Colourburst Challenge

Both my mother and I were admiring the Colourburst lap quilt in the book By the Block by Siobahn Rogers. The two of us decided upon a quilt challenge: each of us will design and create a queen-size quilt based on the Colourburst pattern. We agreed that both quilts will be professionally quilted, so the challenge is about the design and colour, rather than the quilting. The deadline for completion is January 31, 2018. Results will be posted after that on this blog.

In the meantime, we had a meeting and did some fabric swapping. Once I had that stack of glorious colour in front of me, I decided to do a prototype in crib-size format. I love the bright colours and how they contrast with the dark grey background, and it was exceptionally easy to piece the quilt top. I used a bead curtain free motion quilting pattern to finish it off. I wanted some curves to offset all the straight lines and right angles, and the circles to echo the print features.

Doing the prototype did give me some ideas for the final challenge version: in the purple and orange sections, the larger scale prints really liven up the quilt top, while the green and blue sections are pretty, but less lively. I plan to comb through my stash again for prints, and possibly shop for additional fabric as well. The requirements for each fabric are incredibly small – just one 4 1/2 inch wide strip of each.

If you would like to duplicate the crib-size version pictured here, I used 2 3/4 inch strips. The blocks are built with a Courthouse Steps configuration rather than a Log Cabin.

Pinwheel Baby Quilt

I picked up an Animal Quackers fat quarter collection plus a charm pack and couldn’t resist using it right away. The pinwheel design is made from half square triangle blocks arranged at different angles.

I really enjoyed the free motion quilting. I used an orange peel pattern for the pinwheel section, and feathers for the border. The quilting process was surprisingly easy and quick.

To make the half square triangle blocks, I started with 5 inch squares (because that was the size of the squares in the charm pack). I matched up pairs of squares and put them face to face, drew a line with pencil diagonally, sewed a quarter inch on both sides of the line, then cut along the line, producing two HST blocks.

If you look very closely, you may notice my points are not perfect. Unfortunately, that’s because I trimmed up my rows to an even width, and in some cases cut too far into the points.

On the bright side, I think my free motion quilting is beginning to improve. I was able to produce more flowing and beautiful feathers this time.

Next, I am finishing up the second baby quilt from this collection, then plan to make some smaller items for a craft show in November. I also have two new original quilting designs in mind. How did I ever have time for a full-time job?

Foundation Pieced Bunnies

This is the fourth and final baby quilt made from the Beatrix Potter fat quarter collection. You may recall that I challenged myself to use every scrap of the fat quarter collection I purchased.

My inspiration for this design was a beautiful antique quilt that I own that was foundation pieced on feedsack.

I went ahead and used my scraps fairly randomly, piecing them on a light cotton foundation fabric. I don’t love the resulting quilt, I’m sad to say, because I think it is too random. The off-white corner triangles in each block do not do enough to create a cohesive look. However, I have dutifully quilted it with a mix of walking foot and free-motion, and I will just have to chalk this one up to living and learning.

Raised Beds

I wanted to design a low contrast baby quilt using the Beatrix Potter fat quarter set I bought recently. Going with the Peter Rabbit theme, I wanted the quilt to look like a garden design with raised beds for the different vegetables.

This was very quick and simple to piece, though it took a bit of math to get the blocks right so that they would be the right width for the strip of 5 blocks as well as for the strips of 4 blocks.  In the end I chose to use 4 1/2 by 3 1/2 inch pieces as well as 3 1/2 by 4 1/2 inch pieces. The raised bed borders are 1 1/2 inches, the paths lengthwise between the beds are 2 1/2 inches, and the other border and path strips are 3 1/2 inches. The finished quilt measures 35 by 43 inches.

I had fun choosing the different quilting motifs for each raised bed, then filled in the rest of the quilt with feathers and stripes. This part took much longer than the piecing. I wanted to keep the quilt low contrast, but add a bit of zing, so decided to use a scrappy binding.

One great thing about this design is that it used very little of the fat quarter collection, only a 6 1/2 inch strip from each fat quarter. That means I can go back and design another baby quilt using the same fabric. Just for fun I want to make this design again in bright, high contrast fabrics. I have just the fat quarter collection in my stash.