First Finish: Rainy Day Garden

Achieving my goal for January was easy, considering that all that remained for this finish was the binding.

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You can tell from all the creases that it had been folded up for awhile.

This is “Rainy Day Garden,” and it is the reason I began my blog. As my entry for the 2014 Pantone Quilt Challenge: Radiant Orchid, I finished the top in March of that year. Then, because I wanted custom quilting but didn’t feel it was in the budget to pay someone else, I planned to quilt it myself. Which meant it sat in the closet for a long time while I thought about how I wanted to tackle it. I was getting closer to finalizing my ideas in early 2015, when I assembled the back, but then it got put away because we moved and had a baby. Then last year, my little sister’s boyfriend bought her a long-arm machine, and I decided to give it to her to play with.

While there are a few technical issues with the quilting, I am thrilled with her creativity! She did a leaf/scroll pattern on the grey print fabric below the flowers, and a rain-like line above, with individual designs on each flower that remind me of playing with a spirograph.

Regarding the technical errors–I knew full well that this would be a learning experience for her, and am totally okay with them. She and I are probably the only people who will ever know they are there, AND done is better than perfect! 🙂

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The technique I used to create the flowers is from “Quilters Playtime: Games With Fabric,” by Dianne S. Hire.

This was the first time I’d ever attempted a “modern” design, but as a print-lover I didn’t want to make something that was all solids. I wanted, as much as possible, to use materials and resources that I already owned. The one thing I allowed myself in terms of purchases was a small range of solids that fit in with the Radiant Orchid color of the year. I believe I owned one solid fat quarter that was suitable, and I purchased three others in half-yard cuts. Everything else came from my stash.

Anyone who knows me would agree that the word “rebel” would never come to mind when describing me, but I thought I was being rather subversive in using a Jinny Beyer print (the grey-on-grey) in a modern quilt. The juxtaposition still makes me smile. In addition, a couple of those prints were purchased nearly 15 years before modern quilting became a thing.

While there are certainly exceptions, I like to think that “modern” is the way you use a fabric more than the fabric itself. I know there’s a lot of debate over the definition of modern quilting, (and that there’s a lot more to the discussion than what fabrics you use) but for my own quilting happy-place, that’s where I am. Admittedly, this is in part a financial thing: I cannot afford to discard the bulk of my stash just because it is older than “modern quilting,” no matter how much I love much of what is being labeled modern. That said, I also did not abandon my love of many “contemporary” or “traditional” quilts once I began to explore and enjoy modern quilting. I guess I’m just an equal opportunity quilter.

I’ll step down from my tiny soap box now and show you the back of the quilt:

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Speaking of equal-opportunity, the WIP I am currently focusing on is nowhere near modern! 😀 It’s for one of my grandmothers, and is at least 90% from fabrics that were part of her stash before she downsized. As you can see, she has a distinct love of patriotic-themed fabrics.

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Hope your quilty year is off to a great start. Linking up with TGIFF, hosted this week by Jen at Faith and Fabric. Go check out some of this week’s other finishes!

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