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Wednesday, August 5, 2015

2015 MQG Riley Blake Fabric Challenge Complete!

I've been agonizing over this project for quite a few months now.  I find fabric challenges to be very, well, challenging, because it's never a collection of fabric I would have purchased on my own. (Not to mean they aren't awesome!)  Check out the beautiful bundle of fabrics generously provided by Riley Blake at no cost to me through the Modern Quilt Guild:

 These prints are from the Cottage Garden Collection designed by the Quilted Fish for Riley Blake Designs.

The rules were simple: make something quilted using the Cottage Garden Collection and matching Riley Blake solids/blenders, and try something new.  Being a brand new quilter, it wasn't very difficult to challenge myself for this project. 

I got to see Nancy Zieman in person at the Original Sewing and Quilting Expo in March of this year, so I picked up her Dresden templates after being wowed by her fabulous Dresden quilts.

The bundle I received consisted of fat eights, and I was determined to only purchase solids and blenders, so I had to play with Nancy's template to figure out the best way to construct the blades of the plate.  It's a flexible plastic template, so you mark the shapes with a pen, then cut them out, or you risk cutting your template with a rotary cutter.

My hubby helped me lay out the blades in a "random" pattern.  He's so over-analytical!

I ordered the solids and blenders from the Loopy Ewe.  My experience with them was great, and I really love these Riley Blake colors. 

I decided to hand embroider the center circle.  Good thing the Tampa Bay Lightning made it to the Stanley cup Final, because it gave me plenty of couch time to get this all stitched up. 

Here's the completed embroidery.  I found the sparkly cotton floss at the same Expo back in March.  It sure does stitch up pretty, but it's a bit of a hassle to deal with due to the metallic filament that runs the entire length of the floss. 

Here's my Dresden, ready to stitch down!  You can't really appreciate it in any of the photos, but the background blender I chose is called Snowshade from Riley Blake.  I regret not buying more of it when I did! 
I'm not the most adept at machine sewing yet, so that in and of itself is a challenge to me.  I even managed to make my machine mad at me by sewing through a pin! 
In the end, I think it turned out okay.  I chose the offset design after seeing a similar quilt made by Nicole Calver in Love Patchwork & Quilting magazine.  I ended up getting very frustrated with this quilt in the end due to my less-than-stellar machine piecing skills.  I am, however, rather proud of my handwork on this mini. 
What do you think?  Do you participate in fabric challenges?  Let me know!  Until next time, God Bless!

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