Shortly before Worldwide Quilting Day (Saturday, March 16th), Fat Quarter Shop announced a quilt challenge. They provided a free pattern and a March 31st deadline.
It was one of the between weeks for the Project Quilting challenges, so I decided to give it a try. (But let's be honest here...I probably would have made it even if it was the same week...)
The pattern didn't look all that hard, but I decided to make it harder. There are actually two sizes in the pattern, a lap quilt and a mini. But the mini finishes at about 22x26 and that just doesn't seem all that small. (In the blog post, they call it "wall-hanging" size, but I believe the pattern, if you download, calls it "lap" and "mini".) Let's make it half that size.
(You all know I'm crazy, so whatever.)
First, I decided I'd make just one star. I needed five, but if I can't pull off ONE 2" finished eight-pointed star, there's no point in chopping up harmless fabric for the rest of the project.
Well that's tiny. But after making the Very Vintage Christmas blocks, these aren't TOO scary.
And thanks to my quilty friend Dale, I know I can use glue instead of pins to hold things together. So it's coming along nicely right now. I may have a skim of glue on my fingertips, but the pieces are going where they should...and staying there!
But it was at this point that I stopped and went WHAT? I was making my flying geese using the no-waste method (straying from the pattern instructions because I HATE lost corners...because I can't just throw them away...) and realized I'd made them backwards. I sure hoped this wasn't an indication of how things would go from here out.
Thankfully it was not. And due to cropping, this star doesn't look quite as tiny as it really is. But it is tiny - those marks on the cutting mat it is sitting atop are 1" squares. And I'm pretty dang proud of those points. (All of them in all of the stars, actually!)
Next up, I needed to decide on fabrics for the remaining stars. And sew them. I did a bit more assembly line sewing at this point, knowing my calculations for half-size stars were correct.
Such a pretty rainbow! I was so tempted to use a red or pink, but knew the quilt had a big heart in it and wanted that to be one of those colors.
And then I had to decide on the heart color. That proved more difficult than I thought it would be. Probably in part because of the fabric I'd chosen for the star backgrounds. I should probably have chosen all the fabrics at once because that background fabric in the stars threw the rest of my choices for a bit of a loop...
I liked the brighter pink, but left this lying out and went to bed. It was dark out and I was struggling to decide.
In the morning, digging through my stash for a background for the heart is what finally made the decision...
...I kinda knew this fabric was in my stash, but did Thimbleberries REALLY make something in such bright colors? The brighter pink in the pinwheel/lollipops is closer in color to the more muted pink in the heart audition photo above, so it's not bright-bright, but definitely brighter than anything else I've seen them produce. Then again...it IS 12 years old...
But the match was way too perfect to NOT use it, so the lighter of the pinks was chosen.
I cut and carefully pieced everything else, knowing with something this small, seam allowances were important. I even measured some pieces after "lost corner" removal to be sure.
But it wasn't enough...
...I neglected to take a before photo, but you can see on the top left and bottom right that there are little slivers of background fabric added on. Where they don't technically go. Because my row of stars was about 1/2" longer than the heart. I chalked that up to seam allowances, but saw another project on Instagram the other day, hers being a larger size than mine, with the same problem. So whatever the reason, I'm not alone.
I thought about leaving it this way, but that grey is supposed to be the reverse of the star ribbon, wrapping around the heart-ish. And no way does that look right. Also, this is a contest. Technique counts.
So, I removed the offending pieces and cut the strip that was to have a grey triangle inserted and cut the square-to-become-a-triangle accordingly. And fixed it. I don't think anyone will be the wiser...
It looks better to my eye, too.
The original pattern calls for two borders, I decided to do just one.
And for reference, I've included a quarter on that last star. Yes, the center of the star is just a hair larger than a quarter. Maybe I'm crazy. Probably. (Earlier today, I claimed to be a ninja. You just never know what you're gonna get...)
Next up was just how to quilt this. It's too small to really want to do it on my longarm and I'm not very good at free motion on my little machine, so it was going to have to be something simple. But really, there's not a lot of room for anything fancy, so I stitched some in the ditch and then did some echo quilting.
And then, because I was worried that grey was too dark, I decided to add more by using it for binding.
It took very little time to sew down the binding, as the quilt finished about 13x10.5". It wasn't even that hard to work around the multitude of cats that are always available to help me!
And there you have it! My Fat Quarter Shop challenge quilt: "Piece, Love and Quilting." I've entered it into the contest (there are some pretty great prizes), but wanted to hold off posting here for a bit...you know, tell you what I'm up to, but give myself a good head start...
Since this and the PQ challenges have been finished, I haven't done a lot. I'm working (slowly) on finishing the binding on the donation baby quilts and did pull fabric and make the first (test) block for one of the friend baby quilts, but that photo is still on my phone and I'm too lazy to go get it.
I did find that I don't have enough of the stash-selected background fabric for the baby quilt (after cutting into it heavily) and, as I purchased it about three years ago, I haven't been able to find more. But...the original quilt flipped some of the blocks to use the non-background fabrics as background, so unless I can find more before I finish the 12 blocks I have background fabric for, I'll be doing the same. (If you make more, it looks right...right?)
The hubby took this week off work, though, so I'm not sure how much I'll get accomplished. Though he thinks he expects little of me, he expects more of me when he's here than when he isn't. And since it IS his birthday today, I suppose I can roll with his expectations this week.