The point of this challenge is to use the Pantone color of the year (this year it's Viva Magenta) in a quilt. I participated a few years back with Living Coral and made "Twirly." The challenge took a hiatus for a few years and is back now. Hooray!
Let's start with the whole quilt, shall we?
And the stats:
Quilt Name: The Birds
Pieced and quilted and bound by me
This quilt is defying me in my efforts to photograph it. Every photo I take lately seems to have the colors wonky, so I headed out to my clothesline, thinking the somewhat overcast day would be okay, but I was wrong. Thankfully a little editing got it in shape, but of course the clothesline is too low. (If it was high enough, it would be useless to me to actually use, though, so...)
This all started out with a half-baked plan and some fabric...
As you can see, quite a few of the fabrics never made the cut. I actually had a whole other project in mind when I saw the more traditional print sitting on top of this pile and a whole other idea was hatched. (That may or may not have required a second trip to the fabric shop because I may or may not have purchased that print the first time around.)
I even though I might make two quilts.
(For those of you new here, I dug myself a big quilty hole shortly after I purchased fabrics and was quite overwhelmed for a bit. It's better now. Sort of.)
In the process of researching the Sparrows pattern, I came across a quilt along that the designer was hosting. And the timeline was great - I mean it started like tomorrow, but the end was nicely in line with the Pantone challenge deadline, so that worked out well in my favor.
So I pulled some fabrics from the stash (I'd already been to the store twice at this point and I think my hubby might have taken away my credit card if I tried to go back a third time in three days)...
...this was an early-ish pull and some things got swapped out (the background, for one) and a few added in (green and yellow) as I realized I didn't have enough to make the larger version of the quilt. (Go big or go home?)
Cutting was interesting - lots of quarters added to whole inch increments where I'm used to half inches. Thankfully that was an easy error to fix. And then I had to mix and match. To make sure one bird wasn't all blue at the end or something.
I used the very high tech method of keeping things straight called "cheapest paper plates I can find". It worked nicely to keep me organized (and bonus - they have already been reused for the baby quilt I talked about in my last post!).
Each week for four weeks, I constructed a lot of birds.
(the colors here, too, seem to be defying me)
Okay, it was nine. Nine birds. It seemed like more some weeks.
The last week of the quilt along was top construction. This was fairly easy since there were only sashing between the rows of birds. And those of you who know me, know I do NOT like long seams, so fewer sashings was a huge win!
My design floor isn't quite large enough, but it's all good. Toby is learning how to be a quilty helper. Usually he just supervises and sleeps in the couch-chair in my sewing room, taking any pets and ear scritches I hand out when I'm up to press block parts or whatever.
Here he is demonstrating how large the birds are. Toby weighs approximately 14 pounds. He is not a small cat. He is not a fat cat. The birds are much larger than I initially expected from just the photo on the pattern cover.
With a lot of seams and keeping track of what row I was on, finally I had a top!
This photo probably shows all the colors the best, but you can see my poor hubby's wingspan isn't quite enough. But at this point, I was happy to have a photo clearly showing the whole top was done - which was the whole point of the quilt along.
And then I got COVID. First time testing positive since the start of this whole disease debacle, but I'm sure I had it in March of 2020 also. Thankfully having been fully vaccinated, my course was shorter and less awful than the first time, and I could get back to procrastinating quilting this. (But I did spend a few days feeling sorry for myself and wondering if I was EVER going to be able to use my brain again - nasty headache, among other troubles.)
I didn't have a quilt back, so I picked up this beautiful (that I forgot to take a photo before I started quilting) yellow fabric for the back next:
This color is pretty accurate and it makes me think so much of dandelions. I mean, it looks like them and all, but the color. It's just so happy.
I loaded it all up and gave my longarm a little pep talk (those of you who are new here - we've been having some thread breaking tantrums of late) and off I went.
The longarm behaved quite nicely. Only one real thread break and that was near the end of a bobbin, which can sometimes be a problem.
Wanna know what I did?
You're all gonna laugh at me.
I oiled the felt disk that is part of the upper tension assembly.
It needs to be done periodically, but I hadn't done it in a while.
I guess it needs to be done more often than I was doing it.
At least I hope that is all it was.
Anyways, I opted for "the Katie" (swirls) to quilt it, though after I saw a motif another blogger used that starts with a bit of a swirl, but then loops flower petals around the outside, I was like DUH! Oh well. Far too late now.
(But to be honest, swirls are easy for me and with my machine potentially throwing 52 thread tantrums each pass, I wanted something easy.)
417 bobbins later (okay, okay, I think it was 7), I finished! It took a good part of Monday, but it was done!
On to binding - I watched the whole season of "That 90's Show" (I think it was only about 8 episodes?) while hand-stitching it down. It was a good distraction from the highly repetitive task. Not that I mind it, but when in a time crunch, one must have their thoughts guided away from the panic of a deadline.
And then, Thursday afternoon, it was done!
I have no idea what I'm going to do with it. Hindsight tells me I should have made the smaller version, but that just seemed too small for a good couch quilt.
But I think I'm keeping it. Mostly because I love the back?
The rest of my week (I did allow myself some non-challenge sewing just to keep me sane) consisted of some cat hammocks and more work on the Woodland Wonderland quilt.
First, I put together the gnome row:
And THEN! Though the pattern does still have some random construction elements, I started putting together the top! Toby and Freddie took the first watch on quilt layout duty. (Freddie was actually under everything, but I pulled it back because he is much handsomer when you can see him than his under cover lump form.)
There was much rowdying and reassortment of parts at this stage, but thankfully most of it was in larger chunks, so it wasn't difficult to figure out where things went back to.
And now I have most of a top!
Well, with Finn under it. He didn't want to miss out on the modeling duties, but also didn't want to actually help. (He is also handsomer than his lump-under-cover form, but, well...whatever.) This isn't quite the whole top. I mean, if I wanted to quit here, the pattern says that's okay. But the original design has 400,000 flying geese along the right side of the quilt. So I still have to make most of those.
Yet this is very exciting to finally have so much to show. Since the pattern instructions were so willy-nilly, I had a lot of parts and pieces and not much to really feel like I could show as progress. Finally today it came together.
I've also pieced the back for Tiny Stars, with a plan to longarm it tomorrow. I think. I've been selected for jury duty these next two weeks and while I know for sure I don't have to report tomorrow, the remainder of the next two weeks are uncertain. So I'm weighing my Monday options with the thought in the back of my mind that a good part of the next two weeks may not be my own.
(No photos of the back yet - sorry. Maybe next week?)
And with that, I'm off to link up and make 300,000 flying geese!
P.S. There were a lot of half square triangles to trim in the birds quilt, so I made a trimmings monster.
He seems like a friendly little guy, no?