I’m calling this my build-a-block quilt. It was kind of like going to Build-a-Bear, except in this case you pay all the money AND do all the work yourself!
It’s also – literally – a blood, sweat and almost tears quilt:
- first, even though all fabrics are Moda Bella Solids and all were pre-washed and dried in the same way, the darn “disappearing” marker disappeared beautifully from every single color except one of the oranges (not both!) and I was frustrated to no end by that discovery – a little sweat (and the beginning of a possible coverup appliqué sort of solution for those spots!)
- second, once it was off the machine and I was trimming the edges with my new lovely cutting sheers, I nicked my hand with the point in my hurry to get to the binding process and didn’t realize I was bleeding until I got some on – of course – one of the light stone coloured blocks! – a little blood, more sweat, and almost tears, well, actually, some profanity (and naturally a little saliva because that’s about all that takes out blood!)
BUT, after giving up on removing the marks, I threw it into the wash with some stain spray, resigning myself to the fact that it was what it was and I still loved it no matter what – haha – it came out just fine and all the marks are gone. This surprises me because one of the warnings on the marker is to just use plain water and NOT to mix it with detergent because it will set the mark. I took the chance thinking I had nothing to lose anyway and it actually took the mark out!
Needless to say I’m going to go back to using my trusty chalk whenever I can and will only resort to the blue marker when I’ve already tested it out on the exact piece of fabric I will be using, regardless of the brand. I contacted the maker of my marker to let them know what happened on just the orange but they are mystified too and looking into it further at this point.
Back to the quilting part:
I found the idea in an old quilt magazine passed onto me by a friend as part of a stack she was finished with: Quilter’s World, Autumn 2013. I rarely use a pattern, partly because they’re often detailed and involve a lot of piecing instructions and we all know how that turns me on, and partly because with the simple piecing designs I prefer it’s not too difficult to look at a picture and figure out how to make it happen in my own way.
The original pattern above was designed by Jenny Rekeweg and I adapted it to my own preferences, attracted by the solids and seeing lots of opportunity for wild quilting. The basic idea is to pick some colors you want to put together, decide on your block size, and then start building. Some guidelines for sizing the various inserts were given for reference, but there was a lot of play room for individual creativity and I took advantage of that (suffice it to say that the one super colourful block with all the little squares became tedious for me around row 3, thus, the switch to strips to finish it off!)
Here are some photos of each block so you can see not only the piecing arrangements I chose but also the various quilting designs. If you click on one it will make them all bigger for your viewing pleasure 🙂
I just now noticed that the one pictured in the magazine was quilted by Krista Withers. This is really cool because when I first started free motion quilting, I found and saved many pictures of her work online as they inspired and drove me towards the goal of being able to run with her composition quilting technique myself one day. I think it’s kind of funny that I’ve been looking at the magazine page over and over again during the planning and making of this quilt and have only just now noticed her name!
I definitely tried to incorporate some of her stitching designs on this quilt, trying out different things here and there, and I enjoyed working on one block at a time while still having the solid background to show off the stitching which always keeps me interested!
As for all those thread changes though, that’s another story …!