My first MQG fabric challenge!

One of the great benefits of being a member of the Modern Quilt Guild is free fabric. I mean, who doesn’t love getting presents in the mail?

mmfabricchallengegraphicNeedless to say, you have to make something with your bounty. The guild’s current challenge features Michael Miller’s Petal Pinwheels line and since I love his stuff, it was a no-brainer to sign up. Armed with a packet of six fat eighths, you can use as little or as much as you like, as well as add from your stash, if you so choose.

I got my fabric  a couple of weeks ago, but to be honest, I really wasn’t sure what I wanted to make, only that I didn’t want to get too complex and then not finish. And, of course, I’ve procrastinated a bit on this. Thankfully, the MQG extended the challenge deadline from June 23 to July 25.

But, what to do, what to do? I don’t really care about winning anything (and highly doubt I would anyway) but that doesn’t mean I don’t want to make something fabulous. Thankfully, this morning, I came up with an idea. Take a look:

Michael MIller baby quiltI got the idea after reading a recent post from Leanne at She Can Quilt. Her pattern, “Canvas,” features four individual squares surrounded by four individual L shapes that make a square in a square pattern, based on two complementary colors. Leanne has made it both in solids and prints, and I just love it.

More and more, my favorite quilts are ones that feature either all solids or lots of solid negative space. While I had thought about doing a pillow, I really wanted to have the center motif stand out in a background, rather than be something stand-alone.

Having decided to make a baby quilt — something small that I could hopefully finish by the deadline — I tried out my idea using Adobe InDesign, which made it quick and easy to see how things would look. The background color isn’t an exact match for Kona Cotton in School Bus, but it was close enough for me to know whether or not I’d like it.

I did try other colors from the prints, but none worked as well with the strong orange center (Miller’s Cotton Couture in Cora).

For the back, I came up with another idea I like (possibly even better), and now I’m not sure which of the two I like best for the front. Here’s how it would look on the back with the orange binding:

Michael MIller baby quilt3I like the tumbling blocks thing, but no, I’m not really crazy about the binding color. Here it is if I bind it in the Kona Ash and make it the front:

Michael MIller baby quilt4Much better, but then I have to commit to having the original idea framed in Kona Ash. I don’t like it as much as the solid orange, but I like it better than I expected. Take a look:

Michael MIller baby quilt5Knowing me, I’ll have changed my mind a million times by the time it’s done, but for me, that’s part of the fun of quilting. And no matter which design I choose — one of the above or something else altogether — I’ll definitely go with straight-line quilting. If I get industrious and have time, I may even echo some block shapes in the negative space.

So, what do you think? Am I on to something here, or should I go back to the drawing board?



4 thoughts on “My first MQG fabric challenge!

  1. I love it! The color is great. Lots of negative space and a great design. What program are you using to play around with design ideas?

    1. Thanks, Vickie! I’m rather happy with it, too. I think it has some fun opportunities for quilting – definitely lots of practice. For ideas, I’m using Adobe InDesign. It’s one of the software packages bundled with Photoshop, Illustrator, etc. I use it at work, and have heard of other quilters who use at least one of those so I thought I’d give it a try. Much easier than EQ (I think) if you’re not working on a strict block/grid format.

    1. Thanks, Christa! I really loved your wonky log cabins. One day I have to do a quilt of them, they look like fun.

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