Wednesday, September 2, 2015

Beyond Reasonable, way, way beyond!

All quilts, no matter how special deserve to be loved………..

My helper, Sand Dune, the dachshund

First, Thank you to Bee Sewcialite Karen (capitolaquilter) for the title of this post, and ultimately the name of the First Bee Sewcial quilt, 2015. Conceived and developed in January then pieced, commented on, decidedly over-grammed and eventually quilted over the following 8 months.

I just loved the lighting in this photo.

This is the longest start-to-finish- quilt project for me, ever! 8 months in the making. The journey was one of self discovery, group cooperation, initial joy, punctuated by 2 episodes of hitting the pause button because I was overwhelmed by the task I set for myself and a niggling doubt- wondering if I didn't perhaps bite off more than I could chew…..

In the end I finished and then resorted to teasing everyone for the last couple weeks with sneak peeks of blocks made by the then 10 members of the Bee Sewcial group. Since January, we've readjusted the ranks a bit and expanded our horizons by miles and all the while it's been quite a ride.
Beyond Reasonable:
Front, faced binding is rather lovely don't you think?

Title: "Beyond Reasonable"
Size: 67 x 60"
Design idea and color palette chosen by me for the January installment of Bee Sewcial. Derived inspiration based on the the Dale Chihuly exhibit at the Denver Botanic Gardens. (Original post here).
Contributors/co-conspirators (a representative block from each contributor):
Leanne (she can quilt)

Felicity (Felicity Quilts)
 Hillary (entropy always wins)
Diane (random thoughts do or di/ylmommy x4)
 Marci (Marci Girl)
 Melissa (we shall sew)
 Kari (quilts for the making)
Debbie (A Quilters Table)
 Latifah (Latifah Saffir Studio)

Materials: Kona solids in a suggested color palette- designer to edit and use as they see fit. Backing in Kona Brick, paprika, turquoise, crimson and Chinese Red.
Backed, simply pieced, because nothing else about this was simple

Threads: assorted Aurifil 50 wt 100% cotton color matched and Superior Threads metallics in Turquoise (top), bobbin color matched to dominant solid.
Batting: Pellon 100% recycled cotton
Binding: faced, 1/2" double folded, color matched to backing
Faced binding/ detail fron back

Faced binding/ back detail

Quilting: FMQ with curated color matched thread. Each area was quilted differently. Bernina 180 (x2).
FMQ/ front detail

FMQ/ back detail (each individual block was quilted differently)
New and different: It bears repeating that I'm not one to be timid with my quilts. I've been known to cut into fully constructed tops and for this quilt I also took a giant leap of faith. The most reasonable thing to do was test the idea I had for my faced binding first on a smaller project. BUT by the time I finished and squared this quilt I was anxious to be done. I couldn't even start other projects because this loomed large on my to do list, so I just went for it. I didn't want a conventional binding. The quilt is really too busy and non-linear. So, I attached a 1.25" straight of grain binding (just over 1/2" when folded/ironed) to the quilt as if I were attaching a conventional binding.
attaching the faced binding (front)
 I then ironed it from the front. Flipped the quilt over and very carefully stitched through the quilt and the binding close to the attached row of stitches. I then repeated the ironing this time from the back folding at the seam line. Using many, many clover clips and tiny hand stitches, I stitched the binding to the quilt back. Since the fabric was an exact match to the backing the the binding exceptionally small, it's almost invisible. Just what I had hoped. It covers very little of the extensive free motion quilting and is significantly smaller than many of the faced binding tutorials available out there.
Faced binding, back detail

Other things of note: Bee Sewcial has grown. Although this bee is closed to the 10 current sewists, we have opened each months design inspirations to the entire quilting community via Instagram. Please participate by tagging your photos with the #inspitedbybeesewcial hashtag and we will comment on your makings. I hope that each of you are challenged each month as we are.

I would also like to thank all of you who followed along and contributed to this rather breath taking quilt. I pushed all kinds of limits in its construction (crazy Y seam construction, careful trimming and use of all submitted "blocks"). I hope the excessive FMQ and the obsessive use of color matched threads was well worth the effort (IT TOOK FOREVER). I killed one of my beloved sewing machines in the process and spent a month looking and finally finding another to replace it on the internet. It was a journey and a valuable (and ultimately expensive) lesson learned.

Looking back, I wouldn't change a thing.

more FMQ details from the back

I know it's only September, but I'm already thinking about round 2!!


  1. It's a beautiful quilt Stephanie, and the quilting is fantastic!

  2. Well, you truly outdid yourself! It is gorgeous and your quilting just put it over the top. Beautiful job well done!

  3. You did some really great quilting on this. I love the round ball in the center - it added just the right element of "different." Sounds like you enjoyed this process and didn't rush it! Fun.

  4. Oh boy! This is absolutely stunning quilt! First photo with Sand Dune is the most beautiful! Quilting is also unbelievable! x Teje

  5. Oh boy! This is absolutely stunning quilt! First photo with Sand Dune is the most beautiful! Quilting is also unbelievable! x Teje

  6. Oh boy! This is absolutely stunning quilt! First photo with Sand Dune is the most beautiful! Quilting is also unbelievable! x Teje

  7. OMGosh I LOVE this quilt, love the colors and especially the quilting!!

  8. WOW! This is a gorgeous, gorgeous quilt! I love seeing what comes out of the Bee Sewcial all are so talented! The quilting is amazing!

  9. Gorgeous colors, creative piecing and inspired quilting! Thank you for sharing 😄

  10. Fabulous finish and recap of the journey. I'm glad to have a hand in the naming. Glad that the back is simple and the intensity of quilting can shine. Can't wait to see it in person someday.


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