It’s a good thing y’all have seen the full frontal
of this Union Jack Surprise quilt. I went outside to take pictures of it yesterday and nearly got blown away. I’ve been known to be called a friend of Dorothy, but not because of the weather! It’s not normally this blustery cold in Sydney, so I’m blaming the Union Jack Surprise quilt for bringing this typical London weather to town.
I’ve already debriefed you
on the Bee origins of these blocks, but in case you are new around here (:::waves!:::), three-quarters of these Union Jack blocks were made by bee-mates in two separate bees. I then made ten additional blocks for a total of forty blocks. The brief was simple: Go colour crazy! But the best part? They were all made from a tutorial that I created!
The hardest part? Setting those flags on point. That was somethin’ else, let me tell you! I’m so glad I did it though, because it really gives this quilt a point of difference, and a whole lotta movement. I wanted to ensure this movement was reinforced by the quilting, so when I went to my long-armer extraordinaire, QuiltJane
, my brief was simple: “Jane, sweetie, baby, darling, honey pie, the quilting needs to be simple, simple, simple, with lots of ripple, ripple, ripple.”
Well, and did QuiltJane
deliver, or what!? The contracting and expanding straight line quilting is called Modern River, and she used Aurifil
50wt, colour 2024 White. You’ll be happy to know I pieced the quilt together with this as well. Aurifil
me up, y’all!
You’ve probably noticed the whole quilt is backed with Echino. For those not in the Echino fan club (yet), it’s a cotton / linen blend made by Kokka in Japan. I have generally seen it used more as home decor fabric, and for pouches, bags, and the like. However, I had generated quite a stockpile from my few trips to Japan last year, and just thought, who better to use this rather expensive fabric on than my daughter?
Plus, she loves animals, she loves London, she loves purple, teal, pink, and orange. Seriously, could these Echino prints have been any more perfect for her? It was definitely meant to be! I put a call out to my Instagram friends (IG: molli_sparkles) to see if I was crazy using this as the back. Most were all like, “Gurl, you be crazy not to do it!” Well, that was all the incentive I needed!
See how well it plays with the colours on the front, too? I am absolutely thrilled with this combination. While the quilt feels heavier because of all that Echino on the back, I’m interested to see how its warmth factor will be with the cotton / linen blend. The batting is Matilda’s Own (cotton), so I’m hoping it will still suit for year-round loving!
Oh, oh, oh! I almost forgot, the binding! Everything else about this quilt was scrappy, so I didn’t want to break tradition. I made a scrappy binding to suit! It was really engaging to pick out a variety of fabric strings to wrap around this Union Jack Surprise. I hand stitched the binding down in one afternoon sitting. I never thought I would say this, but I’m really falling in love with hand stitching binding!
So a final thank you to all the bee mates who contributed to this quilt, which turned out to be the most magnificent gift for my daughter. It was gifted to her last night as an early birthday present, and she was most impressed! Now, let’s just hope she stretches out some in the coming years!
Title: Union Jack Surprise
Size: 69″ x 112″
Quilting: Long arm quilting, Modern River, by Quilt Jane using Aurifil 50wt, colour 2024 White
Binding: hand stitched with Aurifil 50wt, colour 2024 White
Backing: over-sized patchwork using six, cotton/linen blend Echino prints purchased in Japan
Favourite Part: Giving it to my daughter.
Sometimes you just call it what it is.