Monday, March 17, 2014

MMQG Challenge

Way back at the October meeting of the Minneapolis Modern Quilt Guild, we were given a fantastic bundle of Mona Luna organic fabrics including a bunch from the new Meadow line! The fabric was for the MMQG "Challenge Yourself" project.

My biggest challenge is finishing things on time. So there's that. I wanted to try a new technique, too. I thought this bold fabric would be a good candidate for reverse applique, inspired by this amazing quilt I stumbled upon. I found a great tutorial that teaches (what I think seems) the easiest reverse applique method, so I went for it.

It was a challenge, for sure. I wanted the ellipses to look like stones in a river, or knots in a tree.  I followed the tutorial with only slight modifications: 1) I drew the ellipses directly on the wrong side of my quilt top, 2) I did the sewing on the wrong side of the quilt, where I had drawn the ellipses, instead of on the front, and 3) I used a glue stick instead of tape. I found it helpful to press the fabric from the wrong side of the quilt top, that seemed to make it less likely for the scrap fabric to peek through. I also glue-sticked the scrap fabric in place after turning and pressing, then I glue-sticked the Mona Luna Meadow fabric to the quilt, too. I used a lot of glue sticks for this.

A close-up of the front. All that glue-sticking washed right out :) I used my walking foot for most of the lines, but free-motioned the few lines that end in curls. I'm not real happy with my free-motion skills and I might re-do those later. I buried all my ends for this quilt, and I used spray baste for the first time. Lots of new things happening here!

And the back - a darker Kona grey. The quilt is throw-size - 40" x 60" - perfect for our couch and this never ending winter.

Friday, March 7, 2014

A custom quilt

I finished my first quilt of the year, a piece commissioned by a coworker. It was inspired by this lovely quilt by Blue Elephant Stitches.

It's queen-size, 86" x 94". I used Kona for the background and a mix of solids and prints for the triangles. I'm particularly fond of the striped batik triangles, the red and aqua stripes pull everything together. The quilting was done by Marilyn Kidd (kiddsrweAThotmailDOTcom), whom I highly recommend!

The back has a scrappy rectangle and a Kona background. As usual I did a lot of math for this quilt and had very little fabric left over.

I used a new (to me) technique for the binding, following this tutorial for Susie's Magic Binding. I'm really happy with this method. I made this binding a little wider than the tutorial, and I stitched it so that my "stitching in the ditch" on the front caught the binding on the back. It was just easier for me that way. I think this binding technique looks really sharp with this quilt, and I'll definitely use it again.