I am over the moon with this finish! It's been a long time coming... it began it's life in 2016 when I created the central hexagon and my wonderful Bee A Brit Stingy friends made bee blocks. They each made a square and a triangle block. My brief as 'queen bee' was asking them to use the background fabric I sent, along with a mix of cheery fabrics and create geometric blocks for the squares and triangle blocks made up of triangles.

The starting point for all our bee blocks was a central panel in the shape of a hexagon. The hexagon was formed with six triangles cut from the background fabric. I hand pieced the flowers, which are from the Daisy Do pattern from the book Quilt Lovely by Jen Kingwell. Then machine appliqued them to the background. 

This quilt is called Concrete Garden because of this central panel - the mix of prints with the monotone background reminds me of city living and a garden growing through concrete. Overall the quilt layout and blocks remind me of an allotment too, common in city suburbs.

I recently finished the last two blocks for the quilt and enjoyed laying out the blocks to create the final arrangement. There was a bit of unpicking while sewing the top together, not all the points are perfect but I'm happy with it. I was excited to quilt it. You can see I hand tied the centres of the flowers above, I love hand tying quilts. It's so simple and the texture of those threads just adds such a nice feel. If you've never tried hand tying, let me encourage you to do it! If you'd like to see how I tie my quilts, you can gain access to the video of my class 'Big Stitch Quilting & Tying' in the CraftyMonkies online shop.

For the ties I used Aurifil 12 weight thread #5015 Gold Yellow- a really lovely yellow. Part of the centre and the rest of the quilt was big stitch hand quilted using Aurifil 12 weight #4060 Silver Moon - this one is a variegated grey and it blends so beautifully with the background fabric. 

I did contemplate using a darker colour of thread or using many different colours but ultimately I want the patchwork and the shapes to shine, not the quilting. The quilt still has the scrummy texture of the hand quilting, it's just not that obvious. 
The triangle blocks are all lovely, I quilted each one the same, just quilting 1/4" inside the seams of the triangles that are the background fabric. For the squares I quilted each one differently, you can see the quilting if you look really closely!! The first two blocks I pieced and the rest were pieced by the quilt bees.

The tricky intersection...


Fabric scraps, selected from stash by each bee.
Background - The Big One in Pepper, Carkai by Carolyn Friedlander
Quilt Backing - Coquette Collection by Art Gallery Fabrics
Binding - Architextures (or widescreen? in Chestnut?) by Carolyn Friedlander and Houndstooth, Roundup! by Samantha Walker

It was hard to get a good shot of the complete quilt, I was on my own and this is the best I got. Still you can see the dodecagon shape (excuse the wrinkles, it had just finished drying!) and it is the perfect throw quilt. Lovely on a bed but currently living on our sofa (right now... as I type... snuggling it).

There wasn't enough of either of the two prints I used for the binding to complete the quilt but I was set on brown and so I used both. I couldn't avoid getting the binding seams in the mitred points either (there's a lot of points around the quilt!) but made it work. The binding was machined to the front of the quilt and hand sewn to the back. Just now I realise I have not made a label for this quilt, so that's going on my to sew list.

Thank you to my talented Bee friends: Nicky, Sheila, Di, Catherine and Helen for contributing to this quilt, always supporting me and being such a great inspiration. Check out their quilts and the work of #Beeabritstingy here!