I've finished my Ice-Cream Soda Quilt! And I'm so proud of myself! After several months of stitching little blocks together at a pretty relaxed pace, stitching up the rows, adding the borders, and quilting it felt pretty quick! I always seem to push myself at this stage though. The end is in sight, and I don't want to lose focus!
Tim and I took my quilt to a few places near our workspace in Castlemaine, Victoria. After moving interstate in July, we're just starting to see the light at the end of the tunnel, as far as settling in and rebuilding a routine goes. Or maybe we can just see Christmas holidays around the corner? Whichever it is, as many of you would know, moving is really, really hard work. We've spent a lot of time pretty shell shocked by a whole lot of change at once, by grief from leaving our long term jobs with a wonderful Christian organisation, by the challenge of being up and ready for school everyday!
Castlemaine, however, is basically my dream town. It's small, at only around 10,000 people, but it has a large number of tree-changers from nearby Melbourne, and creative entrepreneurs, making it a really interesting and engaging place to live. It was built up during the Gold Rush in the 1800s, so the centre of town is full of beautiful old buildings. So, naturally, my quilt photos are now going to be filled with old red-brick factories rather than the rolling green hills of country NSW. It's been fun looking out for good photo spots as we walk or drive around town.
I made this quilt without any colour plan except that I wanted to use a lot of Anna Maria Horner's Loominous Collections. I picked prints for the blocks a few at a time, sometimes loving the combinations, and sometimes being surprised at the lack of contrast between colours that had looked great before cutting. Using such tiny pieces was a great learning experience in colour, contrast and print size, and how each element plays a big role in how defined the lines of the quilt end up being. In the end, I feel a little like there are more 'learning experiences' than perfect blocks here, and I found myself wondering whether to drop some and make some others with the benefit of hindsight, but I'm a big fan of letting a quilt tell it's story. I find the story of learning just as wonderful as colours that match! It does make me tempted to make another though! I feel like I've just started to put my finger on the whole 'colour choices with small pieces' lesson and I'd love to take it further in 2018.
We decided not to run the Ice-Cream Soda club again in 2018. Instead, for now, we're sticking to one club at a time, and we'll have a whole new quilt for next year. I can't wait to show you more! However, there are still lots of folks stitching, from the club, and who've bought their shapes separately if you'd like to join them!
The complete EPP kit is now available here! And this weekend it's 20% off! If you decide to jump in, (I hope you do!) there's an amazing amount of inspiration in the Ice-Cream Soda Facebook Group, and the #icecreamsodaquilt and #icecreamsodasunday hashtags on Instagram. I've also published the free pattern here.