I have finally finished (sort of) this quilt, which is the "Medallion Variation" by Louisana Pettway Bendolph, from one of the Gee's Bend series of kits from Windham Fabrics. I had a lot of trouble with the fabrics in this kit, from when I started it in July 2012 and picked it up again in June 2013. I also had trouble with pretty much everything else except the piecing, which was great fun -- but I am coming to the conclusion that I am not much of a quilter, because the only thing I really like is putting the pieces together.
The backing is a dark purple Kona Cotton, of which I apparently did not buy enough, because when I picked it up again after a year or so, backed and partly-quilted but not bound, there was no fabric to do any edging at all, and I didn't have enough time before my personally-set deadline to order another piece of the Kona Cotton, so I bought something as similar as possible from Jo-Ann's, slightly lighter in both weight and color. Luckily, you wouldn't know from the front, since a Kona Cotton binding wouldn't have matched the Windham fabrics either.
I say "sort of finished" because I started to machine-quilt it, in a geometric meander along each of the pieces, with no experience other than a previous stitch-in-the-ditch quilt. This was not particularly successful, unfortunately, more due to my lack of skill and chronic tension problems with my machine, than to the idea of a geometric meander itself -- which when it worked, worked very well. I think the first few times I made the lines too close together, as the later ones just feel better to the hand; I also couldn't seem to get the machine's tension the same from one block to the next, so that some looked fine from both sides, more looked wonky, and some looked absolutely awful. I got so frustrated that David said, "Honey, just do it like you did the Girl Scout quilt," whereupon I glared at him, and realized that he was probably right. I stitched all of the pieces along their seams, picked out the worst of the first attempts at the meander, and left the others for perhaps a future day, either picking-out or re-doing.
The only change I made to the design was to rearrange the center blocks a bit, as I thought the original was a little busy towards the top --
though I can't think now why I didn't switch the two on the left as well.
I don't think I will ever buy fabrics from Windham again, even though I generally like the hand-dyed look -- the fading in some cases was I thought far too much, despite their assurance that the colors would not bleed after a few washings, and are more "bright and appealing" afterwards. Sometimes I wonder if "slight imperfections" isn't often a euphemism for "flawed" or at the least "carelessness".
But despite all of the grief this quilt gave me, I actually like it a lot now that it's done. I like the cheerful colors -- even though they aren't as bright as they started out -- and the bold, dynamic shapes. And here it is in action at last! at Girl Scout day camp this week --