Something good had to come out of the spring Lockdown and the UKQU 2020 Mini Swap was, for me, one of the good things! I think we have all found our inner resilience during this challenging time and it has grown stronger each day as we have looked for different ways of getting on with our lives and coping with all the difficulties thrown at us. It feels like we have found our own protective ‘chain mail’ and have made it bigger and stronger!

I named this piece Resilience but I like to think of it as My Afternoon Delight because I worked each afternoon and loved making it!

Back to the mini swap. For once I had time to get my head around a new project, stalk my partner and plan the quilt. I was pleased to find out who my swap partner was so the ‘stalking’ could begin. This is always the fun bit and, as usual, I mind mapped the information I found out about her. When I thought I had enough to go on I spent a happy afternoon with pencil, paper and crayons drawing a design. One thing I did worry about and that is my partner didn’t like quirky and wondered if I had crossed the line with my design. I crossed my fingers and hoped it didn’t!

Once I had the pattern determined I scaled it up to 20” square then copied the pattern onto tracing paper and turned this over so I could trace it onto heat-n-bond for the individual interlocking circles. These round shapes were then ironed onto the various fabrics. The colour set was to be purple so I had to search for fabrics I had already had and I also had enough white cotton for the front and back. All I needed to purchase was the batting which was easy enough online.

The round shapes were arranged on the background; some cuts had to be made to allow the shapes to interlock with each other and the cuts were hidden under other pieces. Once happy with the arrangement I pressed into place before stitching raw-edge applique style.

So far so good. The pieces were layered, basted and quilted around each individual edge. This made a fabulous pattern on the back! Next was the dense quilting. The original pattern was for a square pattern to contrast with the circles but I decided it was too harsh and went for an over lapping circular pattern.

I have to say that the quilting went on for ever as some of the quilt lines were quite short and all ends needed hiding in the work. I used 500 meters of white thread on the quilting and it ran out just as I finished the last line!

After quilting I blocked the piece as it really needed to be squared up.  This was left for 24 hours to dry before being trimmed to size.

The quilt was finished with facings rather than binding as it required a more modern look.  Hanging corners were hand stitched on so was a printed label.

This is one of the most enjoyable projects I have done of my own design and can’t wait for the next one to launch!