Michael Miller Challenge

I participated in the Modern Quilt Guild’s Michael Miller Fabric Challenge this year. We were supplied with a stack of approximate fat eighths (9″x22″ pieces of fabrics) of a line of fabrics manufactured by Michael Miller. We had to use at least one of the fabrics in our piece, and could add any other Michael Miller prints or solids that we wanted. I added the green, white, and gray fabrics, and used every piece of the supplied fabrics that I could. I chose to test my Star Puzzle pattern (more on that soon), and see what would happen when the background fabrics were varied. Here is what the piece looked like when I was almost finished piecing the blocks. I ultimately took the green corners out and replaced them with the gray background so they couldn’t pull as much focus.



I didn’t have quite enough of one of the fabrics (my piece was smaller than a fat eighth), so I had to choose where it went in the pattern carefully so that my camouflage piecing wouldn’t be as obvious. I feel like I did a pretty good job of that.



Then I quilted it very heavily, using my current favorite background filler. It’s a combination of McTavishing, headbands, and feathers, and I found the idea originally at LuAnn Kessi‘s Pinterest board last summer. It’s fast and fun and not boring at all like some fillers can be.



I freehanded the 8-pointed flowers just paying attention to the triangles they were sitting in, and it was a lot easier than I thought it would be. So add that to my toolbox! Yay!



As (almost) always, I matched the top thread to the bottom thread, so the quilting is very visible (for better or for worse) on the back. This one turned out really cool, I think.




I didn’t end up winning the challenge, but I got a really funky 36″ baby quilt out of it, I think. And I got to test my pattern, so that’s great too. Now I just need to finish up the original quilt using this pattern so I can show that to you!

Finished Southwest Merry-Go-Round!

This is my first finish from my list in the Q3 Finish-Along!


In  2007, I went to the AQS show in Nashville with a friend, and found a stack of fabrics in Southwestern colors that made me happy. As I mentioned in this post, the fabrics sat for over 2 years until Jerry gave me Cozy Modern Quilts by Kim Schaefer for Christmas. I made the quilt top in 2010, and then *that* sat for 2 years.


While we were in the rental house after the fire I didn’t have a design wall — and I had a HUGE floor on which to baste big quilts — so I made a backing for it and basted it and quilted about half of it. I used three different filler patterns that I had found in Angela Walter’s first book, Then we moved back in over here and it got buried again. My style and skill level of free-motion quilting has improved a lot in two years, but I decided to just finish it anyway. The scale of my quilting has also changed and spaced to be more regular, but I guess it’s not really noticeable to anyone other than me. And the quilt is still soft and warm, and that’s the point anyway.


So now it’s done!







I’m very pleased with how it turned out. At 78″ square, it’s too large to hang up anywhere. But the colors in the quilt match the colors in our family room pretty exactly, so that’s where it will live. Hopefully it will serve us well as a sofa quilt and will sit *finished* for a lot longer than it ever sat unfinished.


The green on the back is a hand-dyed Kona cotton in the Procion color “Avocado.” I was originally going to use it for something else until I realized it was perfect for this quilt. I pieced the back because spending money on fabric two years ago when we were rebuilding our house wasn’t really prudent, and I love the effect. This may have been the first backing I pieced of different fabrics — now it’s rare for me NOT to do that.