Friday, October 28, 2011

Practice makes perfect

My "third" project was really my 4th or fifth.  While I was working on project #2 (the quillow), I stumbled across an on-line mystery quilt.  I thought this would be a really great way to get some interaction with other quilters, and maybe learn a bit more.  It was a one-day mystery - 7 or 8 clues posted over the course of a single day, so I planned to spend that day in my sewing room and see how it went.

Still working from my stash, I pulled a few fabrics - green, blue, red, white and a dark, which mirrored what the creator was using.  I was a bit concerned, because these were novelty prints, but they all had similar primary colours, so I figured it would be OK. I happily went to work when the mystery came on line, and even finished it.  But, about halfway through, I realized my error.

The "red" didn't look red when you cut 2.5" squares from it. Ditto for the other colours - the novely prints were so large and bold that in the smaller pieces, the novelty pics took over and the main colour was completely lost.    I think you can see that from the pictures here - from top to bottom, "red", "blue", and "green".

The end result of that experiment was a complete disaster which looked like a random mish-mash of colour.  I crumpled it up, stuffed it in the back of the closet, and swore never to speak of it again :)  And, I didn't take a picture.  Several years later, I came across the top while moving and tossed it.  So, no evidence remains.

Fortunately, I didn't let that deter me on my quilting journey.  I still loved the process (and now I knew that I loved the process of assembling a complete top).  And I learned from that experience - that you can't mix and match a bunch of novelty prints cut into small pieces.

And hence my next quilt was born.  I still wanted to use up stash.  And I still wanted to do a complete top including quilting.  So I did a reset, planned a small baby quilt, and used a combination of my novelty prints and a solid white to break up the jumble.  This time I settled on an "around the world" layout - to try to help draw the eye to the background colours by grouping them.I pieced the quilt in 9-patches, after carefully drawing out the colours so I could make sure I made each patch correctly.

I backed this quilt with interlock - that was one of the purposes of making this quilt.  To find out if that would work, because the other half of my stash was interlock fabric - mostly in solids, thank goodness.  This quilt has a red back.

I discovered that it was possible, although challenging to do that.  The quilting here was a free motion (marked) swirl pattern - I never was one to start simple :)  The stretchy backing made it challenging, but I got through it with only one or two puckers in the backing.  Not too bad for a first attempt, I figured.  And still undeterred, I continued on my quilting journey.  Next up - a Christmas present for my nephew, was 5.


Date: March 2004
Recipient: Charity quilt for the Linus Project
Pattern: 9-patch cream & colour, Around the World layout
Fabric: cotton, interlock backing
Size: 36” x 36”
Quilting: machine quilted by Krista


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