I love France. It's my second home. And despite not seeing them as often as I'd like, I still love my French family from when I was on exchange 16 years ago. My beautiful French nephew turned 7 this year. Where does the time go? So of course - I wanted to make him a quilt. Due to geography I don't feel I know this little boys interests, but I know his dad, and I knew anything to do with cars or motorbikes would be a winner! Staying with my mum in Adelaide, we ducked to the local discount quilting store and I had no trouble finding a fantastic panel and some wicked matching fabric. Added a few solids from my stash at home, and I was ready to roll (pun intended).
I must interrupt this quilt story there for some breaking news. I have a HQ Sweet 16. Yes, that's correct. A new quilting machine. Thanks to a very generous mother and a very understanding husband, I purchased the ex demo model from my local HQ dealer and negotiated a great price. Well, what can I say. This machine has completely changed the way I approach the quilting stage of my projects. To have that space and versatility for free motion quilting and rulers etc. I'm in heaven. Most surprising of all, it doesn't really take up much space in my sewing room which is actually just the landing at the top of our stairs.
I thought this relatively simple panel quilt would be a great introduction to using the Sweet 16. I just tried to follow the obvious lines around the images on the panel and did a medium size stipple on the border. As for the sold lines at the top and bottom of the panel, I wanted to do something a bit more exciting so decided to free-motion some racing cars from Lori Kennedy's website. Being my first Sweet 16 quilt I used Golden Quilters paper fed through my printer to give me an outline to follow. It was so easy after that and how great do my cars look!
The icing on the cake for the quick and effective quilt, was the email I got very early one Wednesday morning. It was from my French sister, saying how happy her boy was to receive the quilt. Apparently he's been taking it everywhere and telling everyone that Clementine made it for him in Australia. Oh my heart!