One of my quilting goals for this year is to challenge myself with new quilting designs or, really, anything other than just simple stippling. For all of last year (my first year of machine quilting), I pretty much stippled everything and occasionally did some straight-line quilting with a walking foot. I have a pretty good handle on stippling, so I wanted to try some fancier designs to challenge myself and improve this year.
As a first step toward this goal, I took Angela Walters’s Craftsy class on quilting negative space. Her quilts are much more modern than this one, and the ones in the class have LOTS of negative space. However, a lot of what she shows can be applied to other quilts as well. These blocks were ones I received from a bee last year. They sat on my shelf for quite some time because I just wasn’t thrilled with them. It had nothing to do with how the other bee members made them—more just that I chose the design in a hurry and didn’t consider how it might look with all different fabrics from so many people’s stashes.
Anyhow, I decided I would go ahead and sew these into a quilt, and I’m planning to either sell it or donate it to my son’s school fundraiser auction in the spring. Since I’m not overly attached to it, I thought it would be a good practice quilt since I didn’t know how this would go. If it failed miserably, it was no great loss.
Overall, I’m pretty happy with how this turned out. It’s not perfect by any means, but I wasn’t frustrated with the quality while quilting it (I’m a terrible perfectionist, and if I can’t do something reasonably well, sometimes I just give up—it’s a weakness of mine), which was my biggest fear. I’m happy enough with the result that I plan to try again on quilts I actually care about, so to me that’s a successful first project.
For this quilt, I didn’t mark anything before quilting. Instead I used the piecing on the blocks as a guide. Because of this, not every flower is the same, but I think that’s fine. Not marking also makes things go a lot faster! For the back, I used some of my $1/yard fabric, and since it wasn’t quite wide enough on its own, I added a strip of some peach fabric (one that’s not particularly a favorite) from my stash and used it for the binding as well.
While it’s definitely not my favorite quilt ever, it looks better than I thought it would now that it’s all sewn together. I also think that someone else with different tastes might like it quite well, which is why I’m considering donating it to the school auction. I’ll let you know what I decide.