Celebrate! Blogger’s Quilt Festival – Bee Quilt Entry


Once again I am participating in the Blogger’s Quilt Festival which is very generously organised and hosted by Amy’s Creative Side.  This time I am entering two quilts.  My Celebrate quilt in the bee category and a second quilt, South Pacific Dreaming, #3 in the Wall Hanging category.  If you’re new to Pretty Bobbins, welcome!  I am all about free motion quilting, it’s my passion and I host a weekly linky party on quilting process :)  I’m soon to become a longarm quilter, but for now I work on a Bernina 440QE.  I’m currently based in Nouméa, a French territory in the South Pacific but am about to return to live in Australia.

Back in April I was Queen Bee for Wombat Stew, a paper piecing bee who at that stage comprised of the lovely Alyce, Marieka, Kristy, Fiona, Midge, Jane and Lara.  I’m a bit of an improv girl so I asked my bees to make ‘celebrate’ or ‘party’ themed blocks of any size in fun, gender neutral colours and put together an inspiration board.

The girls produced some amazing blocks and boy did I have fun putting them together!  You can read more about the piecing process here.  I quilted each block differently with lots of micro quilting.  You can see the quilting best from the back…

I LOVE this quilt!  My kids love this quilt and since I completed it in August we have had it hanging in our loungeroom (it was originally intended to only be hung for celebrations).


I had my own little party quilting with a rainbow of Aurifil 50 wt threads.  I used 2000 on the cream/off white areas and I love how they sparkle.  Can you see the word PARTY popping out in Kristy’s party hat blocks (Kristy of Quiet Play designed most of these blocks, isn’t she AMAZING???)?

Marieka baked me a delicious cake.  I was really unsure of how to quilt this block but really happy with how it turned out.  My icing is never that neat LOL  There is enough cake here for everyone, LOVE!
I had a lot of fun playing with Alyce’s pom poms (and I’m sorry, I had to make that joke LOL).  She very cleverly used a flying geese pattern, you can see her tutorial here.  I’m still considering adding a few beads to the pom poms but for now I’m sticking to the star in the middle (and yes, more micro-stippling there).  Aren’t they fun?!
Jane’s block is immediately apparent to Australian’s but some of my readers may be wondering what it is.  This is an absolute classic and staple of children’s birthday parties.  Known as “fairy bread” it is sliced white bread, spread with butter and then covered in sprinkles.  Jane obviously took a bite out whilst piecing and left her party blower behind as evidence ;)

Fiona’s cups (pattern by Ayumi of Pink Penguin fame) had a real retro feel so I quilted the wall paper to enhance this vibe.  Possibly better seen from the back, but aren’t they the cutest drinks ever? (There is a fourth block, you can see it in the larger photos)


What party would be complete without bunting?   The Lara made me rainbow bunting.  I went a little nuts and quilted pebbles with each dot being inside a pebble.

Whilst my lovely friend Ms Midge wasn’t in round one of Wombat Stew she decided to join the party early and brought the candles.  Can you believe she tried to tell us she was a novice paper piece-er when we asked her to join our bee?

And whilst we’re on the topic of Ms Midge, she sent me the cutest scrap EVER!  I LOVE this fairy and I quilted her in a micro version of the the FMQ design that I used on my daughter’s quilt. I’ve saved the last skerrik of this scrap and plan to make my daughter a cushion with it.  Thank you Midge xx

I totally got my FMQ on and micro-stippled this fantastic cupcake print.  The cupcakes measure about 1.5′ from base to cherry and the stippling is seriously tiny.

I think every block/print features a different FMQ design.  I must admit I went a little crazy quilting around each candle (print in the bottom right of the above photo) this scrap is only  1.5″ x 4.25″. I was so impressed with the affect that I then quilted around the jellybeans and balloons too LOL

I added in some three dimensional bunting down the side (left over from another project) and at the suggestion from a friend quilted words underneath (sing, dance, encore, cake, secret, surprise, kiss).  The idea being that the birthday person must choose an activity to complete ;)

Well done if you’ve read this far!  Possibly my favourite part of quilting this beast is the words in the border.  I used 12wt Aurifil (2250) for top thread and the same colour in 50wt on my bobbin.  The stitches are perfect and saved so much time than if doing it by hand! (I suggest going slow and smoothly and dropping your top tension a few notches).  Can you believe that I didn’t mark the words first?  It was all done free hand and I’m so pleased that it filled the borders perfectly and looks rather neat :)  The dots on the i are little red beads that I added after binding.

I really love this quit for so many reasons but possibly my proudest moment was when my seven year old son brought a friend home recently and the first thing he showed him was this quilt.  Yep, that is a win in my book ;)


Paper pieced by: my Wombat Stew Bees (Alyce, Marieka, Kristy, Fiona, Midge, Jane and Lara)

Top pieced and quilting by: me on my Bernina 440QE

Size: 37″ x 37″

Threads: Aurifil 50wt and 12wt

Wadding: 100% cotton

Thanks for stopping by and I encourage you to participate in the Blogger’s Quilt Festival by either visiting and/or entering the festival.  This is my third time entering and it’s a great quilty and bloggy event.  Thanks for all your work Amy!

19 Comments on Celebrate! Blogger’s Quilt Festival – Bee Quilt Entry

  1. Rachaeldaisy
    October 25, 2013 at 8:14 pm (6 months ago)

    Wow, I love this quilt!! It’s just like a happy party. I especially love the secret words under the 3D bunting!

  2. Jess
    October 25, 2013 at 8:15 pm (6 months ago)

    This is such a happy quilt Gemma! Your quilting is fabulous.

  3. Kim Johnson
    October 25, 2013 at 9:57 pm (6 months ago)

    This is AMAZING!!!!! I can’t decide which part I like the best!

  4. Susan
    October 25, 2013 at 11:09 pm (6 months ago)

    Gemma, what an absolutely fabulous quilt! You always have the most amzing imagination to make original quilts.

  5. Charlotte
    October 25, 2013 at 11:55 pm (6 months ago)

    Absolutely, amazingly, totally gorgeous! Wow!!! I love everything about this little masterpiece!!!

  6. Vera
    October 26, 2013 at 1:08 am (6 months ago)

    Good choice for the bee category!

  7. Penni
    October 26, 2013 at 1:48 am (6 months ago)

    Very pretty… and I like how complicated it was to piece. Beautiful and the quilting is fantastic.

  8. Teje
    October 26, 2013 at 3:04 am (6 months ago)

    Hi! This is so fantastic quilt! I love how it has much to see, different kind of elements and colours are also most beautiful! x Teje

  9. Renee
    October 26, 2013 at 6:50 am (6 months ago)

    Such a lovely quilt!! The blocks and colors and quilting are all so much fun to look at.

  10. Milly
    October 26, 2013 at 9:32 am (6 months ago)

    Bloody fantastic. I’m so glad to have found your blog.

  11. CitricSugar
    October 26, 2013 at 5:05 pm (6 months ago)

    So much fun! A party, indeed!

  12. Katy
    October 27, 2013 at 5:53 am (6 months ago)

    Loads of fun, we have some very imaginative bees out there :o)

  13. Robin
    October 27, 2013 at 11:01 am (6 months ago)

    How fun!!! And the quilting is just gorgeous– truly a party in of itself! :) I think my favorite part are the words in the border too… I was so sure they were embroidered… but NO! So flipping’ cool! Thanks so much for sharing. :)

  14. Ms Midge
    October 27, 2013 at 1:23 pm (6 months ago)

    You know I love this! And that scrap? Well, I remember when I got my stash explosion from Japan, this FQ piqued your interest…..I kept that in my memory bank and that’s how you ended up with it! x

  15. Aylin
    October 29, 2013 at 12:58 am (6 months ago)

    Oh my, what a sweet quilt!!!

  16. Jill
    October 30, 2013 at 9:46 am (6 months ago)

    What a stunning quilt! Everywhere you look something fun to see, but not overwhelming. I really love everything about it. Thanks for sharing it in the festival!

  17. Ruth
    October 31, 2013 at 1:42 am (6 months ago)

    This is just the best celebration quilt. there is just so much to look at, so many fun details. I can’t pick out one thing I like better than another it is all wonderful.

  18. Becky
    October 31, 2013 at 1:43 am (6 months ago)

    What?! This is a ridiculously creative and fantastic quilt. I love how you put it together and the quilting is phenomenal as well.

  19. Aoife
    November 2, 2013 at 7:22 am (6 months ago)

    This is so much fun! I love it, I’ve loved it since you first posted it. I am constantly amazed when people produce such beauitful intricate quilts from bees – you’re all obviously very clever! (and very lucky to get to keep it!)


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