Right before the mad-dash to get packed for our trek to QuiltCon, I finished a mini quilt and excitedly mailed it to a hotel in Savannah, where it patiently waited for Giuseppe to arrive. Here’s a closer look at my mini quilt that hung in the Andover Fabrics booth at QuiltCon.
This quilt got its name after it was nearly completed, as I sat hand stitching the binding to the back. A mini quilt made at the request of Andover Fabrics, out of entirely Alison Glass fabrics, to be displayed in the Andover booth at QuiltCon–can you imagine how thrilled I was to make it? I had selected my pattern Constant Flux since I have been wanting to play with different arrangements and color schemes for it, and simply rearranged the blocks to create a central focal square (I rotated each block 180 degrees).
With freestyle embroidery fresh on my mind and Nichole Vogelsinger’s book Boho Embroidery freshly on my bookshelf, I was inspired to add an embroidered, appliquéd bee from Alison’s Seventy-Six line in the center.
So when a local friend of mine sent a message connecting me with a textile designer friend of hers who needed product photography, and calling me “the bee’s knees”, the name just felt right. I think the entire world pretty much knows that I think nearly all of Alison Glass’s fabrics are the bee’s knees, so it felt like the perfect name: The Bee’s Knees (aka all of my favorite things–Alison Glass fabrics, plus meticulous cutting, plus embroidered applique, plus detailed machine and hand quilting) in Constant Flux (the pattern name). More figuratively, it’s a nod to the fact that the fabrics and styles that we consider the bee’s knees are constantly changing.
I had a lot of fun with the meticulously cut (yeah, yeah, fussy cut) sections, including bees and flowers as framing for the color flow. I love pairing meticulous cutting with foundation paper piecing. The fussy cutting templates I include in my pattern came in handy, too.
I knew I wanted to incorporate both hand and machine quilting, and I knew that I wanted the machine quilting to be dense. It took me a while to decide between using 50wt Aurifil 2600-Dove or 5015-Gold Yellow for the quilting, and finally I opted for the Gold Yellow to pull out the gold of the centrally stitched bee. I quilted a diagonal grid approx 1/2″ apart on all of the colored sections of the quilt and I love the texture it created. I wanted the white star and central diamond to pop, so I let them be, patiently awaiting hand quilting.
I used a rainbow of 12wt Aurifil thread to help pull the rainbow from the gorgeous fabrics into the white sections, and I love the outcome! I decided to switch to 12wt 2600-Dove for the center so that the bee would stand out.
The back shows that my hand quilting still has plenty of room for improvement (especially when trying to maneuver around the bee), but it’s still fun to see the back, too!
I used Seventy Six fabrics Rising in Graphite and Numbered in Duck Egg for the back, with an Insignia in Chartreuse label.
Labeling is one of my favorite parts–maybe because it helps me know that my name is on my work, or maybe because it means I’m finished with a project!!
This quilt is currently in Andover headquarters in NYC for photography and other fun fabric adventuring before it returns to me, but it was super fun to see it hanging in the booth at QuiltCon (see it, top right??). You can see a photo of me proudly standing next to it in my QuiltCon post here.
I’m linking up with Crazy Mom Quilts Finish it up Friday, since this finished mini hopped right into the mail upon its completion and hasn’t been shared in detail here yet. Finishes do feel good, don’t they!?
13 thoughts on “The Bee’s Knees in Constant Flux”
Hi Kitty, I love Alison Glass fabric too and I REALLY LOVE everything you make with her fabric lines. This particular project might just be one of my favorites though. The combination of piecing, appliqué, machine and hand quilting is just incredible! Laura
Sent from my iPad
Absolutely adore the color pops of fabric around the bee and the backing you’ve chose.
Popped by from Finish it Up Friday.
Finishes do feel good! I love the way you combined hand and machine quilting, it’s a lovely personal touch along with the embroidery. It wonderful when you can see the maker’s ‘hand’ in their work 🙂
Oh that is the Bees Knees all right – what a gorgeous little mini. I love Alison Glass fabric every time I see it in a quilt, and one day I hope to track some down in the flesh because the colours are just perfect 🙂
Always inspired by your work. So fun to share in your exploration of handwork. This is a lovely piece!
Kitty, You are one amazing quilter. I love the mixture of fussy points, fussy cutting and pulling out one stellar object to be stylized. It is indeed the Bees Knees. I think this is my favourite one of your projects but then again I say that as you continue to create. I like everything you do and everything Alison Glass.
I love the combination of symmetrical and asymmetrical coloration in your quilt. And the detailed embroidery on the bee really stands out well. I have done a lot of hand quilting, but never with the thicker thread and bigger stitches. I think that needs to change one of these days, because I really like the look of it to add detail to a machine quilted quilt.
Your mini quilt stopped me in my tracks in one of my quick dashes around the floor at QuiltCon, Kitty. It is beautifully executed! 🙂
love your mini ! very original with embroidery
I have loved seeing this mini before but it was really good to read all about it here Kitty. What a wonderful finish!
Very pretty! I love the hand quilting and that embroidered bee!