When I first saw the email announcing the Riley Blake Fabric Challenge, I said to myself, “nope, not doing that.” Then I read an excited email from my sister saying, “hurry up and sign up, we can do a joint project.” So I did, and we came up with a plan while we were at QuiltCon (which I haven’t written about yet, oops). Then a week after we got home again she emailed me and said, “sorry, I can’t do the Challenge thing after all, too much else on my plate.” Or something to that effect. I could have dropped out too, but by then ideas were racing through my head. Once I have an idea I have a hard time not diving in and starting it. (Finishing is another story, hence the fleet of UFOs flying around here.) After too much time spent comparison shopping online, I bought a Fat Quarter bundle of every fabric in The Cottage Garden line. My sister had bought a yard each of three prints at QuiltCon and shared them with me. Those plus the six 8th yard pieces Riley Blake sent out provided the material for the quilt I made: front, back, binding, sleeve and label.
After all those ideas I’d had, and when I ironed the fabric (after washing, which I always do) I had another – wouldn’t it be fun to make nests with the red/pink flowers inside instead of eggs? I cut out the flowers in rough ovals, cut a whole bunch of random width strips, and made nests sort of log cabin style. I kept sewing strips on until I started to run out.
I pieced a background to use the blue flowers, also using a yard of birds in the trees print, cut and pieced to provide the shape I wanted. The nests, after several days of playing with arrangements, were appliqued on with a narrow zigzag stitch. For the back I used the rest of the prints, mostly pinks, which I had played with to try a Ricky Tims Convergence style quilt. I wasn’t pleased with the outcome so using it on the back was perfect. I made it big enough with the last of the FQs, saving out one for the sleeve. I’d had free-motion quilting in mind as I pieced it but by the time I had it layered and basted I’d decided to do something easy with the walking foot. The walking foot and I are old friends, but I hadn’t done any free-motion work in months and knew I was rusty. The tangled branches in the background fabric inspired my improvisational intertwined zigzag quilting.
The quilting part took twice as long as I had scheduled, but I got ‘er done before the deadline. Then mis-sewed the sleeve and had to rip out the seam. I nearly ran out of thread for the binding, but didn’t, and IT IS DONE! YAY! No new UFO here.
You can see all the entries here. Mine is number 206 or so.