The journey for this quilt started in the UK in 2013 when I was visiting my daughter, known as Fangirl who was living there at the time. I had 4 weeks overseas, 3 weeks in the UK with her and one week in Berlin visiting our German exchange student Lena.
FG and I had 3 glorious weeks driving around England and Scotland. A feature of most days was us finding a teashop and enjoying a Devonshire Tea, or cream tea as they are called over there.
Our first outing was a high tea (well they called it Afternoon Tea) at the Chesterfield Hotel. It was Fangirl's Mother's Day present to me. It had a Willy Wonka Theme which was appropriate as afterwards we went to see Charlie and The Chocolate Factory at the theatre. (which was her birthday present to me)
We both also love English bone china and we had great fun visiting the charity shops - selling second hand clothes, bric a brac and china. Despite the fact that I was going to have to fly home with this china I didn't resist and bought a number of pieces. The only reason I had room for any china is that I had taken a large suitcase with me in order to be able to bring back some stuff for FG. She was moving back to Australia at the end of the year and I had offered to help her shift some of her goods in my luggage. Usually when I travel I go with just one cabin sized bag.
We tried to visit fabric and craft shops but had the most amazing run of bad luck First of all they were hard to find... well at least where we visited. And then everyone we did find was shut. We would get there in the afternoon of their half day and they had closed at lunch time... or at 2 or 3 and we would be there after that. Or it was the day they didn't open at all. One we came across had closed completely. NOT good.
On my last weekend in the UK we visited the area of Kent where FG had lived when she first went to the UK. She knew where there was a patchwork shop in the district and as a surprise she took me there. It was called Puddleducks and was located in Sevenoaks in Kent
I flew back to Australia, into Sydney where I was met by my husband. We had a wedding to attend in Sydney and then had a 3 week driving holiday planned, around NSW (it had been originally planned as being 8 weeks but husband's job situation changed) During our holiday I visited a number of quilt shop and I collected fabric for the quilt. I was looking for tea shop related fabrics - cups, plates, cakes, mugs etc, as well as some fabric to complete the design I had bought.
Back home again I got busy and when I decided to start work on the quilt I couldn't find the pattern. I had the fabric I had purchased, and even some buttons but could NOT find the pattern. I was VERY frustrated to say the least. Eventually I found the website for the shop where I had purchased it and found the name of the designer and the pattern. When I ordered the pattern they got back to me to say they no longer carried it. I searched the net and found it elsewhere. Whilst on the website I found a couple of other patterns by the same designer and ordered them too. Of course when they arrived I found the original pattern! (isn't that always the way).
I didn't plan to make the individual projects but to combine them into a larger wall quilt.
We were planning another 9 week camping trip Oct-Dec in 2014 and I decided that this project combining these three patterns and other appliques featuring the fabrics I had purchased the year before would be the perfect hand project to take with me. I set about prepping the blocks to take with me. I worked out a design and planned my blocks accordingly
I stitched the appliques as we travelled the coast of Australia from Sunshine Coast around to Great Ocean Road, across to Adelaide, up to the Flinders Ranges and then home the inland route. I got most of the appliques completed in this time. Once I got home I put the squares up on my design wall. Had a few goes at rearranging the squares, stitched a few more squares and finally put it together,
Took me a little while once I got the quilt pinned to get it quilted but last week I managed to get it done and ... well now its done. Yay.
I thought this was my done photo... but then I realised I hadn't added the embellishments. I had collected a variety of buttons as well on my travels. Things which I thought would add to the quilt. Here they are. I love them. I have more I could add... will see how I go
I had hoped to hang it at a garden party I went to on Saturday but I didn't get around to asking the organisers if they would like it so I didn't take it with me. Its not a cuddle quilt. Its a quilt to be hung. Not sure where I will hang it but I will find a space I'm sure.
So its done! 18 months after I bought the pattern I have it all finished. I'm very proud of it
This was my March project for A Lovely Year of Finishes and I am pleased that I have managed it in time