Wednesday, November 16, 2016

Everything Old is New Again Finale: Spinning Stars

It's hard to believe that the Modern Quilts Unlimited "Everything Old is New Again" challenge series is wrapping up this month.  Since August 2015, I, along with several other fearless quilters, have been participating in the monthly block challenges of adding our own modern twist to traditional quilt blocks using Michael Miller fabrics.  It's been a lot of fun following the monthly challenges and seeing everyone's unique adaptation of these classic blocks:  flying geese, snail's trail, bow tie, rail fence and more!

And now we come to the final challenge of combining all 12 of our blocks into a finished quilt.  Luckily we were given 4 months to complete this final phase of the challenge series!!  I did a few design mock ups in Electric Quilt 7 before arriving at this spinning design below.        
From Blocks to Mock Up
With a design in mind, the piecing went fairly quickly!  When I first began this challenge series, I purchased several prints along with matching solids from the Cotton Couture collection.  I incorporated a few swatches of the chevron print into two of the blocks as well as the spinning borders, but I never used any of the coordinating circle/bubble print into my blocks or quilt top.  It made for a lovely backing piece which was filled in with some remaining yardage of coordinating solids.
Quilt Back
And soon it was time to incorporate some beautiful, modern quilted texture.  I gathered a collection of matching Aurifil 50-weight threads and tackled one color each day, filling in the various designs with loop de loops, pebbles, c-curves and echoed lines.  I didn't have a master plan for the quilting but improvised as I went from block to block.  Some blocks immediately inspired a quilting design and so I would start there and skip those blocks that did not immediately speak to me.  I often find the free motion quilting process to be very meditative.  So as I would quilt one block, it would spark ideas and inspiration for the other more elusive blocks.  
Transforming My Blocks with Quilted Textures
All 12 Blocks Quilted
Day by day, my blocks were filling in with quilted texture and it was time to tackle the spinning borders, especially that massive marine background areas!!  Unfortunately I started to experience some glitches with frequent skipped stitches.  After doing my usual trouble shooting of changing needles, reloading the top thread and bobbins, I sent my machine off to the technician.  They called me back later that day and suggested that I switch from Topstitch to Microtex needles.  They worked a bit better, but still left me with a few skipped stitches here and there.  Finally I switched to a different color spool of Aurifil thread and had smooth sailing ahead!!  So two of the quadrants are stitched in a darker thread and the other two are in a slightly lighter thread...which I will deem a design opportunity as it adds interest to my quilt!!
Gotta Love All That Texture!!
Despite these technical glitches, I still managed to finish the quilting and binding a full week ahead of the 11/15 deadline!!  In fact, it made its public debut during my "Challenge Yourself" lecture/trunk show at the 11/8 Mt. Tam Quilt Guild meeting!!

I am so proud of this quilt and have greatly enjoyed the year and a half journey of creating it!!  I hope you will consider casting your vote for it to win the finished quilt grand prize package that includes:  a new BabyLock Lyric sewing machine, Michael Miller 1/2 yard fabric bundles for 12 months, Superior Threads certificate, Mountain Mist batting certificate, Modern Quilts Unlimited Gift Basket with a grand Total Prize valued over $4,000!!  Online voting will continue through November 30th and requires a Facebook account.

Please share with family & friends and remember that every vote counts!!  
"Spinning Stars," Finished Size 72" x 72"

2 comments:

  1. Replies
    1. Thank you...I am proud of the finished quilt!! The process was a lot of fun and a great learning experience.

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