This is my first year participating in the Blogger’s Quilt Festival and I am super excited to be joining in! BQF was started by Amy Ellis of Amy’s Creative Side eight years ago as a way for bloggers to come together, share their creations and inspire each other!
She also hosts #IGquiltfest in the Spring, a week-long quilt photo challenge on Instagram, which I had the opportunity of participating in earlier this year. Not only did I get a chance to meet so many wonderful and talented quilters, it was the first time I truly got to experience the incredible love and support of this amazing quilting community and I’m forever grateful for that!
Make sure you head over to Amy’s blog where you can check out all the BQF details, see all the gorgeous quilts and vote for your favorites (voting opens Monday!) This is my entry for the Mini Category.
Golden Girl Mini Quilt: tales of a quilt show reject…
Back in June, I wrote a blog post with a little sneak peak of the very beginning stages of my Modern Mini Showcase Quilt and its scrappy log cabin blocks.
Remember the ending of that post when I said Tomorrow I hope to have them bordered, quilted and bound? Ohhh, man… that was the cutest! Totally didn’t happen, BUT after a few sanity-testing months of what seemed to be a constant rotation of sewing and seam ripping, I finally finished my mini beast AND entered it into the VMQG Quilt Showcase – where it was politely turned away because I accidentally flubbed on the fabric requirements and I didn’t make it to specifications (which very plainly called for solid fabrics only). Oops! Lesson learned and moving on…
When I start making my quilts, there are basically two thoughts that go through my head:
1) I have no idea what I’m doing.
2) I really hope I don’t slice the tip of my finger off again. 😣
Because I usually don’t have a plan for how the quilt will look in the end, I mostly just make it up as I go along – adding and taking away blocks and borders until I’m happy. I also don’t exactly know what my finished quilt size will be because, well, quilt math. So with that, I give you the ridiculous process of my mini monster quilt! 🙃
The method to the madness:
Initially wanting to sew borders around my log cabins, I laid the blocks out onto two different gorgeously soft and luscious cuts of Kaffe Fassett’s Shot Cotton that I picked up in a fabric shop in Portland several years ago. I love the way each of the two fabrics worked with the blocks to create such contrasting moods. Terra Cotta (left) gives them a much warmer feel while the Galvanized (right) reads more cool. Ultimately, I chose the cool gray to make my upcycled vintage florals and corals really pop.
Because the lightweight Shot Cotton is so soft (and I didn’t yet fully understand the amazing powers of starching) when I started to quilt the top, I had major issues with it stretching and pulling, so I ultimately decided to rip the stitching, remove the Shot Cotton and go with a heavier weight fabric for the border.
Luckily, I found a similar gray that I’d previously cut from a pillowcase that I thought would work perfectly. 😁
I re-framed the blocks and added a creamy caramel border in an attempt to help balance out the dark gray and draw some focus back to the florals.
Not pictured: me quilting the quilt, hating the design and ultimately skinning the quilt… then abandoning the project to drown myself in large amounts of chocolate, wine and Gilmore Girls.
I finally started the quilting again – and although I really did like the look of the border, I couldn’t help feeling that the dark fabric was just too overwhelming and it didn’t showcase my vintage florals the way I wanted. Sigh of all sighs. The quilt was skinned a second time, out came the seam ripper and gone were the gray and cream borders.
After I laid all the blocks out by themselves, I was so much happier with my decision to remove the dark border. The florals instantly stood out more, giving the quilt top a softer look.
I’ve really been wanting to incorporate my collection of vintage lace into my quilting projects for a while now and with the overall softness of the floral quilt top, I felt the delicate lace would be a perfect addition.
I stitched the lace onto strips of light gray fabric, then sewed them onto the quilt, bordering the log cabins. By taking away the dark gray border, the quilt was a bit smaller than I wanted, so to make up for it, I bordered the lace with a light gray fabric, then added a final border in a rich espresso.
For the quilting, I was feeling a little adventurous and decided to attempt stitching with gold metallic thread for the first time ever, because what could go wrong, right?? I’m pretty sure I held my breath during the entire process and stitched slower than I even knew was possible, but the end result was so much better than I anticipated – and now I might just quilt everything with metallic thread for forever and ever because it makes me so happy. I mean, just look at it! It’s so shiny!!
For the binding, I initially wanted to go with a vintage floral, but not wanting to draw attention away from the florals in the quilt itself, I decided to go with a warm neutral instead. Digging through my stash, I found remnants of another upcycled pillowcase that I’d long forgotten about. You can see some of the original stitching from its former life in the photo below (love)!
So, there she is! And even though my little rebellious and mighty mini wasn’t eligible for the Quilt Showcase, I’m incredibly happy with how it turned out and learned so much in the process.
Though she be but little, she is fierce!
Be sure to visit Amy’s Creative Side to enter the GIVEAWAY for the chance to win a Baby Lock Soprano! And don’t forget to check back on Monday when voting opens!
Are you participating in Blogger’s Quilt Festival? I can’t wait to see all the gorgeous entries!