Sunday, 31 August 2014

Roundabout mini - finished! And a giveaway.

Back at the end of May the lovely Jess of  Elven Garden Quilts put out a call for pattern testers for her Roundabout pattern

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It's her variation on the Schoenrock Cross block and is a pleasing mixture of foundation paper piecing and regular piecing. Jess has made a cushion and a full quilt, which are both utterly stunning.

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I've been really pondering lately about where my "niche" is in this quilty world. I don't consider myself to be an natural designer, but I am an avid follower of patterns and I take great pride in my careful and accurate piecing skills. So a little pattern testing felt to be just the thing, and as I absolutely love Jess's versions of the pattern I put myself forward.

I went for the mini size, which is four blocks. I'm not sure I have the stamina for the full sized quilt, even though it would be stunning!!

I tried to push myself a bit with my fabric choices here. I'm not very good at scrappy, I need some kind of thread and order to tie it all together, but I wanted recreate the movement and variety of Jess's work. 

So I started by choosing this palette from Design Seeds:

Dress is hemmed.  Tomorrow, this   #designseeds

And pulling this from my stash:

Get babies to bed, play with this.

This stack got refined down so that the mini wasn't too busy, but I enjoyed the mixture of solids and prints. I worked this way with my Marcelle Medallion and again with my (still in progress) Aviatrix Medallion and I love the way it looks. The solids give the eye a place to rest amongst all the prints. 

All in all I thoroughly enjoyed the process of choosing fabric, figuring out and following through the pattern and giving feedback on how I found it (though Jess might not have enjoyed my pernickity ways quite so much, sorry Jess!!). I have done plenty of foundation paper piecing in the past and am comfortable with the process, and the additional traditionally cut and pieced sections made the blocks come together quickly.

#roundabout blocks all finished for @theelvengarden. That bottom right block reads orange not yellow irl!

I got the top finished and the pattern feedback complete, and even managed to get it basted. And then it sat. And sat, and sat. I just didn't know how to quilt it. My husband said stitch in the ditch, but who's got the patience or inclination for that?! I didn't want to detract from the piecing but I felt it needed just something more. I even considered hand quilting it, as I often do. I love the look of hand quilting, but just didn't know where to start.

Then one evening I grabbed it, sat down and did this:

Been pondering how to quilt this #roundaboutquilt mini for ages. Last night decided to channel my inner @jeliquilts so I cracked out the pale grey thread and got wiggling! Awesome technique Kelly I love it! Pattern is #roundabout by @theelvengarden

That's wonky wavy wiggly lines with my walking foot, shamelessly copied from inspired by Kelly at Jeliquilts. This is her signature quilting style, and I can see why. It was so fast, so easy and it looks great. Thanks Kelly!

I then remembered that I had a few hours in the car to visit the in-laws, so I quickly whipped up and attached my binding all ready to hand sew down during the journey.

And so it is done, and I am delighted.

It is backed in just about the last piece of Nordika. I bought about 3 yards of this panel print when it was released and have used very scrap. It's even the (rather burnt now) cover on my ironing board!

I didn't really expect to get this one finished up this Summer when I put it on my Q3 FAL list but somehow, I have. I do hate a UFO so I am very happy to have it all done and on my wall.

I've really struggled to capture the colours on this one. Photography isn't my strong point, not helped by our dark shadowy house and dismal garden space. Anyway, you get the idea.

That odd block isn't as obvious in real life!
And this was a timely finish really, as I have signed up to my first ever online quilty swap - the #IGminiswap. So there will be another mini joining this one on my wall in December. I'm so glad I did as it seems like almost everyone on my Instagram is taking part and my feed is flooded with excitement! I am in #teamrosanne, I have my eyes on my swap partner and I think I may even already have a plan....

Some stats and I will wind it up. But I have a giveaway to announce, so keep reading please!

Pattern: Roundabout by Jess Frost at the Elven Garden
Fabrics: Tsuru, Waterfront park, Collage, Sunprint, April Showers, Potluck, Botanics, various solids. 
Backing: Whimsicol in Mist from Nordika by Jeni Baker
Binding: Botanics crosshatch
Quilting: Wonky wavy straight lines in Aurfil 50wt #2615
Size: 20" square. Ish. 


Jess has very sweetly offered a free copy of her Roundabout pattern to one lucky blog reader. In order to be in with a chance please comment below. If you like, tell me what colour palette you fancy making your Roundabout in and whether you'll be going for the mini/ cushion version or the full size!

My blog followers get an extra chance, just tell me how you follow please. 

And I think we should give another chance to Jess's followers, so for a 3rd entry let me know how you follow The Elven Garden. I follow her on Bloglovin and Facebook!

** Please please when replying ensure I can contact you if you win. If you are a no-reply blogger, or if you don't even know what that means, please include your email address in your comment. If I can't get hold of you you can't win, sorry!**

This is a PDF pattern so of course this giveaway is open to everyone internationally. 

I will keep the giveaway open till about 8pm BST on Friday September 5th.

Good luck! Oh and if you don't win, or just can't wait, the pattern is half price for the next 2 weeks so you can grab a bargain :-)


  1. It looks so pretty! Jess created a gorgeous pattern and the quilt looks great but I think I'd make a mini and turn it into a cushion :)

  2. Yours is fabulous - I love it!
    I'd make a mini version , maybe in blues and greens

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  4. I follow Jess via GFC too!

  5. Oh this is stunning, maybe some text prints and all bright solids :) I follow via email :)

  6. I saw her IG pic of her quilt earlier, and fell in love with her version, it's an absolute stunner, love your gorgeous version too!

  7. And you know i'm a follower *does a little curtsey* :o)

  8. Love this! I'm just starting my first pattern testing quilt this weekend. :) how fun!
    sweetfeetstitches at gmail dot com

  9. It's superb, I've not seen the pattern before and I love how I see more each time I look! I'd go for a mini (apparently we have enough quilts in our house!) and I'm thinking orange, pink and greys...

  10. I follow you via feedly - thanks

  11. And I follow Jess on facebook, although I think I should just add her to feedly as facebook doesn't always show us what we'd like!

  12. love this. i think your quilting adds just the right touch!

  13. I love the feathered hues you drew from! I tend to go for jeweled tones or ocean or sunsets. If I win I'd stick with a mini quilt or pillow.

  14. I follow Jess on Instagram, Facebook and Pinterest.

  15. I like yours but honestly I would use blues or greens. That's my colors.

  16. I follow you on Bloglovin.

  17. I follow Jess on Pinterest.

  18. This is SUCH a beautiful quilt design. So many interesting things going on, and ways to combine fabric to highlight different pieces! I love it. If I were to do it, I'd do a mini first in teal, light pink, gold, light blue, brown, green and red for my living room.

  19. I love your quilting - ideal for the pattern. I think I'd go for autumnal colours of dark reds, burnt orange and some cream. I'd like to make a quilt, but depending on how I get on with foundation piecing, it could end up as a cushion.

  20. This would be ideal for the IG mini quilt swap!

  21. I follow Jess too - both on bloglovin might I add.

  22. I purchased an Alison Glass Field day fat quarter collection so i think I would make a mini wall hanging using those rich vibrant tones. great giveaway. thanks

  23. Following the Elven Garden via GFC

  24. Very cute pattern, I would make it using a bunch of solid blues if I won.

  25. I follow the Elven Garden via bloglovin

  26. I am your newest follower via bloglovin :)

  27. Great new pattern! I would make the full size one in navy, orange, white, and gray.