While I was was giving my sewing machine a good work out on other projects, my quieter moments were spent stitching hexagons. Measuring 3 inches along the sides, they were pretty big which meant fast to make and perfect for featuring the novelty fabrics I'd been collecting.
Making these brought back happy memories of basting hexagons for my Grandmother. I was too young to think of it at the time but I don't know what she used them for, and no one seems to know. They were most likely charity projects as my grandparents were very involved with the church. My aunts say she used to make suffolk puff bed spreads but strangely no one knows what happened to them either. What a shame!!
I pretty much just used bits of all the blue and yellow fabrics in my stash with some bits and pieces given to me by a friend from her stash. I like the way there are prints from different eras and styles. It wasn't until I was laying out my basted hexagons that I noticed how many birds and food fabrics I'd used. The name Afternoon Tea with the Birds came to me as I was sewing on a sunny spring afternoon.
The border fabric really brings the theme of the quilt to life and gives it a sense of party fun. I had a fat quarter in my stash. When thinking about borders it hit me that this fabric was the one. Then came the mad internet searches to find it. I finally found a place that had some. Providence played its part in the design when I decided to miter the corners and therefore didn't quite have enough fabric. Spreading it out with a the few hexagon patches throughout the border helped and made it much more interesting than if I'd just done a plain border.
I really wanted to hand quilt this quilt. In fact I wish I could hand quilt all my quilts. I love the look of the stitching, the tradition, feeling of achievement and knowing you've done everything in making the quilt. But the reality is that I work full time and I just wasn't getting around to it. It sat in a cupboard for about a year before I decided I wanted it finished in time for my birthday 2009. This time I sent it to Veronica Appleyard of Appleyard Cottage who was lovely to deal with and who chose to quilt in a bubbly pattern to match the bubbly fun nature of the quilt.
Afternoon Tea With The Birds one of the 2 quilts I entered into the 2010 Springwood Community Quilt Show. It was such a buzz to walk into a quilt show and see a quilt I'd made.
It's such a bright, happy, fun quilt. It's perfect for adding a bit of spring sunshine to the bedroom on these cold winter nights.