Wednesday, April 12, 2023

March Ambassador Challenge

 The Forgotten Post.

Although I finished the quilt in March, I forgot to write this post, and got involved in finishing some customer quilts.  It's been a little wacky here, but what else is new. 

My choice!  I love this type of challenge, and can often think of multiple uses for it.  Killing 2 birds with one stone, as they say, but this was a 3-fer. 

Back in February, the Pieceful Patchers of the Park had a sewing party on that super Sunday.  It's an annual thing.  Pat, the instructor for the day, picks a pattern, and offers a fun day of sewing at the village hall.  We have pizza brought in for lunch, and everyone picks their fabric choices, based on the preview during the previous months.  It's fun, and a great way to get something started.  This year, the pattern chosen was Open Options by Material Girlfriends Quilt Shop.  It's a fairly easy pattern, using 10" squares, but has over 14 different setting options, so it's easy to have a variety of fun tops when you're done.  I picked Island Batik's Solid Grey for background, and Maple Island 10" squares for the blocks. 
The pattern calls for 24, so I used 12 matching ones, and added in a few more, because I wasn't sure how large I wanted to go.  So, Bird 1, having the class for the pattern, and needing 10" squares.  Bird 2, the March Open challenge.  Bird 3?? I've decided to make or give away some of my quilts for my college glee club friends.  We've reconnected, and they are so much fun, and the memories are great.  These were my bridesmaids, and good friends, and their current friendships mean so much.  (It's over 30 years worth of friendship, and some of us are celebrating big birthdays, or have already, lol)  My friend Bernadette loves green, and her birthday is in March.  I don't usually make just green quilts, so that's why Maple Island was the choice.  One stone. 

Maple Island has all shades of green, from deep forest to light sage, and a little aqua and teal thrown in.  The tjaps (designs) feature leaves, birch trees, and ferns, pinecones, and berries and the solid Grey was a great background for the blocks.  

Blocks in progress.

Lots of blocks in progress.  Pieced with Aurifil 50wt in cream and grey, on multiple machines.  I also have some blocks left over, and I'm not sure what I'm going to do with them yet.  

Next step is to pick a layout.  I looked at the suggestions in the pattern, there are 14 of them. I picked one that I thought would look good, and played with the placement of the squares.  As I worked, I realized I had 2 of each in the background, and 2 of each with the grey.  I decided to use this as a design element, too. 

As I placed each block, I put the matching one in the opposite location.  So, top left is the same as bottom right.  Top right is the same as bottom left.  Top second column is the same as bottom 5th column.  I placed the darkest fabric blocks at the corners, and worked lighter towards the center, but if you flip the "bottom" to the "top, the quilt is the same.  Symmetry.  

After the top was pieced, and double checked for block orientation, (there was an oops, but I fixed it). I decided to add borders.  I had an older collection piece of dark forest with leaves, and more of the solid Grey, since the Ambassador boxes are so generous. I added a 3" finished Grey, and 4" finished green, which left me just enough to use that for binding, as well.  

I had a piece of wide backing that was the right size, and loaded the top with Warm & Natural batting on my Handi-Quilter Amara with Pro-Stitcher.  I used Harvest Winds from Urban Elementz for the panto.  I felt this gave the larger open areas great texture.  I used Superior King Tut Oasis for the top and bobbin, as it was the best option for the way I wanted the quilting to look.  I wish Aurifil had more colors in 40-3, but the greens are limited.  

Here's the finished top, and I think Heather approves.  Bernadette is thrilled, too.  

Disclaimer: Fabric for the top and borders, as well as Schmetz needles and Aurifil thread is provided by Island Batik, for their Ambassadors.  

Please check with the other Ambassadors for their projects.  And check back soon to see what we're going crazy with for April, with Aurifil Thread's challenge.  
Thanks for stopping by!  


Jennifer Schifano Thomas said...

It's a beautiful quilt, Maryellen. I made a project in Maple Island too, and I'm not usually a "green" person, but I absolutely love it! The colors are unbelievably gorgeous. Have a great day!

Kate Marie said...

Love the backstory to your quilt and I love the symmetry that you created. Beautiful job!

Brenda @ Songbird Designs said...

This is such a pretty quilt with the blue and greens popping off that background!