I do love surprises... and happy mail... and quilt making (especially for a good cause)! 

For this months Aurifil Artisan challenge we were sent five fat quarters of Kaffe Fassett fabric to use in a project.

I knew I was going to make a quilt. I don't use red prints very often and spent a while auditioning fabrics to go with the bundle. Initially I pulled pinks and oranges, other warm tones because that's my vibe. It all looked too samey though and the Kaffe prints didn't stand out enough. So then I pulled a whole rainbow of solid fabrics, mixing them up with the prints to see what worked well.

Ultimately I went with a pale grey for the background and deep yellow, bright purple, olive and cerulean - sorry I don't have the exact shades, these fabrics were left over from other projects and I've failed to have any system for keeping track of the names/brands of solids. If you have a good system please let me know!

Traditional blocks are always a favourite and, as I haven't used any of my special quilting rulers for a while, I looked through them and decided to make Courthouse Steps blocks.

The olive was a considered choice, as it's the colour for the centre of the blocks. Inspired by the blooms on the prints, I wanted the blocks to look like large flowers and the green would be the stems.

Creative Grids Log Cabin Trim Tool Two is such an easy and fun way to make both Log Cabin and Courthouse Steps blocks. I used my wooden roller to press the seams and the blocks grew quickly.
I had drawn a scribbled diagram to reference the colour placement of each block in the quilt, it's much easier to keep track if you have a guide and can tick block off as you sew!

I used Aurifil 50wt to piece the blocks and used a scant 1/4" seam.

Confession time, I rarely press fabric before sewing. I know I should but I can't really be bothered. Only if I need really accurate cutting measurements will I iron first. With projects like this, I'm cutting strips and trimming as I go so I iron out the creases when I press the blocks (usually at the end when the top is complete!).

My best friend in pressing is flatter. It does make a difference and I always use it before I baste a quilt.

Basting and marking done, next step is to chose a quilting thread colour. Again so many options! I near enough pulled out all my thread and then narrowed it down to these options. 

I happily could have used any of these. 

I wanted to keep it balanced, not wanting the thread to stand out but not trying to blend in either. The most subtle would be the centre tan colour, I was tempted by that or the lime green. In the end though I picked the variegated green #4662 - it's such a lovely, fresh spearmint ombre.

We had nice drying weather last week so I washed and hung the quilt to dry - I had some water erasable pen marks to get rid of.

It also let the lovely quilty texture shine through! What amazes me is, yes you can see the green thread but overall because it's 50 weight thread it still blends in and isn't overpowering.

The quilting pattern is 60° diamond crosshatch with some horizontal and diagonal curves with my walking foot. To me it's like a trellis with leaves. It makes me smile matching the quilt top and quilting designs in some way. I realise this is not obviously a 'flower' quilt but in my mind that's what it is.

The binding is made with left over strips of both the prints and solids. I do like a scrappy binding. Rather than use the green thread, I switched to that tan colour which is Aurifil 50 weight #6010 Toast to machine stitch the binding down. This meant the stitches on the binding blended in more.

From inception this quilt was destined to be given to the charity Siblings Together, a wonderful UK charity. I get emotional every time thinking about the amazing work they do, re-uniting siblings separated by care and adoption.

Siblings together focuses upon the welfare of Brothers & sisters in Care, Adoption and Kinship Care. We work with the aim of strengthening these lifelong family connections.
We also develop creative opportunities for careleavers.
We work in partnership with other organisations to alleviate the hurt of living apart due to no fault of their own, helping young people to reconnect in positive ways, creating strong foundations for the future.

This quilt is made with happiness, I hope it brings smiles and snugly comfort to the young person it's gifted to for many years to come.

I haven't made a charity quilt for quite a while, it feels good - it's a small offering but I do what I can. If you would like to donate time to quilting or contribute to the block drive please follow and contact the Siblings Together Quilt group.

Thank you to Aurifil for the threads and Free Spirit Fabrics for the Kaffe Fassett fabrics used in this quilt ♡