Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Central Florida MQG Riley Blake Challenge Reveal!

So I didn't make it back here this weekend, but that shouldn't be a huge shock! LOL After working over 60 hours last week, and Zach starting a new job, we got hit by the inevitable sinus infection going around. Most of the weekend was spent alternating DayQuil and NyQuil and generally lounging in our PJs. Not what we intended, but was worth it to feel much better this week! But that's not what you are here for... On to the good stuff!

At the January meeting of the Central Florida Modern Quilt Guild our group revealed the results of the Riley Blake Fabric Challenge. If you have not heard about it, you can read up on the MQG website HERE. The basics were that each member was given 6 fat eights of fabric from Riley Blake and we had to incorporate them into any quilted project. We were permitted to add additional Riley Blake prints, or any other solid fabric.

Let me just start by saying that this ended up being a HUGE challenge for me. What I thought would be a fun week-long project turned into a month of designing struggles, and then a rushed 2 day job. Not ideal, but very educational for me. One thing I did recognize in my quilting style is that if I don't have the right combination of fabric in front of me I tend to hit a bit of a design 'wall' (pun intended). Regardless, I did end up finishing on time, so that's a success in my book! Now, onto the show!
The Riley Blake prints we were each given to start with. 
 I wish you could all see this first quilt in person. Not only is the design absolutely striking, but the quilting on it is AMAZING! Each round of circles is quilted in a different pattern, and the all over 'snails trail' in the background is the perfect addition! This is my free motion quilting inspiration for the year. I plan to refer back to it often to remind myself of what is really possible if I would just practice! (okay, well I may be expecting a little much of myself, but it's good to have goals, right?)
Linda H. from the blog Flourishing Palms
This is my quilt, titled Accidents Happen. It's not my favorite, but there is a bit of a story behind it that I want to share. I started the project doing some wavy pieced blocks in the hopes of using the array of colors to my advantage. I sketched it all out and everything! After finishing a few blocks, and adding the word 'relax' to run along the bottom I stood back to take a look and hated it. No bueno. It didn't give the rainbow effect I was going for and instead just looked like a serious hot mess! What's a quilter to do but start over of course. At this point I was running very low on the fabrics that were supplied, time to finish, and patience with myself. I decided to throw caution to the wind and just start cutting what was left of the Riley Blake fabric into one inch strips. Sometimes that's all it takes to get the juices flowing. I realized that planning is not my strong suit and really improv is the way to go for me! I finished the blocks and then decided that the RELAX at the bottom needed to stay. Relax is my word of the year for 2014. I tend to get overly anxious and stressed (yes, about everything) and I'm hoping keeping the quilt on the back of my couch will be a good reminder to just relax and let things be! One can hope, right? I free motion quilted this with what I like to call paint splatter shapes. My thought was it looked like a water balloon was thrown at a window and shattered. In other words, Accidents Happen! All in all it was fun to quilt, and gave me a really great sense of accomplishment when I finished it on time. Here's to many more (and less frantic) finishes in 2014!

Somehow this one got turned around, but I WILL find a picture of the elephants on 
the other side. Beautiful use of the colors and fantastic straight line quilting. 

This one I believe was titled The Falls. Again, the picture does not do this justice. 
The falls of water were accented by beautiful blue 'water' stitching and bubble 
quilting where the bowl was overflowing at the bottom. So creative!!

I've already decided to steal this quilt to hang on my sewing room wall. 
I'm not sure how, or when, or where, but I NEED THIS! Ha!

This one I absolutely love! I really love the Gracie Girl (obsessed with this line) she 
added and the improv quilting that she did herself! Those circles are perfection!

This is a different spin on the ever popular chevron quilt that I am dying to try. It's hard to see in the picture but she quilted all the white space and left the chevrons un-quilted giving it a really amazing 3D look.

Yes another project I need to make, a new tote! This just screams 
Florida to me and I love that you can just make out the whirligig blocks in there. 
CFMQG is an orange and green group for sure! :) 

Okay, scroll down and really look at this one and then come back up here. Done? Okay then, you now know how totally fan-freaking-tastic this quilt is! See those hexagons, they are actually 6 slices a piece all sewn up together. See the tumbling blocks on the top... those are sliced hexies as well! And the quilting...  I could probably write an essay on this, but I think you get the idea that Beth is a seriously amazing quilter. 

This quilt is another one I wish you could see up close. She started with the D9 blocks and then planned ahead for being on the road for the holidays and hand quilted in all those squares (in the car). I think the form of hand quilting with thick colorful thread is often referred to as Big Stitch. If you haven't read much about it there is a good overview over on AMH's blog HERE

This one hands down wins the Instagram award! I had previously posted a number of these quilts in my Instagram feed and this currently has the most likes (I'm over here: http://instagram.com/carly__ann on the web in case you don't have an Instagram compatible smart phone). These birds were super cute, and although it doesn't show up perfectly in the photo there are also birds quilted into the background. This is another one I wish I had a picture of the back as there are three little birdies that 'didn't quite make it' back there that crack me up!

All in all I think our little group had an excellent showing for this challenge. We all have very different styles and it was amazing to see how each of us used the same fabric so differently! 

 So I've officially posted once a week for three week's now. Think I can keep it up? LOL


  1. What a great review of our quilt challenge reveal! Sure enjoyed learning your perspective on it. I thought everyone did a superb job, and can see how quilters in our group are growing and evolving in their quiltmaking. I still think your Accidents Happen quilt is great! You've inspired me to realize I need to put my word-of-the-year in a quilt too.

    1. Thanks Linda! I really thought everyone did a fantastic job as well and I think they were all very modern! Yay! Thanks for letting me know I inspired an idea for you. Quite flattering. I really think I'm going to try and do a word of the year quilt each year just as a little reminder, and to make sure I keep at least one quilt for myself every year ;)