This weekend we have a 'Calling All Quilts' exhibition in Hamilton. I entered the Monochramatic catory. My quilt was done all in blues from dark to light. I entered it so I would work outside my comfort zone, not to win anything. It was the first time I had got a set of blocks, 24 to be exact and put them together to make a pattern. I started in January thinking I had enough time to finish it. I work in the mornings and my husband and I have our daughter with her two children living with us, aged 6 and 5. On top of that my husband turned 60 so in January I was organizing a 60th in our home as well as organizing a surprise holiday for him. I still had the quilting to do four weeks before hand in time. There were two major difficulties I came across. Three quarters of the way through the quilt I learnt how to get my pieced squares to measure exactly 12 1/2" square. Before then I had been cutting them to size which caused a problem in that I had to fudge to get the points to meet.( I learnt the best way to sew half square triangles together) Consequently my borders did not lie flat. I hand quilted large circles due to restricted time. Even though I had pulled the backing tight and held it down with masking tape while I pinned the three layers I still got gathering on the back. I did not use a frame to hand quilt. A friend of mine did not use a frame when she hand quilted and she did beautiful work. I also bought a book on how to hand quilt without a frame. I have used a frame in the past and I still got the puckering and gathering. Any wonderful suggestions would be very welcome.