The Modern Quilt Guild, of which I am a member, has been holding fabric challenges which I have been participating in for a couple of years. This year the Spring Challenge was to use Riley Blake Cottage Garden Fabrics by Amanda Herring. All you had to do was make something fantastic that is quilted, something you’ve never done before, challenge yourself to learn something new, and use the provided fat eighths of fabric and coordinating Riley Blake Solids. I completely forgot about it until I got a reminder note from The Modern Quilt Guild saying we had 11 days left to make something. Yikes! I have been sewing for the past six days straight!
I participated in the last Riley Blake Challenge too. I made this super awesome duffle bag with quilt as you go techniques. I use it all the time.
These were the fabrics that we received. Lovely prints in aqua and grey, even included a text print.
I had actually been thinking about some kind of pattern to include the birds and trees. When I laid out the fabrics, my idea just came together. It needed a little color so I tried to find fabric to match and ended up with the yellow and the red which sort of matched the birds legs. I purchased some extra solids in aqua and grey as well. The left side you can see in the picture, I just stacked most of the fabrics and added the pops of color. Not seen in this picture, the entire right side was a big strip of an aqua solid. I placed the grey solid over the whole thing and sketched a tree shape with a water soluble marker.
Then I basted by hand, (Yes, just like my Grandma Mabel would have done!), I basted using a running stitch over every line of the tree. Once I had it all basted, I cut away the fabric leaving a 1/4 of an inch to turn under.
Here is a picture a little more close up so you can see it better. I did not worry too much if the 1/4 inch was perfect, the tree would just look more natural.
Then I hand appliqued that entire tree to the pieced top. I also added some leaves in a darker grey and a little bird. I used one of the gray flowers for his body.
I handquilted using big stitches on the tree branches and the leaves. I also embroidered some yellow legs and a beak on my little red bird. Here, I am getting ready to machine quilt the other parts of the quilt. I just used a random swirl pattern around the tree on the right side of the quilt.
I just got going well with my machine quilting when the Quilt Inspector arrived. How does he know every time that I am quilting?? He usually does not show up when I am piecing, only quilting. Apparently this quilt passed the inspection, HA. Love you, Cookie Cat.
My DH volunteered to hold this up so I could get some pictures and get them loaded on the MQG website before my time ran out. You can see the whole quilt here. After I washed it, it was so lovely and crinkly with texture. I managed to hide the center seam with a tree branch all the way up. I also added my little extra pieced on the right side of the binding for some interest.
Here is a picture of the back, I used some of the leftover fabric to put it together, you an really see my quilting from the back.
Here is a closeup of my little bird before and after quilting and embellishment. He just adds a little something.I will be taking to my Detroit Area Modern Quilt Guild meeting next week for show and tell.