Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Michael Miller Challenge Progress

The Modern Quilt Guild is currently hosting a fabric challenge, sponsored by Michael Miller. It's a rather clever concept for the fabric company. Each person gets a packet of six fat eighths and are only allowed to use solids or other Michael Miller fabrics. So of course Michael Miller ends up selling a lot of fabrics because you can't do too much with only six fat eighths. :)

Courtesy of MQG

This is the first challenge I've ever done. The MQG also hosted a Riley Blake challenge in the fall/winter, but the fabrics were completely uncoordinated to my eye, and I was too intimidated. But this time all the fabrics are from one line and share like colors, which makes things easier for a challenge newbie like me.

I've also never made a "modern" quilt, and I've made almost nothing without a pattern. I've done one or two variations on patterns, but that is it. So my first idea was to make an animal, but in a geometric shape. I have a good collection of clipart so I picked one I liked and tried to map it out in half square triangles.
I gave up before I got too far on this guy.

This is supposed to be a cool modern cat. Can't you tell?

This did not work at all. Really what I was going for was exactly this quilt at Quilt Market:

But I didn't see this pic until after! Also it takes far more creativity than I have right now. Somehow in this process I was randomly digging through my stash and discovered a small monochromatic jelly roll that I won in my guild's December raffle. I decided to make a background of diamonds from the jelly roll.

My original plan was to replace a few random diamonds with colored diamonds, but I just didn't get around to it. Given that the diamonds are made by strip piecing, it would not have been a super easy substitution.

So then I clicked through my clipart collection and found this little kitty.

The bold lines and limited palate make it a perfect candidate for fusible web applique. I colored it in to approximate the challenge fabrics and here is what I got:

Next step: making it in real life!

In case you haven't heard, don't buy Joann's jelly rolls. This fabric feels like burlap!
One thing I didn't realize was how long and thin my final product would be. I had two strips of each shade and I should have layered them vertically instead of adding them to each other horizontally. But this is improv! We are going with the flow!

Background ready to go!
Here is kitty enjoying her monochrome home. My boyfriend said I should name it "catnip" since she is all psychedelic. We'll see.

And if yout are wondering why kitty is backwards...because I forgot you have to reverse the pattern for fusible web!
Then I let it sit for a while. I originally wanted to do a flower garden with the challenge fabrics, then I though maybe some fireworks and just fun random shapes. As chance would have it, I also won a cricut die cutter at my guild raffle, so I decided this was the time to give it a whirl.

I tried some random configurations before getting to this:

I was thinking of "Color of the Wind" in Pocahontas. Like this!

And I had so much fun with the die cutter, and my boyfriend said make it a swirl, so what the heck!

Much more busy :)

Pro tip: peel the backing paper off BEFORE putting all your little pieces perfectly into position. It took me a while to get these all ready for ironing.

And of course Miss Pepper had to help during the trimming. She literally jumped onto the sewing table and sprawled out like this as I was trying to trim!

Even throwing fabric over her head would not convince her to move. I finally distracted her with a bouncy ball.

Aaaaand all trimmed up! I'm not sure if it's "modern" enough, but I like how it turned out and it was a fun excuse to use some of my new toys. Now to figure out how to quilt it...


  1. This is cute! I like how it turned out. Pita

  2. This turned out really great! I would definitely call this modern. I like to color palette you used for the cat.