I am very excited that my little mini quilt, which was my Maria Shell "Linear Blocks" workshop piece, placed second in the 2018 Quilt Expo Modern Mini Quilt Challenge. The winning quilts can be found here - Quilt Expo. I got the news just as we were leaving on a week long vacation in Virginia - so couldn't blog about this until now. In April, the Western New York Modern Quilters had Maria Shell in for a workshop. It was a fabulous day, and I had looked forward to it for months. I love Maria's work. It is so graphic, vibrant and alive! I was intrigued by the notion of cutting fabric without a ruler. What a liberating experience that was. I had loads of solids to work with.
|One of two bins!|
I decided to pick nine colors, trying to achieve a summery palette, and then was using those colors to create a version of fence rail blocks.
Over the course of the day, I was able to make nine blocks, which I put together to create a little piece. I like the curves, and the movement that results, but sewing and cutting both go a little bit slower! Maria Shell was so very generous with her time, and her help to all of us, and I greatly appreciated her help with my piece!
|The pieces at the end of the workshop day.|
I was thrilled with how the piece looked after I put the blocks together and pressed the heck out of it. I thought the colors achieved that summery feel, and loved the little striped pieces within each block. I noticed, however, two problems. First, on of the blocks was too curvy, and some of the lines went off in the middle.
Second, two of the pieces were different colors from the rest. The blue and bright green were different from the other blocks. I was sewing next to a friend, and think I picked up some of her pieces by mistake! I decided to fix this before I started quilting.
|The little problem areas!|
Not only am I charmed with Maria Shell's color and design, but her dense and precise quilting is also a delight to see in her quilts. I had never quilted with more that one color at a time, but decided to give it a try. I had thread to match or blend with most of my palette, and only needed to get the coral and light blue. All these years of quilting, I have only purchased the large spools of thread, and finally came to understand how very handy the smaller spools are (and how they really have plenty of thread on them!)
|Matching the thread|
|Under the needle!|
I used a piece of bright yellow Kona as the backing. I started out using just white in the bobbin (I don't have many bobbins at this time!) and found that the white showed through on the darker threads on top. So I added a dark gray to the back for the darker top threads. This was my first time switching out thread colors, and quilting so densely on my Tiara, and the back sometimes was a mess! I was able to clean up most of these problems
This method all led to many threads that needed to be buried on top and on the back - one of my least favorite parts of quilting!
|So many threads!|
The work was worth it - I really like how the matchstick quilting looks and feels. It is hard to see, but the black bits in the striped piece are also quilted; the bright green part is not. I thought it popped a bit more left unquilted!
I then had to decide how to bind it. I tried out both black and bright green for the binding, and I also considered facing it, but liked how the black framed it, and made it complete. The finished piece is 18.5 x 18.5 inches square.
The portions that I fixed from the initial version are circled below. I am glad I made the changes!here. They are lovely! I am about to pack this up and ship it to the Quilt Expo for consideration in a juried exhibition. Crossing my fingers that it makes it in to the exhibit!