2017 Michael Miller Fabric Challenge: Lime Light, Star Bright

Over this past summer, I jumped at the chance to sign up for the 2017 Michael Miller Fabric Challenge for QuiltCon2017.  Michael Miller provided limited quantities of Luxe fabric challenge bundles that included one print and one solid (each measuring 18"x36").  Colors and combinations were randomly distributed, so you had to wait to see which fabrics you received before planning.  I was pretty excited to get both the midnight tumbling blocks print and matching midnight solid.  While we were welcome to use as many of the Luxe collection fabrics in our designs, we were limited to add only one coordinating solid (backing and binding could be any Michael Miller print or solid).  

I wanted to create a modern mandala design but wasn't 100% confident in my construction plan, so I opted to play it safe and do a mock up using fabrics from my stash.  After completing the "Hot Pink Prototype,"  I made a few notes to fine-tune the design/process and was now ready to dive into the challenge bundle.  For my coordinating solid selection, I decided to go bold and purchased two yards of Michael Miller's Cotton Couture in Lime.  

This project was at the top of my list for our guild's Fall In-Town Retreat.  I quietly began working on my modern mandala as my fellow guild members watched with curiosity.  As my mandala started to bloom and grow, they became more and more interested in its progress.  As I neared the finish line, I started to run very low on the challenge fabrics, and worried that I would not have enough to complete my mandala design.  I was very careful and thankfully managed to have just enough fabric (with just an inch or two remaining!!)  

Towards the end of Day 2, my mandala design was completely pieced and assembled, resulting in an exploding star.  The tumbling blocks print adds such sparkle to this starry design!!     
Modern Mandala Quilt Top
When it came time to transform my quilt top with quilted texture, I did lots of doodling--I mean auditioning!  I placed a sheet of acrylic plastic over various sections of the quilt and used my white board dry erase marker to explore various free motion quilted motifs.  I used a matching Aurifil 50 weight thread to stitch different combinations of loop de loops and straight lines into each ring of the mandala.
Design Doodles
As you can see in the detail shot below...I had a lot of fun with the quilting!!
Detail of Quilting
Starry Explosion
I love the repetitive nature of mandala designs:  very meditative.  I simply started towards the center and worked my way around each level of the mandala stitching the same motif eight times before moving out to the next level.  Most of the quilting was completed in just one day with just the corners and center star left to tackle the next day.

I opted to purchase more of the tumbling blocks print to use in the binding.  I found a modern zig zag print in white and navy blue for my quilt back.

"Star light, star bright,
The first star I see tonight;
I wish I may, I wish I might,
Have the wish I wish tonight."

And now I will have to wait a few weeks to see if my wish comes true:  for my modern mandala to get juried into QuiltCon East!
"Lime Light, Star Bright" finishes 31" x 31"


  1. Great job! Really nice work. I will keep my fingers crossed for you!

    1. Thanks Jackie...I have a lot of fun working on mandala designs! Let's hope the QuiltCon jury members appreciate the detail and design as well!

  2. Replies
    1. Thanks! I really love watching these mandala designs blossom and explode! They are very addicting and I hope to make more in the near future!

  3. Love you use of the challenge fabric, Mel!

    1. Thanks Paige--the tumbling blocks print really helps the starry mandala to sparkle and shine!


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