TGIFF – Union Jack Surprised!

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.
Linking up with TGIFF and Crazy Mom Quilts!

Sometimes you just call it what it is.

40 Responses

  1. Charlotte says:

    it's fabulous!!! And how on earth did you take that last photo?

  2. Am L says:

    Yay for quilt pressies! Beautiful job! It was barely still Friday in California. 😉

  3. The O's says:

    Happy Birthday Charlotte! I love your quilt, I've seen it a few times now! Really and truly, you are one lucky duck xxx

  4. Laura says:

    Amazing Ms Molli… 🙂 Congrats to you and all the Bee mates…

  5. Sooli says:

    Spectacular! You can see she loves it too!

  6. Lucky girl! Love it. I'll check out the tutorial for the block. The back us amazing too!

  7. charlotte says:

    I L.O.V.E. this quilt. I sew want to make one, although not quite as large. I will check out your tutorial. You are once again…awesome. Lucky daughter.

  8. Leigh Anne says:

    This turned out great! I've got it in my mind to make one for an English friend living in California so I will definitely be checking out the tute 🙂

  9. Katy Cameron says:

    Fabulous front and back, and looks like it's gone down well too!

  10. Auntie Pami says:

    The best presents are those made with love. An heirloom for sure. Spot on.

  11. Awesome, awesome, awesome! Isn't it amazing how all those blocks can come together so nicely? It might be the power of glitter at work since I've yet to see one of your quilts that I didn't like. Your daughter looks to be enjoying it… gotta love a kiddo who appreciates a present made with love!

  12. Izzy says:

    It is gorgeous! I love all those colours in the front AND on the back! Great birthday gift!

  13. Renee says:

    Aurifil me up! Snort. Love how you put them on point! And wow, 40 of them. Love the echino on the back! I have a 1/4 yard of it that I've only used for very special fussy cutting projects. Your daughter is a lucky lady to get a whole quilt back!

  14. What a fun quilt! Can you show a full picture of the back? I'd love to see the whole thing!

  15. Pat says:

    This is truly worthy of a lot of exclamation points!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
    And smiles, too. 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂

  16. On point was well worth it and the Echino is perfect for the back. Dang that's a long quilt there will be no toes sticking out the end for sure. Yeah for scrappy binding.

  17. Lynn Harris says:

    It's wonderful! I love everything about it!

  18. Carol Q says:

    fabulous fabulous quilt!!

  19. Fran says:

    Gorgeous! But enough of the cheeky comments about the London weather – we are currently enduring a HEATWAVE!! 🙂

  20. Love the quilt Molli Dolli. Now a question. Have you ever used fusible batting? Any thoughts or opinions (you're never short of those!) welcome please.

    • Hi Judy – You're a no-reply blogger, so I couldn't email you back. To answer your question, I'm afraid I have not used fusible batting, so I wouldn't be much help on offering a legitimate opinion on this one! Sorry!

  21. audrey says:

    Oh, I love! And I especially love the last pic. So cute! (Quilt and daughter!)

  22. Kirsten says:

    Your union jack quilt looks amazing – love all of the Echino on the back! We had the cold westerly winds here on Friday too.

  23. ~Diana says:

    It is beautiful!

  24. Beautiful quilt for a beautiful daughter, from her beautiful dad. What could be better than that? Bet she is the bright shining star in your life. Hugs

  25. Look at her face, that is one happy customer indeed 🙂

  26. Di says:

    She loves it!!! We all love it!!! And I'm so glad you've discovered the quiet pleasure of hand stitching a binding down. I find this so "zen" and relaxing, and the pleasure just grows as those raw edges are gradually covered up and your work in progress becomes …. (ta daa!) a quilt! Well done, Molli 🙂

  27. Farm Quilter says:

    Love your Union Jack quilt – I've seen quite a few of the quilts made from your tutorial and yours on-point is the best of all!!! Love the last picture and I'll second the motion to see a picture of the whole back, please 🙂 I'd be happy to trade you longarm quilting for hand-finishing binding…just wish postage wasn't so expensive between the US and Australia!!!

  28. Kathy says:

    Certainly awesome quilt and your daughter certainly looks very pleased with it for sure!

  29. AMM says:

    What a lucky girl your daughter is! The quilt is gorgeous and I so hear you on Echino – it is fabulous.

  30. Gorgeous! I love you union jacks! The colors are just so much fun. I am a huge fan of the look of Echino, but I have never been able to purchase any. And now that my fabric budget has gone missing (for like the next two years) I will just have to wait even longer to become an "in-person fan." lol. But for now I will admire from afar. Your daughter is super lucky to have such a sweet Dad who makes her beautiful things (and teaches her to make beautiful things – love that pillow she made a few weeks ago). Can't wait to see what yall create next!

  31. Kathy says:

    Wow, this had to be a whole lotta work! And worth it for your daughter for sure. Speaking of binding, I'm getting close to binding my second quilt. On my first (small) quilt, I hand stitched the binding to the back. On this second quilt, which is twin size, the instructions say to hand bind to the front. What is your preferred method if I may ask?

  32. Emmajane says:

    This is without a doubt one of the best quilts I've ever seen. Your sewing bees, yourself and the quilter were all amazing. I just love everything about it! I've just looked at the tutorial and I am feeling inspired, though I suspect I'll make just a cushion. This is amazing, through and through!

  33. Cari says:

    So sweet! Is your daughter mimicking the Union Jack symbol in the photo or is she just demonstrating the fabulous size of this quilt? I really love these blocks on point, and using Echino for the back makes total sense… who wants to cut into those large-scale prints??

  34. The quilting is indeed perfect for the movement you were seeking, Molli. Love the colors, love the quilting – just wonderful!

  35. Aloha, Jo says:

    But – Where did the block tutorial go? It was just here last week but not now!

    • Jo! This is totally, my fault, I accidentally deleted it yesterday! There were a lot of curse words involved, let me tell you! I am endeavouring to have it back online this week.

    • Aloha, Jo says:

      Thanks – I'm sure all those curse words were quite sparkly! In truth I was thinking you'd been approached to publish it, which would be wonderful, too.

  36. Karen Price says:

    Oh wow! I'm a newbie quilter and I've got to have a go at making a quilt like this, it's fab!!!

  1. December 7, 2015

    […] first one features my Union Jack Surprise quilt and pattern in Australia Patchwork & Quilting, Vol 25, No 7. This quilt was made from […]

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