myBearpaw Blog by Jo Avery

Blogger’s Quilt Festival Autumn 2012

I have been entering a quilt in to every Blogger’s Quilt Festival  for the last 3 years. This wonderful event is hosted by Amy Ellis at Amy’s Creative Side and is a highlight of my quilting calendar.

This year I have a new finish to show you!
I just finished quilting ‘The Neighbourhood’ on Monday and managed to get some ok photos despite the very grey, greyness of autumnal Scotland at the present time (it’s going to be sunny tomorrow but I’ll be working all day, natch).

This is my take on Sarah Fielke/Kathy Doughty’s ‘The Burbs’ quilt from the first Material Obsession book. It was made with the Tag Square Bee that ran on Flickr from October 2010 for a year. I finished piecing the blocks last Christmas and it’s sat, folded and sad, in a cupboard until I got my act together and bought a more capable sewing machine (more on that later).

The Bee had some very talented stitchers but was also stricken with quite a bit of bad luck as participants dropped out through illness or simply disappeared. In the end I received 9 blocks back (including my favourite, above on the right, made by Julianna) and as I wanted a bigger quilt I made more blocks to take the number to 16.

This was not a chore as I love making improv house/figure blocks.
I had asked the bee members to make me houses or figures in aqua, pink and red (there was a lot of that colourway around back in 2010!) and they made me some beautiful blocks.

I raided my scrap bag for the piano keys border and added mini houses to the corners.

I loved playing around with the house themes and fussy cutting different things for the windows. The one above is the Babushka’s house. They forgot about their toast in the kitchen and it’s now doing a dance with the toaster! I’m really pleased with all the little details in this quilt, and I love spotting all the ‘new to me’ fabric from the Bee blocks.

Here is the back, it is a Sevenberry’s polka dot with a strip of Melody Ross vintage ladies.
I usually hand quilt but that is partly because I have found any sort of machine quilting very stressful and disappointing when using my old basic Brother machine. But a few months ago I took the plunge and bought a Pfaff Quilt Expression 4.0.
Now FMQing is a total joy! In fact everything is a total joy with my lovely Pfaff.

This took around 3 hours to quilt and is the biggest quilt I have finished this way. These photos were taken after a wash and tumble dry. I am really pleased with how it turned out.

But as I was tidying up my sewing room once I’d finished I came across a bag full of these…

…Siggy blocks that were meant to go on the back! Ooops!! I guess this is the problem with leaving things too long before finishing them, you forget vital things like this.

Sorry to all you lovely girls who contributed to this quilt. I will turn these sweet little blocks in to a matching cushion :).

You can read more about the gestation of this quilt here.

I am so relieved to have this one finished and ticked off my long to-do list!
Now head on over to the Blogger’s Quilt Festival and check out all the wonderful quilts there and enjoy reading all the amazing stories. And don’t forget to enter the giveaway and nominate your favourite quilt!
Happy festival!

Amy's Creative Side


  1. Your Neighborhood quilt is delightful for all the reasons you mentioned. Blogger's Festival is where I started reading blogs BIG TIME and to think you have been a part of that for years as well. Thank you for showing us "this year's quilt" Will look for you next time as well.

  2. I love this quilt! My husband's favorite song is Home by Edward Sharp and the Magnetic Zero's and I've been toying with the idea of a house quilt for him/our bed. Thanks for sharing!

  3. Such a fun quilt and love hearing how it came together…disappointments and all. Lovely colors and fabrics. My grandmother came from edinburgh. Have always wanted to see the orphanage she grew up in. Thanks for sharing and have a great day

  4. Well done on getting your bee quilt finished. My top is ready but further work is on hold as I make stock for craft fairs. However, I did use your idea for a scrappy border when I joined my blocks together. Have you heard of any of the other quilts in the group being finished?
    Teresa x

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