Friday, September 16, 2011

Habitat Challenge

At the July meeting of the Des Moines Modern Quilt Guild (DSMMQG), 13 of us accepted the "Habitat Challenge" being sponsored by Free Spirit Fabrics. We received six fat-eights of Jay McCarroll's fabric, in earthtones, and had until our September meeting to make our quilted items.

Our challenge rules basically stated:
  1. Only print fabrics from the Habitat Collection could be in the piece.
  2. Fabric could be added, but only solids.
  3. All six prints had to be used someplace (front or back) on the piece.
  4. Our piece had to be between 60 and 120 linear inches.
  5. Anyone who didn't complete the challenge would have to pay $8 (the cost of six fat eights) into the DSMMQG treasury.
I'll be the first one to openly say that this was an extremely difficult challenge. I'm not accustomed to working with such busy prints and the color pink as an earthtone (?!) completely threw me. Initially, I had no intention of using the two pink prints on the quilt front. After three different design attempts, I worked out this one, unsewing previously made blocks, basically eeking out every bit of Habitat fabric I could for my quilt.

When quilting, for the first time I used a Pilot brand Frixion pen. I think most kids are familiar with this pen, as it's feature is that the ink is erasable. But what quilters like about a Frixion pen is that all the marks, no matter what color ink, easily steam away! You can see I tried red on this one. I've got pink, purple, and orange at the ready to try next time. Supposedly, after steaming the marks away, the chemical remains in the quilt until the quilt is washed. If the quilt isn't washed, and is exposed to a cold temperature, the marks reappear. Since I usually wash my quilts after binding them anyway, this isn't an issue for me.

My finished "Habitat Wash" quilt is 24" X 24". I quilted with gold-colored Aurifil thread in the top and bottom. Binding is a solid teal color.
Front of Habitat Wash, 24" X 24"
Now you get to see the back of the quilt! This is my first rejected design which I had to put on the back because I can't stand to waste fabric - and work!
Back of Habitat Wash, 24" X 24"
That pinwheel is foundation paper pieced, and I couldn't believe how bulky the center became with all those converging seams. I still liked that part though, but the Flying Geese... they can fly away. The design is too traditional for the style of these prints.

I always label my quilts. Always. I figure that someday my kids will inherit them. Whether they decide to pass them on or not, I've documented myself for posterity's sake.


Carla said...

I like both sides of your quilt, Linda! Great job! I still am undecided on what design I'm going to do....I have till November, thankfully!

Julia said...

The back looks just as good as the front, Linda....beautifully done!
Julia ♥

Kerry said...

I love your little quilt(s). Love the back as much as the front, you've thought up 2 great designs.

Jodi said...

I LOVE it, and love the Habitat line! Great going, Linda!

Jeanette said...

Love the quilt. Both sides are fabulous. I bought one of the pens to try but haven't done so yet. Hugs,

Elyte said...

Great job Linda, not always easy to work with colours chosen by others.
Will have to try those pens, thanks for sharing.

Mayleen said...

I like both sides of your quilt and the quilting is beautiful too! The fabric would have probably been a bit of a challenge for me too.

Deb said...

It's beautiful, Linda. I love the colors and the way they blend together. I've also been interested in the Frixion pens and am glad to know that they work. The back of the quilt is great as well. I don't see a problem with using the traditional flying geese in with the more modern quilt. It sure makes the center block stand out. Lovely work as always.

Carrie P. said...

Wow! that is a really great design you created, both sides.
I just attended a Modern quilt guild meeting this past Tuesday. First meeting. It will be interesting to see what the group does. Something new for me.

Nancy said...

The StLouis challenge is due next month. I just need to add either yellow, pink or green binding.. I keep changing my mind..

Yours is great. I too had trouble with this line. Not my favorite..

Sue said...

Love both quilts.haha. Seriously, you could turn it over when you are tired of one side.
OOOw....I'd be nervous of the pens. I don't usually wash my quilts when I've finished them as MOSTLY they have been muddy/earthy colours.A few years ago I saw an unfortunate quilt with blue lines that wouldn't go away. Maybe I'm too cautious.

Julie said...

Love the challenge quilt.....the back is every it as wonderful as the front, but I get you point about being a little too traditional for the fabrics. As for the pens....I don't put too may of my projects in the refrigerator, so the pen issue may be a moot point.

Di said...

You've done a fabulous job with a very difficult challenge, Linda. The colours themselves would have stopped me in my tracks. Your quilting really sets off both sides wonderfully! Another success story!

Jeannette said...

Your quilt is great on both sides! I adore the habitat fabric too.

Sue said...

You are so creative! Your work is beautiful. :)


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