Umbrella Prints Trimmings Competition and Bloggers Quilt Festival

While everyone is busy with Quilt Market, this spring has turned into the spring of challenge quilts. First up for consideration is my quilt for this year’s Umbrella Prints Trimmings Competition, as well as my entry for this year’s Bloggers Quilt Festival in the small quilt category.  Please be sure to visit the Umbrella Prints Pinterest board starting June 1st to pin my quilt, and visit the Bloggers Quilt Festival page to vote for me!

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Umbrella Prints is an Australian textile company, started in 2006, specializing in organic printed fabrics. I really love their fabrics, but I also love their environmentally friendly practices. Their annual trimmings competition, now in its 5th year, is a design challenge that forces you to look at a “waste” product (fabric scraps) with new eyes. Here is how it works, you buy a small packet of “trimmings” and make anything you want.

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It can be mixed media, apparel, home décor…anything. You post a picture of it on-line and send a link to your photo to Umbrella Prints. They pin your photo to their Pinterest board for this year and the voting begins (June 1st). There are prizes for a Judges award as well as a Pinners Choice award. This year they have also added a special Quilters category. How could I not throw my hat in the ring?  I bought a pack of their blue trimmings. To finish out my quilt I paired them with some hand screen printed trimmings from my friend Stefanie at 1606 and some solids in neutral tones with a pop of bright coral. The design was inspired by all the lovely southwest prints that I have seen around this season.  And the triangles were improvisationally pieced.

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For the back I chose a light turquoise blue, and the quilting thread is a pale coral.  The quilting is predominantly stitch in the ditch, but I also added some triangle quilting to make the small triangle trimmings pop a little. And to finish it all out it is bound in the same coral fabric from the front.  After a trip through the wash it crinkled up so nicely. I really love how this quilt turned out. It feels more like art to me than just a baby quilt. Although I’m sure it will be great for snuggling too.

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MQG Challenge Quilt

Being new to Blogging I have some catching up to do, with a recap of recent finishes.  Let’s start with the Modern Quilt Guild Madrona Road Challenge.

The MQG first annual QuiltCon was recently held in Austin Texas.  Michael Miller Fabrics designer Violet Craft released a collection titled Madrona Road in July 2012.  Michael Miller Fabrics donated bundles of the fabric to Modern Quilt Guilds all over the country,  the only stipulation was that you were to use the fabrics supplied, any others from the collection, or any solids you wanted to add to make a quilted item.  Michael Miller Fabrics and Violet Craft would then choose some winners to be displayed at the Michael Miller Booth at QuiltCon.   How Exciting!  The chance to have a quilt displayed at QuiltCon.  I received my fabrics (seven fat quarters) at the December Indy Modern Guild Meeting, and got right to work.

I thought long and hard about what I wanted to do, and came up with the following list of criteria for myself:

  • Because this was “free” fabric I wanted to try something new.
  • I wanted to utilize negative space (i.e. white) to give a nod to the modern aspect of the challenge.
  • I wanted to keep the size reasonable so I could meet the January 31st deadline.

With all that in mind I decided on a Dresden Plate style quilt.  I have never tried a Dresden pattern before, so this would be something new for me, and I had seen some lovelies while scavenging the internet for inspiration.  But Dresden quilts are so traditional, and I wanted to keep this quilt modern, so I decided on this cog style circle.  The circles, or plates, came together easily with the use of a Dresden acrylic template from JoAnns.

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From there I decided to set in each circle instead of the traditional applique.  I experimented with different layouts and finally settled on this one.

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Each plate is on a white background panel.  I especially loved the rounded corners.  For the back I used the remainder of the fat quartes and supplemented with a bright pop of orange from the Madrona Road collection. I quilted it in a horizontal zig-zag pattern in white with a few lines of yellow and blue thrown in.  Here’s the final product.  With my lovely model Calvin.

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Hope you enjoy!  And a big Thank you to Michael Miller, Violet Craft, and the Modern Quilt Guild.