This morning, before making the Civil War block of the week I met one of the members of the Firehouse Bee that finished Barbara's work preparing her last quilt.
It is a spectacular quilt. It was purchased as a kit, with all the little squares that make up the backgrounds of the flower already cut and the fabrics for the flowers and leaves chosen by the designer, ready for the quilt maker to start working.
Although it was a kit, a top like this nonetheless represents a lot of work by both Barbara and the Bee members who finished getting it ready for longarm quilting. Barbara had all the little squares pieced together - that part was done by fusing to a foundation and then sewing in straight rows, so it's not as technically difficult as it might appear - but she still had to position the squares to get the color wash effect. Then she fused the flowers to this background.
This next picture shows the foundation on which the floral fabrics were fused and sewn together for the background.
The flowers were then cut and fused on top of the pieced backgrounds. Barbara intended to quilt this project herself, and it appears she was going to use a hybrid "quilt as you go" method. She had begun the work of outlining each of the flowers, having placed batting under the blocks, essentially doing some preliminary quilting as she went.
The Bee members finished the outline work - some of it with zig zag stitches, some with straight stitches, following the lead of Barbara's work. Then they pieced it all together with the green and white sashing strips. Gary had given them Barbara's tools and fabrics - they identified two that I can use for the backing. There are so many layers of fabric, interfacing and glue in some places it will be a challenge to quilt. I would like to do traditional crosshatching in the color wash squares, but may have to come up with an alternate plan if my thread or needle break trying to get through the seams. I will post these photos on the longarm forum and ask if any of them have quilted one of these quilts.
The quilt will now hang in my "quilts to be quilted" cupboard for the next 10 days or so. Sister Joyce will be arriving with our Dad and her daughter on Monday so I'll be busy getting ready for them, and clearing out the studio so it will be ready for us to work on her new quilt.