfabricobsession on Instagram, who was willing to swap her Cameo in Mist for mine in Pomegranate. ALL GOOD. And she was even willing to send me a little more than I had! (THANK YOU!)

And then I stashed it. (Because that's what you do with a fabric that you really like but which you're not entirely sure you have a plan to use just yet.)

I finally decided what to do with it - make a Fireside Bowl Bag (from the book 'Big City Bags' by Sara Lawson of Sew Sweetness) with the contrast of some beautiful royal blue leather. And as it turned out, she's running a bag making competition during April! What luck!

It took a while to complete - about two weeks on and off - but it's finally done!

#parisvillebowl Bag photos

There were complications - mostly in the form of cutting angst (measuring twice, cutting once), the grim terror of sewing expensive leather that you really don't want to mess up, adding external and internal pockets (because I don't need a billion pockets, but I do like a few inside and out), and the terror of pattern adjustments required when you cut a piece of 'gusset' a little too short and have to 'make up' the length...or else cut down the outer pattern.

#parisvillebowl Bag photos

I also added feet, so it wouldn't have to sit on the ground. Sadly, cafes in Sydney are not yet quite so sensible as to have a hook under the table for women to hang their handbags off so they don't have to sit on the floor, or else hang off the back of the chair and be in the way of the waiters.

#parisvillebowl Bag photos

I like at least one external pocket, suitable for stashing a phone, or a transport pass, so I don't have to fish around inside my bag for it. Unfortunately, the Fireside Bowl Bag pattern doesn't have any pockets, internal or external. So I just designed a external pocket and a couple of internal ones to suit my needs.

The external pocket doesn't work quite as perfectly as I hoped - the strap pulls the pocket open rather more than I like. But it's a pocket and I figure more people won't notice.

#parisvillebowl Bag photos

For the lining of the bag I used Bats In The Belfry and Tudor Windows from the Elizabeth collection since I started with just Bats and then realised I didn't have enough for all the lining and the pockets.

I made one zipper pocket and one internal slip pocket, utilising the pocket-making skills I learned while making the Shiloh Mermaids Bag. The 'slip pocket' is supposed to be large enough for my purse and my phone to sit there, but it will probably end up being my purse and my glasses case.

#parisvillebowl Bag photos

Yes, I know it says "This Quilt Was Made By Sel C" but I have dozens of these labels and a need to use them!

The strap gave me a great deal of trouble, because the bag instructions were for a cloth strap, not leather. And I discovered that doubling, then quadrupling the leather that you're sewing through is a sure-fire way to give even your industrial strength Juki TL-99P a headache! So instead I made the strap half-leather and half-fabric. And I figured I should use the selvage while I'm at it... I tend to throw the selvages out half the time - or sell them.

#parisvillebowl Bag photos

All in all, I'm actually pretty happy with the form on this bag - usually I find myself a little dissatisfied with the way everything fits together, but this one has a good shape and a good form. For the record, I used a very stiff, felt-like bag-making material which is pretty spectacular at holding its shape - but I don't know the name of it! I don't even remember where I bought it!

The last Fireside Bowl Bag I made was with Cotton+Steel and it was a lot more squishy than this one - and I like a solid, firm, keeping-it-shape bag.

#parisvillebowl Bag photos

As bags go, this one is sharp, stylish, and definitely a keeper!

Monday, March 27, 2017

2017 Finish-a-long: Q2 goals

Felicity Quilts Finish A Long

Okay, I got 2/3 of my list done during the 1st Quarter of the year; let's see how we do with the 2nd Quarter. Unfortunately, the list is getting rather longer and more complicated...


Duct Tape Galaxy (Technicolour Galaxy) - completed quilt

This is the 2015 Block of the Month by Alyssa Lichner at Pile O'Fabric, and it's a stunner!

Duct Tape Galaxy Quilt 2017

I've done blocks 1-5 so far, and am working on 6-8 now, although I imagine 9-10 will be the tricksy one.

I submitted this for the Sydney Quilt Show, so the pressure is ON!


Break Free or Build Upon? (I Want To Break Free) - completed quilt

Break Free Or Build Upon?

As it turns out this will nicely fit with the Pantene Color Of The Year 2017: Greenery. It wasn't intentional, it just ended up this way.

I also submitted this for the Sydney Quilt Show 2017. Again, the clock is ticking!


Commissioned Quilt - completed top

For a friend in the Netherlands who would like a quilt for her daughter before the daughter leaves for her 2nd year of uni in Canada. Deadline is August, but I'd prefer to get it done before that.


Summer Meadow - completed quilt

I finished the top, now I have to quilt it before the wedding, which is on the 29th April...

Summer meadow


Roman Blinds

My father has asked for me to make Roman blinds for his unit. I'm going to look into how long it's going to take and decide on whether or not to tell him yes or no. Looking at my to-do list, this isn't going to happen anytime soon, and I think he wants it pretty soon.

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Yeah, I think that's a long enough list!

Sunday, March 19, 2017

COMPLETED TOP: Friendship Supernova

2017-FAL-BUTTON-300
Q1 link-up

My Q1 List Of Goals

I started this quilt a couple of years ago - a friendship block swap of Supernova blocks back in 2014, where the colours were blue, green, and yellow. My partner was Sandra from the USA and it took us a little longer for both of us to get the blocks sent out than most.

Deciding on the colour layout for the #supernovafriendship #blockswap. It's harder than it seems!

And after receiving all the blocks...I just sat on them. For, oh, ages. Until one day I was digging through my quilting supplies, found the bag of blocks and went, "oh, I really need to finish that...how about I make it BIGGER!"


#wipwednesday #supernovafriendshipblockswap picking this up again. Don't know where the 12th block is, probably got lost in the move last year...

So I found myself making an extra four blocks - five, actually, since one of the blocks sent by Sandra had since gone missing. And that took, oh, another couple of years...

WIPs January 2017

Anyway, it's finally finished!

Summer meadow

Can you tell which blocks are mine (11) and which blocks are Sandra's (5)?

I'll hunt up a backing for this one and send it along to my quilter. It might suit for my half-brother's wedding in HK later this year...

Tuesday, January 31, 2017

COMPLETED TOP: Meadow Quilt

2017-FAL-BUTTON-300
Q1 link-up

My Q1 List Of Goals

So, the Meadow Quilt by Lizzy House...

As anyone who knows my quilting can tell you, I'm not very good at following instructions.

Sure, it says to do 12 blocks of 3x4 but I want a quilt that's bigger, so I'm going to make it 4x4.

Yes, the instructions for the quilt indicate that there are twelve quilt blocks but I'm tired of making them, so I'm just going to make eight of the blocks, split them in two, and then do nine-patches for matching quilts.

Of course I can make an open bag out of a closed bag pattern! Don't be silly; it'll be easy!

The Meadow Quilt, designed and taught by Lizzy House, is a 4x5 arrangement of 12.5" 'flower' blocks with coloured-in sections between the flower petals. She teaches it as a class, and I attended the one in Sydney back in 2015...and then left the pattern for forever. In December 2016, I finally decided to get it done (see the hashtag #SelWIPsItGood) and did the cutting and sewing in January, before completing the sewing-together at the first sew-in for the Sydney Mod Squad quilting group.

Summer meadow

There were issues, of course. The block itself as given by Lizzy involves curves and bias cutting, and then, on top of all that, the pattern doesn't precisely fit. Lizzy's advice was to ease-ease-ease, then starch the living heck out of it.

My #meadowquilt block at the #sydneymeadowquilt class today!

Which I did, but every block I made had a wobble to it. It was a PITA.

Summer meadow

In the end, I went by trying to keep the blocks flat, rather than trying to keep the seams at a quarter-inch. Which is why the circle in the centre is weirdly positioned, and the seam practically runs over it.

And that was all the blocks! It was so frustrating!

In my despair, I cried out to the quilters on Instagram, and they heard my cry and delivered me to Renee at Quilts of a Feather. Renee had created a fix it tutorial for how to make the blocks lay flat, and reading it was very helpful! Of course, you needed to read the fix before you'do done the cutting out, which was too late for me...

In the end, I squidged the edges, but the fix would be helpful for friends who have the quilt pattern and haven't yet completed one (just like me, only even more delayed).

Then there was the small matter of the layout - as noted, the usual layout is a 4x5 rectangle. Which looks lovely but is kind of...boring.

I...modified it a little:
I may be a little bit of a design rebel...  #meadowquilt #sydneymeadowquilt

At first, I was going to make the 'colour blocks' between the flower petals different colours, but then I decided that I liked the colour fill, so I rearranged:

Meadow #summermeadow2016

There were issues sewing it all together, of course:
Meadow #summermeadow2016

But I had a plan! (In my quilting bullet journal; I'm not a devotee, but it is pretty convenient in many ways.)

Meadow #summermeadow2016

One thing that Lizzy said was that if you make all the 'eyes' (the centre piece of the block) then you'll make the quilt, because those eyes are pretty useless for anything else...and they're watching you. Which, yes, is a little creepy, but accurate.

Meadow #summermeadow2016

Even once I had all the blocks, there was some residual anguish about putting it all together. This is customary and should always be ignored. My first instincts are usually right when it comes to quilt design - or, at least, everyone is too polite to say my design sense sucks to my face - but the second-guessing takes a toll:
Summer meadow

And yes, I unpicked a block to get the Chinese characters the right way around. It wasn't too terrible, just a bit of a pain. However, a quilter's gotta do what a quilter's gotta do...
Summer meadow

The result is pretty good, though - I like it as much as I thought it would. And although I worried that the three-quarter fills might look a bit out of place, most people seem to like the variation in design, too.
Summer meadow

I think this will go as a wedding present to a couple who are getting married this year. I'll have to get it quilted before then, though - luckily, I have quite a bit of time on my hands in the coming months thanks to a work redundancy...