Friday, April 17, 2009

this is my challenge and I sticking' to it!


I am participating in Amy of cityparkgirl's virual This is my story on my favorite quilt. Actually it a quilt and a mini. This is the story of 'the challenge'
A few years ago, when I was a member of the local Guild, we were given a challenge. Purchase a piece of fabric (in this case an awful lime green batik), make a piece of art along the lines of the theme. This theme was Romantic Nights in Margaritaville, hence the green batik. Always up for a challenge I took this one on! Whatever we came up with would be put into the Guilds quilt show in the fall and be voted on for a prize.
After much searching and fretting over color schemes, I finally decided to do a double Ohio star in colorful batiks with a black tone on tone background. I cut a test block out and assembled it. I really liked how it looked and went forth with the cutting. Each block is 12" sq. finished with a 2" sashing, 1-1/2" border and 3-1/2" second border. Using the challenge fabric as the focal, I pull from my stash 11 other different batiks. Once I figured which colors to pair up, I started the cutting of the pieces. When I finished cutting each block, I carefully put each in its own baggy.
Now for the fun part, sewing the blocks together! Since each block was in its own bag, I didn't have to worry about losing any pieces as I went to assemble. After putting the second block together, I'm thinking to myself why is it taking me so long to put these blocks together?? I counted the pieces and discovered 53 PIECES!! 53 pieces??? what was I thinking??? So each night for almost 2 weeks, I would grab a baggy and sew one block. Each block took 2 HOURS to put together. Once I got the blocks done, I cut sashing and borders (the narrow border is made of left over batiks, cut into 2 inch random length strips and sewn together) and finished the top, which took another 6 hours. All together the top alone took 30 hours of work!
I was so proud of myself! I was strutting around my tiny sewing room chanting '"I got a winner, I got a winner!' Then (hanging head in shame) I read the rules........The challenge piece could not be more than 140" AROUND. Mine was 55" x 66". AHHHHHHHHHhhhhhhhh!!! After all my work! Its too big!!! I went to Guild and saw the coordinator of the challenge and tried to sweet talk him into letting me enter my quilt. He stood firm and said no. Great.... I worked hard on this and now I cant put it into the challenge. Then I remembered the snippets!
As I was putting the blocks together, there were several snippets left over. 20 to be exact from each of the 12 blocks. I ended up with 240 snippets! For those of you who do not know what a snippet is, its the corner you trim off a block. Very common with flying geese and snowball. Both of these blocks are in the Double Ohio Star. You sew the snippet along the long edge of the tiny triangle and press open. You end up with a small half square triangle . I saw on the cover of a Fons and Porter magazine the perfect pattern. It had single Ohio stars on point, with prairie points. I thinking, I can do that! I played with the HSTs and discovered I could make Ohio Stars out of them! Played some more and was able to create mock prairie points! Yes! I will be able to enter the challenge after all!
I did finish the big quilt (titled 'Stars over Margaritaville') had it machine quilted in a medium stipple with jewel tone variegated thread. It came out WONDERFUL! With the mini quilt (titled 'Getting snippy in Margaritaville') I hand quilted with the same variegated thread inside each star. It is eye catching and very bright.
Since I could not enter the big quilt into the challenge, I did put it into the local county fair and won a BLUE RIBBON! The big quilt is one of my favorite quilts I have made. The mini did go into the Guild Challenge. Even though it didn't win a ribbon, I am told many were oooooooooing and ahhhhhhing over it. The following fall I did entered the Mini into the local county fair and that too won a BLUE RIBBON! The moral of the story is: Sometimes it does pay not to read the rules!
I hope yall liked my story (even though it was a tad long) about my favorite Quilt(s). I have made many full size and mini quilts since these two and they remain my favorite after all these years. Please excuse the fuzzy pictures, I wrote about the challenge in a online newletter called Nine Patch News and was able to retrieve these pictures. Yes, that is me hold them up. Enjoy!
Keep On Stitch'n On!
(mauh) Liz


andsewon said...

BEAUTAMUS Liz... just wonderful!!!!
Bring them to my haus for a long visit.... haaaaaaa!!

Mary L. said...

Awesome quilts! Loved the story as well.

karenfae said...

love it, and the story.

Zonnah said...

I love it!

Happy Cottage Quilter said...

Very pretty quilt. Great story. Thanks for sharing.

Betweens said...

they both look fabulous!! love the story behind seems alot are posting first quilts/or challenges.

Mary in H. Va said...

Liz that is fantastic!!!!!!!! You rule~~~
Not only as a friend but thats awesome!

Quilt Rat said...

I LOVE challenge quilts and you have done a wonderful job. Great colour and who doesn't like stars?
Enjoy the festival

Amy @ Park City Girl said...

Great story and quilts Liz! Rules are meant to be broken right!?

I love all the colors in there - so fun - Thanks for sharing :)

Jody said...

Beautiful quilts. You have a lot of patience!