Wednesday, 8 March 2017

Down the Rabbit Hole [Month 1]

Following on from yesterday's post where I talked about moving out of my comfort zone, here's the second project with that in mind. It's still a quilt with monthly instructions, but it's a medallion style. It started with a Dresden and plenty of applique and that theme is continuing into month 2, so this is a definite challenge for me.

I'm even moving out of my rainbow comfort zone and using a slightly more restrictive palette: I loved the Christmas tree skirt I made, and decided to use that as my colour scheme, as it isn't Christmassy at all: aqua, purple, pink, green, white and black. I took full advantage of the post-Christmas sales and bought three metres of black from Modern Background Lustre. I got a 1.5m of a black with gold crosses and 1.5m of a black with what I'm describing as gold paint splatter. I'm going to alternate these two background fabrics for the borders. I also placed a cheeky order with Fat Quarter Shop in the US. I needed to get the backing fabric for my #365 quilt (Tula Pink Free Fall - yummy), and a few extra fabrics accidentally fell into my cart. Most are Moda Grunge - I love the bright, saturated colours, with a touch of lightness to them. I also picked up some metallic arrows from Michael Miller. Other fabrics came from Simply Solids - some yummy Alison Glass mostly, and I got some fabric at Christmas that works perfectly too. I haven't even shopped my stash fully yet! I'm going to use those fabrics in a scrappy manner through the quilt, so if I had to add in more if I run out, it won't be too obvious.

For month one, released on 31st January, we're starting right in the centre. A circle made up of 40 wedges, cut using templates. Not my favourite place to start any project. I could have ordered perspex templates from Sarah, but I'm too tight. So I made my template from an old Cornflakes packet. It didn't go too well. In order to get my circle to lay flat I ended up adding in four extra wedges. I know my seams were pretty consistently a scant quarter inch, so I presume it was my cutting and template usage that caused the trouble. But you know what, no-one will ever know unless they hang my quilt right next to a perfect one. I also know I'm in fairly good company in the "Extra-wedge Club"!

The down side of four extra wedges is that my circle is 2" bigger than it should be. I don't want to trim it - I would only mess it up! So I've had to make two further changes to this section (so far):the centre circle, to cover that hole in the middle, will need to be bigger when we get to it; and the flowers that will go around the circle: in the pattern, they were all one size. I'm making mine in three different sizes - the original size and two smaller. This way I can still fit the same number in the same area.

Part 2 of the January instructions was bias applique. Sarah has a technique for making bias strips that uses nothing fancier than a ruler and a hera marker. I tried it. Twice. I really did. I just ended up with very narrow and uneven-width bias tape. Back when I first started quilting, I made a sampler quilt with a bias applique celtic knot block, and I loved it, so I bought a Clover mini iron and bias tape maker. And I haven't used them since. So I pulled them out and had a go. And my bias tapes were so much better. Sorry, Sarah - I really did try! Tacking down the bias tapes was a bit of a faff, and then I appliqued them, which seemed to take a long time!

This month was a challenge. Next month is more applique - and I've got to make circular circles! But I'm enjoying trying new things and having a go. Based on how long it took me to sew down the stems, I might finish the next part about Christmas!

1 comment:

Lin said...

Looking gorgeous so far Jennie - i love the colours. xx