Sunday, December 31, 2017

Free-Range: 2018 MQG Fabric Challenge


Free-Range 2018 QuiltCon Fabric Challenge

"Free-Range" was a definite challenge to make in the sense that I tried very hard to create something that I felt was modern,  brought out the best in the fabric line and represented me as a maker.  I do enjoy participating but not competing.  I honestly thought I might have a chance at being chosen but it was not. 

Here is what I wrote for my entry:

The animals are the center of attention in Free-Range just as they were in “Our Yard” growing up where we had a cat, rabbits, chickens and a few mice too.  An original design based on a log cabin because nothing depicts home more than that.   Intentionally imperfect, the improv-abstraction blocks create a fence to keep the critters in. 

Machine quilted with hand-stitching added to mimic the sweet charm of the fabric. Special care was given to the binding treatment.  

The smallness represents the precious plot of land as viewed from above and the high cost of living in California.
A fun impromptu photo shoot
The Modern Quilt Guild provided the Our Yard F8 bundle and I bought Cotton Couture from my LQS then ordered yardage of the print online. I have SO much left over. 

The Design Process

block sketch
Simple enough, right? It wasn't until after I'd sewn together a good portion of my second block that it dawned on me that although the construction was the same for all four, the center critter orientation was not.  I happened to be at a Sew Day with guild mates who were very supportive of my oversight!
Directional Critters
The color placement ended up reversed from my original mock up because of the contrast between the solids and the printed background.   In order for there to be less focus on the solids I inserted the stripes to break up the center motif and also tie in the grey color in the critter blocks.
mock up
This was another idea that I had for layout and although I think it's really fun, there would be even less emphasis on the fussy cut blocks so it will have to wait to become reality on another day.

alternative layout

alternative layout
There were a lot of cute animals and I had fussy cut an additional four in mustard taking into consideration which way they faced (see I do learn from my mistakes).  I tried and tried and ugh tried to work them in.

Example layout 
Here are just a few ideas that I toyed with.  More just didn't feel like an improvement and bigger was not better or balanced. In the end I'm happy with my decision to keep it simple and close to the original vision.

Finishing Touches

 Continuing the stripes on the binding and the light vs darker aqua for the sides was a satisfying touch.  I had just taken a big stitch workshop with Tara Faughnah so embellishing with floss came to mind.   Pulling out the darker pink found in the fussy animals as well as resembling a chicken footprint was IMO perfect.
Aurifil 12Wt
The lighting was working against me at my usual photo taking spot.  A mini is tough to capture the details of from a distance but I do like this one.

Despite the status of a #QuiltConReject I'm please to say it is a #2017Q4FAL goal success.    If you are participating please be sure to link up HERE.  I've got 3 out of 9 and am proud of them all.

Start thinking about what your 2018 FAL Q1 goals will be and check back for the Goal Setting linky party here on my blog or on any of the 2018 FAL Hosts blogs.   I'll be updating the Finish-A-Long tab very soon with all of the details.

Happy Stitching, Karen

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