Quilt Guild Challenge Quilt

I have joined a local quilt guild and they announced the theme and rules for their annual challenge quilt a few months ago. I’ve had it on my mind but was diverted by house projects and then the month of December. The quilts are due at the March meeting, so I thought I should get moving on my idea. I have not been feeling well, but the idea of a new project perked me up.

The title of the challenge is Express Yourself and must contain words. It can be any shape measuring from  12″ – 30″on a side. I had several ideas, but as I was looking through the January seed catalogs, the idea of seed packets popped in my head. This is the first year in forever that we are planning a vegetable garden! Another design source for the idea may have come from The Hudson Valley Seed Library. Every year they sell lovely collectible seed packets designed by artists. There are a variety of interesting techniques I can incorporate into this idea, fusing, beading, hand drawing or rubber stamping to name a few. I pulled out some vegetable, fruit and floral fabrics that I thought might work. The unbleached fabric they are sitting on will be the packet base.

Seed packet fabric choices

The standard size of a seed packet is 3.5″ x 4.5″. I cut a piece of paper to see if that was a feasible size to make mine. I have a selection of alphabet stamps and wanted to make sure that the letters would be the right size for the envelope – and they are. Then I looked through my fusing fabrics – I have quite a selection because every teacher I’ve taken a class with likes a different brand! I picked out the one I like the best (with no markings, I’m not sure what I’m using) and ironed it on the sunflower fabric. Cutting out fused fabric is going to be fun, not to mention it’s a quiet, stress free project for me to do when I’m feeling poorly. My plan is to make several seed packets and then determine what they should be fused to….

Sunflower seeds

I continue to have problems with the quilt I’m trying to get done for the show. I don’t like to complain, but it’s been one thing after the other. The worst problem has been trying to get the tension correct for the free motion quilting. My Bernina store won’t do private lessons, so I’m on my own here. I finally googled machine-quilting-tension and read a bunch of blog posts on the topic. Many suggested putting the top tension at 0, and leaving the feed dogs up while using the slide-y thing. That has helped, though I don’t understand why this would make a difference!

Problem quilting

I thought I was buzzing along with the background quilting the other day, but then I decided that the variegated thread I was using “showed” too much. The “star” of the show, should be the stars, not my (poor) quilting. In the front of the picture is the variegated thread and in back you can see what I did with white, which looks like shadows rather than being so prominent. So I ripped out the offending thread. I cannot tell you how much I have ripped out. Now I think my machine doesn’t like the white thread. {:-0} I was tying in ends yesterday and noticed a lot of skipped and gobby areas on the back…. So I pulled out that section and am heading to the quilt store when I post this to look for some other brands of white thread. At this rate, this quilt may not be done for this years’ show!

2 thoughts on “Quilt Guild Challenge Quilt

  1. What a lovely quilt! Sorry to hear about the quilting-it’s so annoying to turn a quilt over and then see the bobbin thread globbing up. I hope that you find just the right thread.


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