fabric challenge

My quilting guild participated in a fabric challenge over the summer (yes, I am waaaay late in both making the quilt and posting about it). I’d never done one before but I was excited about the prospect of getting free fabric and seeing what I could come up with.  I have to confess that when the fabric came in, I was a little underwhelmed.  The fabrics were a lot lighter (ie more pastel-y) than those that I usually use and there were also some very clear patterns in the fabric that I was nervous about chopping up. We received 1/8 yard of five fabrics so there wasn’t a lot to work with. I ended up making a fairly simple quilt.  The hardest part was figuring out the size of the half-square triangle stars so that, finished, they’d be 5″ blocks.  Quilt math can be tricky!  The grey stars were my test ones so they’re a little off.
Michael Miller fabric challenge

The fabric grew on me as I worked with it, especially the two orange-y fabrics.  I kind of love the back of the quilt more than the front (you can see the fabric patterns a little more clearly here too) but on the whole, I’m a little ambivalent about the quilt.  It’s going to Project Linus so maybe there’s a kid out there who’s going to love it?  I hope so!

Michael Miller fabric challenge

The most exciting part of the quilt was that in the middle of working on it, I got a walking foot for my sewing machine!  I’ve been using my regular sewing foot for all my quilting and it’s been a bit of a bear – uneven stitches, puckering, fabric pulls and other problems.  I could never understand how other quilters get their quilting to look so perfect on a regular machine and thought it had something to do with my basting process.  I’ve only figured out how to quilt straight lines with the walking foot, but it was an absolute dream to work with!  While I have yet to master quilting in a straight line, you can see in the close-ups my even stitches and pucker-free quilting.

Michael Miller fabric challenge

I even used the walking foot on the binding and it was the first binding I’ve sewn where I wasn’t wrestling with my quilt the entire time!

Michael Miller fabric challenge

The walking foot is a bit of a game changer – I totally feel like I’ve cracked the door open to the top secret, members only, secret quilting club just a tiny bit :-)

Michael Miller fabric challenge

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