MQG 2015 Riley Blake fabric challenge

A few months ago, the Modern Quilt Guild sent out an email announcing its latest fabric challenge with Riley Blake fabric.  All you had to do was sign up and they’d mail you the fabric and then you’d make something.  Free fabric in the mail?  Yes, please!  I liked the fabric that was posted so I signed up and received the fabric in February.  It came with the following rules:

-Make something fantastic that is quilted.

-Make something you have never done before.

-Challenge yourself to learn something new.

-Use only Riley Blake “The Cottage Garden” fabrics (note: evidently there are pinks in the line – we only got the greens and greys) and coordinating Riley Blake basics and solids.

The fabrics are greens and greys and it was suggested that you use more green and grey solids.  I kind of like the fabric – though I never would have dreamed of using them all together! – but thought they screamed out for yellow accompaniment.

I focused mostly on the “learn something new” rule and am happy to report that I learned three things:

1. I paper pieced for the first time ever.

2. I sewed curves for the first time ever.

3. I tried a new method of binding.  (Funny story – I was sitting in my quilt guild meeting one afternoon listening to everyone talk about “double fold” and “single fold” bindings.  I thought “WTF are those?!” Turns out there is a way to bind one’s quilt so the binding is super tight and small, instead of the wonky large method I’ve been using.  A real “Duh!” moment for me!”

4. As an added bonus, I worked on my quilting skills and tried to make a one-inch grid.  It’s easy for the quilting to come out nice when it’s such a small block!

I bought Red Pepper Quilt’s Color Wheel Block and went to town.  Her instructions were great and I see why people are such fans of paper piecing – perfectly matching seams!  I wasn’t crazy about the waste of paper so I’m not sure if I’d do another paper piecing project in a hurry.  And sewing curves?  Oi.  It turned out ok, but it was not easy.  I must have looked at about 10 different methods online but it was still challenging (or maybe my cutting wasn’t so accurate?).  And my binding?  A little messy.  But this was a fun project!  And I tried out some new skills!  Isn’t that what it was all about? :-)

MQG Riley Blake 2015 fabric challenge

MQG Riley Blake 2015 fabric challenge

Look at that little bird in the lower right inner circle – so cute!  I actually managed to fussy cut it and remember which way to orient it when I put the circles together!

MQG Riley Blake 2015 fabric challenge

I totally dig the pops of yellow!

MQG Riley Blake 2015 fabric challenge

My binding needs some work but I for sure like this method better than what I’ve been doing – it’s a much neater/cleaner finish.

MQG Riley Blake 2015 fabric challenge

All in all, I’d say this challenge was a raving success!  I really enjoyed stretching myself and playing with fabrics that I’m not sure I would have otherwise bought.  I’m hanging this one on my wall :-)

I

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