Entries in jenn does mrs billings coverlet (2)


what I have to show for it!

Quilting show season is well and truly underway. Consequently, I am very stressed!

I'm entering two quilts in the show this year. I won't show full pictures of either one, but I'll talk a little bit about them just to provide a general update.

This is my epic Mrs Billings Coverlet. I set myself the date of 31 March 2016 to finish it. I pulled the last papers at 2:15am on 1 April. Then I slept for four hours, did school drop off, came back home, and took a nap.

It is 1:56am on 1 April 2016 and I have FINISHED this bloody quilt top!!!! #jenndoesmrsbillingscoverlet is conquered. Tomorrow I'm going to take it out back & shoot it. (Or drive it up to @leanne_mountvincentquilts!) I'm sick of looking at it! And I'd be

Last year at the show I decided to ask my friend Leanne to quilt it. She's also an award-winning quilter (we have gotten second and third in the same categories, two years running), and she agreed. I emailed her in January, more than a little concerned about the "wobbles" in the top, and she was very kind, and reminded me to BREATHE, and also, a few wobbles were nothing to shed tears of blood over!

I drove the quilt up to her after my nap on that April morning, and we talked over what I wanted ("quilted? modernish? nice? You know?") and she's been sending me progress pictures that are making me SWOON. I never doubted the idea that she was the right quilter for the job, but it's nice to be so vindicated, you know?


The second quilt I'm entering is one I've been slowly piecing all year. It's called Andromeda.

I mean. This is pretty. But I should have just done matchstick quilting. 😂

 I've been quilting this one to the best of my ability, but I'm hampered by technology. I tell you what, having a stitch regulator would be an incredible thing. I'm currently using a speed control with a faulty on-off switch, which means I stand there and press on-off, turn the dial incrementally, on-off, turn, on-off, turn, on-off, turn, and so on, until the bloody thing decides to work. It also decided to start randomly using the thread cutter every three seconds. (Solved that by unplugging the thread cutter.) It's also fond of punching great holes in my quilt when it decides to speed up (usually as I'm edging toward a stopping point). 

That said, it's still better than wrestling a quilt through a domestic machine, so I'll happily take it!

I have a few more passes of Andromeda to do and then it gets its binding (blue star fabric), its hanging sleeve, and label, and off to the show it goes. After it's been exhibited, it's been promised to my friend Lauren, who is making me a crochet granny square throw in trade. I'm very excited about that! I know Lauren will love this quilt, as she is a big space nerd, like me.


As soon as I've discharged my quilt show obligations, I am going to sit and make a Lizzy House log cabin quilt. I've been organizing my scraps (ironing them took a whole morning of texting my friend Lane about The Raven King) and don't they look beautiful!

I ironed and trimmed my Lizzy scraps in preparation for this whisper palette log cabin idea I had. Not that I have time to start it until August. 😅

I went and pulled the rest of my Lizzy collection and sorted out what wasn't already a scrap. I'll trim strips off everything and keep all my scraps together for other Lizzy-specific projects. (Since I took the Meadow class last year, I feel especially fond of my Lizzy House collection. She was such a fun and cool person and that class was so great!)

Oh, and one of my husband's friends got married earlier this month, so I started a quilt for them. I dug out all my Cotton + Steel navy and low-volume fabric and began making stacks...and it became a Hunters' Star before my very eyes. I'm taking my time on this one, but I'm enjoying the progress I've made so far!

I love @sydmodsquad day 💖✨

Oh! My current handsewing project is the border part of Green Tea Sweet Beans. There were times I have hated this pattern, but I definitely learned a lot while doing it. (Mostly I learned that I do not like hand piecing at all. Appliqué is fine. EPP is fine. Hand-piecing makes me stabby.)

Here is the finished main top, pre-final borders.

Ayyy. #jennteasweetbeans needs a border and some more appliqué but the binding and borders have been picked and main part is done! I feel very chuffed. :)

I've been taking my borders to our SydModSquad handsewing days. It's nice to have something so easy to do and so rewarding to work on already prepped and ready to go.

Stems. :) #jennteasweetbeans

I also had the bright idea to reckon up all my WIPs. More like "Whoops!" I need to get some of these crossed off! It was nice to have them all on one list. I do love my little progress box, though. It's so great to have a dedicated card for each project, and to keep them even after the quilt has been gifted. :)

I had this terrible idea that I should reckon up all my WIPs. I'm sweating now. 😅

That's it for now! Time to get back to Andromeda. If I'm very clever I'll be done quilting by Friday. Wish me luck!


mrs billings coverlet

As many of you who follow me on Instagram know, I've been working on a particular quilt since my birthday this year. As I turned the big three-oh, I wanted to do something BIG, a project to mark a new decade. I've been toying with making a Farmer's Wife quilt or a Dear Jane, but last Christmas I picked up a copy of Down Under Quilts that had a feature on the famous Mrs Billings Coverlet. I wasn't exactly spell-bound. It's a very BROWN quilt, and as much as I love all quilts and think they are all amazing works of art, this was not my jam.

(This photos is the original coverlet and it's NOT my picture.)

Anyway despite the brownness, it stuck in my head a bit. A few months later I was paging through the magazine deciding whether to keep or recycle it when I spotted it again. I sat down and reread the article and saw that Karen Styles (who is super nice in person by the way) of Somerset Patchwork had actually created a pattern for the Mrs Billings Coverlet!

My birthday was coming up, and I wanted a big project, right? But...I had no real plans to embark on a 94" square, mostly hand-pieced quilt. Ha. Hahaha. That would be freaking ridiculous, right? RIGHT?

By the time, the Sydney Craft & Quilt show was fast approaching, and I knew I would be there as I had two solo quilts showing (one of which won an award!) as well as a group quilt. I saw that Somerset Patchwork would have a booth. I didn't want to buy any pattern that expensive sight unseen. I'll think about it, I said.

Which meant I just need to see it first.

Anyway, I did buy the pattern. It is expensive, so be warned, it's not something to buy on a whim. I had to assure myself and my bemused but extremely supportive husband that, unlike 80% of the patterns I buy, I planned to actually *make* this quilt. I went ahead and splurged on the Paper Pieces starter pack. The pattern from Karen Styles comes with the acrylic templates and 1000 hexagon paper pieces to get you started. So the day before my birthday I cut out all the hexagons for the centre medallion and prepped them.

Prepping for tomorrow's start...those are 5/8" hexies & diamonds. I figure the start of a new decade is a reasonable time to start a bonkers quilt though eh? :) #jenndoesmrsbillingscoverlet

I sewed them on the train on my way to my birthday breakfast. I even finished the medallion that day!

Not bad for my first day being 30! #jenndoesmrsbillingscoverlet

Soon after, my paper pieces arrived in the post, and though daunting, I was ready to get started!

All the paper pieces!

Though I've done relatively little in the five months I've had the pattern, I'm not that worried. I recently went on a border-bender, where I chose and cut and assembled borders ready to be pieced. And I gave myself permission to sew it using the machine. (I had been planning on doing it all by hand.)

Okay swapped out the citrine for pink (top) or navy (right). And swapped out the tulip. It's funny how hung up I get on the strip borders! 😳 #jenndoesmrsbillingscoverlet

The pattern is so far very comprehensive. Each step is fully explained and there are neat little tips in there too (like "cut extra, this shape shows up in another border"). I've only found one pattern error so far but it was a pretty annoying one - the background square upon which the medallion is appliqued is listed as being cut too small. Just use a FQ or something and trim it; trust me. Much easier.

I have been jumping around; I wanted to do some hexagons, and the next ones are a few borders past where I am. But I decided it was okay to skip around a little bit! How good do these cornerstones look? Mad props to Bec Skyberries who sent me that 10" square so I could use this fabric as background for these hexagon rosettes. (I was exactly 4 squares short.)

The corners are done! 😊 #jenndoesmrsbillingscoverlet

I should probably get onto the next border, the mint flowers, and just smash that out. I know I'd be happy to have it finished! But I am enjoying hexagons, so...maybe I'll get those basted and ready to go.

I'll try and keep posting about this regularly, under the "jenn does mrs billings coverlet" tag. I also have a Flickr album set up and you find it under the same tag in Instagram.

Do let me know if you're inspired to pick up the pattern, too! I'd love to have a partner in crime!