Friday, May 7, 2021

Chip and Charm Challenge

Beth, a member of our Central Florida MQG, always comes up with the best quilt challenges for members.

For me personally, they're a good way to stretch myself. Since I'm not a person who has been gifted with an innate ability to have multiple designs always floating around in my head (as others do), being told - given direction - is a good way to get me working, making an effort to come up with an original design. I've found our chapter challenges rewarding, especially as two of my previous chapter challenge quilts have been juried into QuiltCons. 

Our "Chip and Charm Challenge" is due at our November Central Florida MQG meeting. By the challenge name alone, it's pretty easy to guess that chips are 2½" precuts, and charms are 5" precuts. These are the packs in my stash, most of which have been collected at previous QuiltCons. I never knew what to do with them. 

Beth gave us only a few rules: 
  • use as many chips and charms as desired (permissible to cut more from stash)
  • make a quilt that's at least 15" X 15" with blocks no larger than 5" (unfinished)
  • negative space/background can be no more than 50 percent of the quilt design
I'm going with solids only, and given that I won't use brown (ICK!) or black in my quilt, I've been cutting extra chips and charms from solid scraps. 

I sewed chips into four-patch blocks. 

Deciding I wanted a circle in the center of each block, I selected chips that looked good with each four-patch. From SF101 (center of photo) fusible interfacing, I also cut 2½" squares.

Though I have some lovely acrylic circle rulers, I didn't have one that efficiently covered all of a chip. Prescription bottle cap to the rescue! Using an air-erase marker, I drew around the cap onto the non-fusible side of the SF101 square.

With the SF101 fusible side (bumpy side) against the solid square, I machine-sewed on the drawn circle using a shortened stitch length. Using pinking shears to trim the seam, I only need to make a few extra clips to remove bulk from the circle. Slitting an opening through the fusible the circle makes it possible to turn the whole circle right side out.

Now the fusible side (with bumps) is on the outside.

I used this nifty tool to push against the seam to open it as much as possible. 

Then I pressed each circle on an appliqué pressing sheet (so the fusible doesn't stick)...

... and briefly adhered each circle onto a four-patch. 

These blocks - and many more - are ready for hand-appliqué. Since this ring of pre-wound Superior bobbins is portable, I'll use this as appliqué thread.

I don't have any idea where this design will go, but will happily stitch down circles until I have "enough," however many that may be. 

Book Recommendation
The Vanishing Half, by Brit Bennett is about Desiree and Stella, black twins in a small Louisiana town called Mallard. In their teens they take divergent paths. Desiree makes it to Washington D.C. and marries an abusive man; Stella runs away and transforms herself, adopting a lavish new life in a posh California community. Each of them has a daughter, but for more than 25 years, Desiree and Stella live wholly separate lives. When by chance, one daughter sees a woman who looks like her mother, pursuit of more information leads the two cousins to meet and discover a life lived as a lie, the truth of their heritage, and greater self-awareness. 

This story is about the color of one's skin - blacks who look white and pretend to be white; and blacks who look black. It also includes a transgender person whose story I found a little disturbing. Still, the book gave me insights into different perspectives about color and gender. 

Linda's score: 3.0/5.0

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12 comments:

  1. That looks like a fun little project!

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  2. Love all that color and those circles. This is going to be very fun. Keep going!

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  3. I really like where you are going with this project. I like the HSTs in there too. So pretty.

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  4. So far so good!! What IS that tool?!

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  5. Pretty colors! I use that same method for applique circles and like it.

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  6. You are packing a lot of piecing in that 15" quilt for sure! Colorful as always, and a fun project.

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  7. This is so cute. Love your circle idea. That's what I'm doing with the new quilt for my kitchen after the disaster of the last one. Thanks for sharing your ideas. Always look forward to them.

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  8. I like the design you have come up with. I think I am partial to circles and what a great way to use them

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  9. I'm excited to see where this challenge will take you, Linda!!

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  10. This is looking great already!

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  11. What a cool idea! If I didn't have so many UFOs I would be tempted to try my hand at this idea too, but using my stash. I need to use it up. :)

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