I love a good challenge to push me beyond my comfort zone as a way to try new things. Sometimes I'm less than enthusiastic about a challenge, but I forge ahead anyway as a way to try something new and maybe experiment with something I otherwise wouldn't have. That way, if it doesn't come out the way I want, I can just blame the challenge.
I loved attending the inaugural QuiltCon in Austin a few years back and I was super bummed that I had class the weekend of QuiltCon this year. That's why when I knew I could attend QuiltCon Pasadena in 2016, I booked immediately. I've been lucky enough to have quilts hanging in both shows to date, but with school, I haven't exactly had as much time to quilt these past few years. That meant I had a lack of quilts to submit to QuiltCon. That in and of itself was enough motivation to enter the Michael Miller QuiltCon challenge this year.
I will admit, at first the metallic dot fabrics did absolutely nothing for me. I've never really been one to use fabric with dots or metallics, so combining them wasn't exactly motivating for me. At the same time, I had been toying with the idea of framing up flying geese blocks and combining them in some way.
Originally I thought about stacking the geese at the bottom of the quilt and arranging them in various heights. Because I made as many geese as I could with the fat eighths provided, I had a ton of geese that allowed me to play with different layouts. One night as I was getting ready for bed, about two nights after I finished all of the geese, which are paper pieced of course, I thought about doing a design where the geese were in the center of the quilt and they radiated out from the center. After playing around a little, this design is what I came up with.
I love Cotton Couture solids, so it was a pleasure working with them with this quilt. I pulled a mint solid from my stash that I have been obsessed over to use as the background. Since I was going out of my comfort zone, I figured I'd pull a different color palette for me. I pulled some solids including mango, periwinkle, watermelon and apricot to go with the mint. Normally I wouldn't pair these colors together, but hey, this is a challenge after all.
And of course, because I can't do anything easy, I decided to matchstick quilt this bad boy ONE WEEK before the deadline to submit this to QuiltCon. Smart, huh? Fortunately my guide locks came in for my longarm and I was able to matchstick quilt this using a light green thread, which matched the mint fabric better than the mint thread I had (go figure). I quilted it in one day during a marathon seven hour quilting session while watching some football. Let's just say my back was killing me after I was done, but many it was so worth it.
I bound it with the same mint solid fabric because I wanted the flying geese to be the focal point. I didn't want the binding to be distracting.
One of the things I love about this quilt and the quilting on it is how the matchstick quilting toned down the harshness of the black fabric and really helped blend it all together. I'm really happy with how this quilt came out and while I'm excited to do more matchstick quilting in the future with my new channel locks, I'm not about to do a marathon quilting session again any time soon.
Size: 50" x 50"
Fabrics: Michael Miller Glitz and Cotton Couture
Thread: Pieced with Aurifil 50wt 2024 and quilted with Super Threads So Fine! 50wt Barely Green (9 bobbin's worth!)
Batting: Quilter's Dream Orient