Thursday, October 31, 2013

Blogger's Quilt Festival - Fall 2013...Just made it!


After a crazy week of sewing in between working and very little sleep, I finally finished my entry for the ROYGBIV quilt. I am so happy to share it with you!

Back in August the Orlando Modern Quilt Guild hosted two days of workshops with Jacquie Gering. Although I could not make the first day's session, I was so excited to attend her Stitch and Flip class that Saturday. I brought my favorite Kona solids (mostly scraps but a few FQs) and a gun-metal gray background color to create my project. Since I love a good rainbow, I knew I was going to incorporate as many colors as I could in this piece.

I started with 3.5 inch squares and 6.5 x 3.5 inch rectangles in my gray background color. I added a colored scrap in the corner and just started sewing. I didn't have an exact design in mind yet so I just carried on until I ran out of cut gray blocks.
 After sewing and trimming each block, I went to the design wall to see what I had so far. As I tried to connect the colors, they started to naturally form this organic line that slanted down at a fun angle. I then came up with the idea of this ribbon of colors that will swirl across the quilt.

Jacquie was such a great teacher and shared so many of her tips that day. She mentioned that she had never seen squares and rectangles together in a class and was looking forward to the end result. She even spent some time in the back helping me connect this swirl by reminding me that triangles are needed a the end to bring a line around to the next row. 
Before we left, she signed books and took photos with us. It was such a fun day!

The class ended way too quickly but I left so inspired to create this piece when I came home. I placed my pieces on my "design dining room table" since I don't have an available wall at home. I had lots of gaps here and there that needed to be filled. I also had to decide where a row would end and which colors would connect. I set out the next day to make triangle corners to bring the lines together.
This design became the final draft and I set to work piecing this top.
I took one row at a time and worked from top to bottom. 

 I spent some time working to make sure the rows were in the correct placement so I didn't lose the design or have to pick out any stitches! I was relieved when the blocks were done and I reached this point.
 Sewing the rows together was pretty easy after that! I place pins in every other row to press them in opposite directions. This made for perfectly nested seams that were a breeze to sew together.
 After weeks of searching for the right fabric to make the back panel, I was lucky enough to find what I was looking for last weekend. "Rose Windows" by Samarra Khaja (Timeless Treasures) looks like tiny pieces of a stained-glass window. It has 18 different colors and was exactly what this quilted needed on the back to emphasize the design on the front. I added a matching gray border around this gorgeous fabric to make it the same size as the front.

Now, the hard part was basting and quilting this huge thing. I spent a long time lining up the front panel with the center of the back square. I spray basted and also use safety pins so it would not move too much. I used thin masking tape to start a diagonal line in the middle and rolled it up from both ends.
I don't know that I will attempt more quilting on the diagonal any time soon. I have to find a much larger machine that will allow my "rolled burrito" to easily move about the throat space. (The Baby Lock Melody sewing machine looks like it would work better than what I currently own!)

After two days of coaxing this beast through my machine, I really loved how the quilting turned out and set to work last night to finish the binding. The rainbow strips I cut a few days ago did not really match this final project so I decided that a simple black binding would frame this quilt much better.
So here you have my final design:

I call it Rainbow Ribbon because it reminds me of a gymnasts twirling ribbons from the floor exercises. This is a gift for someone very special!

Blogger's Quilt Festival Category: ROYGBIV Quilt

Quilt measurements: 64 x 46

Quilt materials: Kona solids in various colors and gray, "Rose Windows" by Samarra Khaja (Timeless Treasures) for backing fabric, cotton batting, Gutermann thread (Color 116)

Thank you for reading this post. I hope it inspires you to be creative!
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