13 August 2015

Cirrus Solids Miniquilt Challenge--Finished!


My finished mini, "The Braidout," 2015

OK, so I just kind of made this up as I went along, but I actually really like the result!

Our guild hosted a fun and interesting lecture and trunk show with Cloud 9 Fabrics this past winter. Cloud 9 is based right here in New Jersey and produces beautiful organic cottons for quilting and garments, and recently launched a gorgeous line of solids called Cirrus Solids. We decided it would be fun to do a challenge involving making mini quilts with only Cirrus Solids. Everyone got a package of six fat eighths, randomly selected.  I got Limestone, Fuchsia, Grass, Shadow, Sand, and Lagoon in my pack.

I had my fabric pack for about two months with no movement. I was totally without ideas. What to do? I considered and tossed out numerous ideas. Eventually I just started Pinteresting and blog hopping like any good modern sewist, and somehow stumbled on this ribbon quilt border tutorial. Here was a way to use all the colors in an interesting pattern! It was a start.

I set about trying to figure out scale.  I decided I wanted the colors to float in white. At first I tried very tiny strips, but that didn't quite work. (And yes, I muslined my quilt blocks! Old habits die hard.) 

Once I had a good size (and a day or so to readjust my vision to bigger blocks) I set about sewing my real fabric.

Then it was time to quilt! I thought of a number of ideas but settled on narrow straight lines on the background to follow the long blocks.

Within them, I didn't want anything to obscure the fabric, so I (GASP) stitched in the ditch, with invisible thread.  I'd never tried invisible thread before, but the YLI suggested to me at my local LQS was about as dreamy to work with as one could hope for. I did no prep beyond lowering tension a teeninchy bit---no thread stand, used a regular quilting needle---and only had one thread break, at the very beginning.

I initially wanted the binding to be quiet to let the colors of the blocks shine through. But I had some leftover strips and not enough grey to bind, so I just cut them in binding-sized strips and pieced them in. I didn't want them cut off by sewing on the diagonal, so I sewed them straight, figuring it was really no different from one long straight- or cross-grain piece, and also rationalizing that it's not as though this will get a lot of wear and tear.

Then a bit of machine binding and all done!

I wasn't sure I was going in the right direction at any point while working on this, but I think it came out pretty well in the end. 

I decided to call it "The Braidout" because the blocks reminded me of braids. (A braidout, in case you don't know, is a particular way of hairstyling--which I am doing this very minute!--that involves plaiting your wet hair and taking it down when dry.)

Now--to hang vertically or horizontally?



Template by Suck My Lolly - Background Image by TotallySevere.com