Monday, October 8, 2012

BAMQG Whole Cloth Quilt Challenge

Colorful zig zag stitching radiating from the center
This past Saturday was BAMQG meeting day--and the deadline for completing the Aurofil Whole Cloth Quilt Challenge.  Up until Wednesday morning, I hadn't a single stitch, let alone selected fabrics, threads or designs...eeeeek!  But I woke up with a vision of a quilted color wheel combining only 6 threads to create zig zag rays of primary, secondary and tertiary colors.  Before I lost the vision, I drafted up a quick sketch to guide me, then went to the studio to make a sandwich of Kona charcoal grey solid for the front of the quilt and a bright color wheel printed fabric for the backing.  

painter's tape to mark arcs and stitching lines
To create the evenly spaced zig zags, I first created a freezer paper circle template, then used 1" painter's tape to mark 12 evenly spaced arcs.  On the circle template, I jotted down which thread color combination would fill each arc.  To create the same zig zag pattern in each of the arcs, I marked dots along the inside edges of tape that were then be connected using my walking foot.  For the first few arcs, I would measure out and mark the dots to match the first arc.  But then realized I could reuse the tape segments containing the original marks, which saved quite a bit of time and minimized the chance of accidentally marking the fabric with the permanent sharpie marker.  It was easy to eyeball the first few connecting lines, but as I worked my out from the center circle, the lines grew longer and more difficult to stitch straight lines.  So I used smaller lengths of painter's tape to create a straight edge to serve as a guide for my walking foot.  

pop of color in the center
Once each arc had its master zig zag stitched, I then stitched three to four parallel zig zags approximately ~1/4 apart to create the color saturation to pop.  In the primary and secondary arcs, I could use the same thread for all 5 rows of stitching.  But in the teriary arcs, I alternated primary and secondary colored thread to achieve a blended effect...ie Red, Violet, Red, Violet to achieve Red-Violet. Even though this process required me to swtich out threads/bobbins, it actually went fairly quickly!  

I found a great rainbow ombre fabric that was already blended on the bias which really added a pop to the binding!  I kept going back and forth over the center space, and whether to leave the center as is or add something special.  I opted to add one more burst of color by appliqueing a small circle of backing fabric, while still maintaining a ring of unstitched negative space before the zig zag stitching began.

Finished project--unfortunately my photo just doesn't capture all the colorful stitching, but boy does that binding pop!

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