I hope everyone had a lovely Fourth of July weekend, and that you’re all enjoying the summer now that the season is in full swing! My kids have been loving summer day camp, which I’m very pleased with because it allows me at least a few hours to work every day. Julian is currently putting the finishing touches on his GameSalad project at video game design camp, and Simon will be off to Science Bootcamp the week after we return from our upcoming family road trip.
While the kids have been at camp, I’ve been working behind the scenes on a ton of projects. I also had the incredibly fun experience of teaching at the Original Sewing and Quilting Expo when it was in Raleigh, NC. I taught workshops in improvisational appliqué and embroidery finished appliqué, and gave a lecture on finding quilty inspiration in the history of art (which was tremendously fun to put together!) I’ve already made my travel arrangements for teaching at another OSQE show–Quilting Live!–in Atlanta this September, and I’m really excited to take a couple of courses while I’m there, too! I’ll also be teaching embroidery finished appliqué at QuiltCon in February, along with an appliqué quilt top project from my book, and there is still room in both workshops! This is a fantastic opportunity to learn the basics of fusible-web appliqué, machine appliqué, and my technique of protecting raw edges with embroidery, so please consider signing up–I promise you’ll learn a lot of useful techniques and we’ll have a ton of fun!
Anyway, I’ve finally finished a project that I can actually share pictures of here–my entry in the Modern Quilt Guild Michael Miller fabric challenge featuring the Petal Pinwheels collection! I have to admit, the idea for this design took it’s sweet time revealing itself to me. This was surprising, because I really love the colors and prints of this collection, especially the orange-peel print (“Tile Pile”), which is pretty much the perfect basic in my book. One day, however, my brother-in-law Ryan mentioned this quilt from the Land of Nod to me, and the wheels started turning (no pun intended). I had seen (and loved) the quilt before, but this time it occurred to me to try to introduce that sort of texture into an appliquéquilt. The appliqués could be the “petals,” which just seemed to fit so well with the theme of the fabric collection.
After I stitched down the individual petal appliqués, I made the outlines out of 2″ bias strips that I seamed together and turned right-side out. The reason for not using traditional bias tape was that I wanted to leave the edges of the strips free to curl and ripple, in the hopes that this would produce the texture I was after. I sewed them down along the outer edges of each petal, stitching 1/4″ inside the edge of each strip. The free edges of the strips are left to cover up the raw edges of the appliqués underneath, and are free to ruffle up off the surface of the quilt as it’s used.
I quilted along each bias strip (meaning that each strip has three lines of stitching in its center), and then quilted densely spaced diagonal lines in the background. I was really tempted to use another print from the collection, “Pegs a’Plenty,” for the binding, but decided at the last minute that a white binding would bring out the graphic style of the rosette without adding too much busyness.
As usual, this quilt was one big experiment for me. I’m really happy with how the overall design turned out, and I love the texture that some of the bias strips produced. I’m not as happy with my accuracy in stitching down the strips–not all of them cover up the raw edges of the appliqués beneath them as well as I would have liked. I’m not sure if I would use this technique again, at least, not with such small pieces. I do love how the colors pop, though, and I’m happy with the quilt overall.
Thanks for reading, and be sure to check out the amazing entries so far in the challenge so far at the MQG community site!