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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Celebrate

Oh, yeah. Do a happy dance. I finished the quilt top. 2014 Radiant Orchid Pantone Quilt Challenge, I give you “Rainy Day Garden.” Current size is 73 x 65 inches.

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Having started this little journey, I’ve realized that in addition to learning how to create & maintain a blog, I really should also work to improve my quilt photography skills. To that end, the first thing I did was take the flimsy outside. Good thing it isn’t raining today. The second thing I did was borrow Husband’s camera. His is MUCH nicer than mine. Next on the agenda will be to make better use of said camera, but there’s only so much a girl can do/learn at once, right? Anyway, since I was playing, here are a couple more shots of the top:

505 508I may even have managed to successfully link up to the Challenge.

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It’s Molli’s Fault

Blame Molli Sparkles. He blogjacked Freshly Pieced last fall. He got me all excited about the MSBHQAL. And I realized I could WIN FABRIC?! Then I realized how difficult it is to participate in this online quilty community without a blog of your own. So here I am. With my first blog post. Trying to figure out how to make it work before the deadline for the 2014 Radiant Orchid Pantone Quilt Challenge. Oh, and I still have to finish the quilt. In seven days. While working full time and occasionally sleeping, eating, and paying attention to my husband. We’re about to find out just how fast/well I work under pressure. Image