When Jen Kingwell from Amitie Textiles approached me and asked if I’d like to do her 2018 BOM ‘Golden Days‘ Quilt and that she would provide me with the templates I jumped at the opportunity. I’m a huge Jen Kingwell fan so it was a no brainer! I was fortunate to visit Amitie in February 2018 to do a workshop with Rachael Daisy and saw the Golden Days flimsy before it was quilted. Jen gave me permission to take the photos below at the time.
I'll take you through my process and tools used for this flimsy. It's still a flimsy and I'll update here when I finish the hand quilting.
My Fabric Choices
I chose a mix of fabrics from Tim Holtz ranges ‘Correspondence’ and ‘Dapper’ and used other ranges of his I had in my stash. I mixed in Moda Grunge solids and spots together with Essex Metallic Linen. I wasn’t overly fussy with placement, keeping prints tonally similar to Jen’s blocks when choosing them.
The colouring for this quilt is a departure from my usual choices and the limited palette was challenging and fun. It’s still scrappy with over 50 different prints. The images below are from the Fat Quarter Shop, whom I purchased fat quarter bundles of both of these ranges specifically for this project.
Whenever I’m starting a quilt I do a fabric pull from my stash and put aside the chosen fabrics in a tub specific for that project whilst I’m working on it. I hand pieced all the blocks as I’m more accurate with this method and also prefer it to sitting at a sewing machine, I like to handpiece at night whilst hanging with my partner and fur kids, watching our latest Netflix binge! For the blocks with applique, I needle turned them, first attaching them to the background with dabs of Roxanne applique glue.
When the templates arrived each month I took a moment, read through the instructions, looked at how many blocks were required and then sat on it for a few days. When I was ready to start the block I did a fabric pull for the blocks and played around until I was happy, considering things like the scale of the print, the shade of colour, whether to use my ‘solid’ or not and where to use it. I used the colour sample provided in the pattern instructions to give me an idea of contrast needed for the block.
I’m not a ‘super’ fussy cutter, I don’t mind a little of it in a quilt but a whole quilt fussy cut tends to give me a toothache (my personal preference, you guys that are fussy cutter lovers more power to you!). You’ll see a little fussy cutting here and there in my quilt. If you are familiar with Tim Holtz prints you’ll know that some of them do not allow for fussy cutting due to the scale and format of the print, which I don’t mind at all, I love that lots of the prints used have the same colour tone but different ‘images’, from the same print. I think it helps with interest and movement in the final quilt and removes some of the ‘sameness’ of using only 50ish prints. 50 prints sound like a lot of variety but it’s not as many prints as I’d normally use.
I’m at the point where I have finished piecing the blocks and have sewn the top together, pictured here. I’m planning on hand quilting this with Aurifil 12wt and for the backing I have yardage of a Tim Holtz print gifted to me by a generous friend.
The right tools do help with some processes. It’s absolutely is a personal preference kind of thing and sometimes the investment in a few tools can make a process THAT much easier. Here’s what I used:
Marking fabric – I use a mechanical pencil with a 2B lead, this is after doing a workshop with Jen last year, it’s a game-changer. The 2B lead is softer so you don’t have to press hard and it marks nicely and is easy-to-see. Sometimes I use a silver gel pen (make sure it’s gel) and this helps with giving a reflection and visibility, but it depends on the print as to whether I do this.
Roller – I do love to use a little roller to save me ironing pieces as I piece/applique. I don’t iron the block until I’ve finished it. The roller just helps flatten seams.
Fabric spray – I used Flatter smoothing spray, it’s starch free (which helps with keeping bugs away from your project) and comes in yummy scents, is lovely to use and really helps smooth out a block when ironing it once it’s pieced.
Needles – Milliner number 11 to stitch my pieces together and for appliqué.
Pins – I love Karen Kay Buckley pins, they’re super fine and go through fabric like butter, I find they help keep a low profile when pinning.
Thread – For applique I've used Aurifil 50wt and for piecing 80wt. With some of the appliqué, I do change the colour where high contrast fabrics are butting up against each other. I usually test a few stitches make sure I’m happy with what’s happening.
The first-ever BOM I took part in was Jen’s Green Tea and Sweet Beans. I had NO IDEA what I was doing, literally. I look at my handwork now and can see I have progressed hugely since then, but I still love that quilt. Presently, it’s an unfinished flimsy. At the time of completing the main part of the quilt I stalled at the borders as my applique skills weren’t fabulous, but now that I have improved (time and practice) I want to get the flimsy finished so I can baste the quilt and start hand quilting it.
If a BOM is out of your budget, then look to doing the pattern or template only version. You can then shop your stash and still participate with everyone else and be inspired.
You can find me on Instagram as @craftapalooza and the same on Facebook. I create my own hashtags for my projects on Instagram, my Golden Days quilt is #crftgdaysq create your own project hashtags so you can see all your blocks in one place on Instagram.
Jen Kingwell's Golden Days Quilt flimsy:
My flimsy - using Tim Holtz prints and Moda Grunge and Robert Kaufman Essex Metallic Linen: