Sunday, November 22, 2015

finished quilt: "Swarm"

It's a long way to the finished quilt if you want to design your own...

Swarm #swarmbysel

Say hello to "Swarm"!

I started it around May 2014, with a design idea but not very much of a clue on how to execute it. I knew I wanted to use the new line of quilting fabrics, Cotton + Steel, though, so I bought a great deal of the Basics range, and then set about cutting it up.

I swear @cottonandsteel have something in their dyes. I'm starting to like colours I wouldn't usually touch with a ten foot pole..

There was a lot of sewing and cutting and ironing and trimming. It has 20 rows, and nearly 30 triangle blocks in each row. That's 600 pieces - not counting that the large triangles are made up of 2 pieces, and the small triangle blocks are made up of 4 pieces that need to be sewn together.

Piecing, piecing, piecing. #secretproject #ofDOOM and in the background my hard-driven Brother NS50 which I bought before I realised there were machines specially designed for quilting. And which is in for its first service long as I've had i

That's at the old house - the one that we had to clear out before buying a new house, redoing it, and moving into it last year. So it kind of went on hold in the middle of all that, and then there was the settling in and the starting of the garden and the summer... I didn't get back on the job until Autumn 2015 - around March.

It took me a year (April 2015) to get to the point where I had enough pieces to start putting it all together:

Many things

There were times when I despaired of how many pieces were needed, and how complicated the whole quilt was. However, my quilt groups kept telling me to keep going, keep going, it looks great, it's going to be gorgeous

And when it did start coming together, it was beautiful!


I don't know what it is about this quilt, but it just hits people in the feels. I've had a lot of people admiring it! Maybe it's the colours, the brightness, the...well, playfulness of the pattern... At any rate, it's definitely a show-stopper!

WIP Wednesday: swarm by Sel

Maladicta even gave it the butt-stamp of approval. Which, okay, in this house, isn't difficult. But she was quite happy with it...

WIP Wednesday: sprint for the show

I had a backing, I had a plan for quilting it, tt was going to be submitted in the Sydney Quilt Show...

And then I pulled a muscle in my calf. Ow.

And I couldn't do the quilting and couldn't find someone to do the quilting for me in the time left before the quilt had to be submitted. So, no show. *sighs* While at the show, I looked at the two spaces allotted to the quilts that I couldn't finish due to my injury, and sighed.

I sent it off to my quilter before I went overseas, I think, and have been waiting for her to get back to me. It took a while, but when it was definitely worth it!

#swarmbysel is back from the quilters and has been promptly colonised by Smokey. #advenchuresofsmokeyandmal #cats #catsofinstagram

Smokey agreed. No sooner had it taken it out of the mailing bag, then she settled on it. She's since pretty much taken every opportunity to head-butt it, muzzle-rub against it, or roll in it.

There's a part of me that still can't believe I thought up this pattern, let alone executed it!

"Swarm" - photographed square! Such a labour of love and inspiration. And yes, @2bees, I'm filling out the competition forms now! #swarmbysel
Name: Swarm
Size: 75" x 88"
Design: original by Sel

I'm trying to write a pattern for it, but it's a bit exhausting, and everything's pretty busy right now.

I've submitted it to the Modern Quilt Guild's competition for Quiltcon 2016 in...San Diego, I think? However, I doubt it will make it in - I don't think it's quite 'modern' enough as the MQG defines modern quilts.

It looks stunning, though. And I'm definitely keeping this one. :)

If you want to go back and see the progress of this quilt, the hashtag on Instagram is #swarmbysel. (Some of the earlier pics won't be tagged because I only came up with the name this year.)

I'm linking this up to Sew Modern Monday over at Canoe Ridge Creations!


  1. oh how you worked the "background" in this quilt and how its off set and just about everything about it. Good luck on writing the pattern on your creation.

  2. Swarm looks great, I didn't realise until I saw the completed quilt that there are different sizes for the smaller triangles, there is a lot of movement in this quilt.

  3. Spectacular! Adore it! Love it hard!

  4. This is absolutely lovely! I love your blog name BTW.

  5. This is just gorgeous! I love cotton + steels basic range too. I think I could see with those fabrics for the rest of my life.

  6. This is gorgeous! I've come over from Gnomeangel's fb...think I'll stay :) ps please write a pattern

  7. I hope you do a pattern for this. It is quite stunning.

  8. Absolutely stunning! I will be at Quiltcon. I so hope that I have the privilege of seeing it in person there!

  9. Simply Beautiful! Best wishes in a show!

  10. Did you ever make a pattern of the Swarm quilt?

    1. Hi Diane, I'm afraid I haven't! I always planned to but have never quite managed the time or energy to lay it out. It's still on the list of things to do this year, particularly as everything shuts down over the COVID-19 situation.

  11. Let us know if you write a pattern for this, would love to make one. It's beautiful, you did a great job on it.


I try to answer every comment made, but if I forget to respond to you, I sincerely apologise! Thanks so much for coming by and commenting!