Jewelled Swoon #2

About this time last year, I shared with you that I had dived in with plans to make a Swoon quilt.  It had been  on my bucket list for years and an instagram #qal had reignited my desire (or really just reminded me, that yeah, I did still like/want to make that pattern).  So in I dived  (you can read about the start here)

I was actually very efficient and finished the top off before I went overseas (trying to have the sewing room clean for our house-sitter lol). Seriously!! I knocked off this top in like 2 weeks!!  That's in my top 5 fastest finishes, ever. But as with much of my life, it then had to sit and wait for me to return to the country and get my life in order.

It also needed me to get back to the whole work & wage thing so that I could justify sending this off to get long armed.  Once I was back to the daily grind I asked my guild mate, Leanne, to work her magic.  She did beautiful loopy, feathery swirls all over it.  For me, I think it works so well with (and gives so much movement to) the butterflies in the background.

The quilt is a good queen size with the sashing and slightly enlarged borders.  I've mentioned before that my husband likes to steal the blankets so I've taken to upsizing anything that I plan to use for our bed.

I know the colours are a bit washed out in the first photo (gotta love that Queensland summer sun!) but they are such lovely rich jewel tones it creates a very luxurious impression.  And then setting that against the natural calico colour of the background I feel really grounds it. I don't know what it was about those butterflies - they're an unusual choice for a quilt I knew was destined for an adult bed (and a bed containing a Grumpy Man to boot!) (PS For clarity: I refer to my husband as Grumpy Man.  In fairness he also refers to me as Grumbles.  In my mind it is a perfect example of how us Aussies say we love each other: with insults .lol), but I think it's the whimsy against the calico which I subconsciously think of as a really practical, working fabric... It just seems unexpected which I like. 

I also like the pattern in the background.  I've stalked a lot of swoon quilts over the years and it seems that the done thing is to use a solid or a really small print (so it reads as a solid) for the background. I would guess that's because of the amount of piecing: the background does get cut up quite a bit - if you look closely there are a lot of decapitated butterflies on this quilt.  But there are enough full ones to make it work and the pattern clearly has them flying every which way so it's not a directional print, which would have been more difficult.

I did keep the text fabric directional, as much as possible.  That just involves making the HST's/Flying Geese intentionally.

As you can see, there's a generous amount of text fabric going on.  I bought metres (and metres and metres) of this black fabric a few years ago, and even though I have a tonne of it for reasons unknown, I've kind of hoarded it.  I think it comes down to there being a part of me that loves text fabric so much that I every time I go to use it I have a little moment of anxiety because I don't want to *waste* it or run out (because in my mind they may never print another piece of text fabric again so I have to be careful about using what I have #logichasnoplaceinthisdiscussion).

Along with my black text, I also used some of my favourite coloured prints.  A Joel Dewberry purple that I have had tucked away. Some Alison Glass, some Carolyn Friedlander, some V&Co... #fabricsnob #namedrop  (I hate myself for doing it, but I just can't help it!!)

The quilt is bound in simple black homespun (I bought premade bias binding because I am lazy, and I do not have the energy to make bias binding particularly when I could just pay the money and be done with it). 

I added a hand embroidered label with my name and city to the back, and put the date on the front - unusual, but the quilting had created a little ruck/tuck on one border and to square that off properly meant I would lose more than I wanted (also it was 1 tiny spot!!) so I attempted to find a way to work around it and make it look intentional, and I actually really like it.  I think the fact that it is surrounded by little black butterflies helps it blend in quite a bit.  (If you look at the photo of the full quilt you can't even see it in the bottom right corner) All that said, I don't know that this would work on every quilt.

I hunted high and low for a backing that I liked and that was big enough for this beast, but I could not find something that spoke to me, so instead pieced a selection of jewel toned "grunge" solid fabric.  It's far more structured/less whimsical than the front but I love that it plays up the boldness.  In retrospect I probably should have dropped the pinky colour and added a second blue, but it's too late now!!

Pieced backings are a tricky thing IMHO. The problem I tend to run into the most is that in piecing a backing I'm trying to make my fabric stretch, but the more piecing I do, the more my fabric shrinks into seam allowances. :-(  Poor Leanne had scant inches of backing when she put this on the long arm.  I promise I'll do better next time, mate.

This finish is now on my bed and I am *loving* it.  And I can tick it off as completely finished which means I have achieved something on my FAL list and my BigBedQAL list.  Huzzah!!!  Also: I've crossed something off my quilty bucket list, and that always deserves a celebration.  What's on your quilty bucket list??  Or more to the point, what should I add to mine now that the Swoon has been checked off ;-)

Henry gives his seal of approval

Official start date - 25/1/17
Top complete -9/2/17
Quilted, Bound & Complete - 2/3/18
E xx



  1. Your Swoon is beautiful! Congrats on the finish! And on behalf of the 2018 FAL hosts, thank you finishing along with us.

  2. This turned out great! I do love a Swoon quilt (and have made one myself). Congrats on your terrific finish!


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E xx