Wednesday, January 8, 2014

Riley Blake Challenge

Final Stats
Name: Riley Blake Challenge
Dimensions: 42.5x47.5 Inches
Pieces: Front - 223
Pattern: Inspired by Irish Cabins by Julie Hendricksen (Volume 2 of Sew Scrappy)
Technique: Patchwork
Materials: 100% Quilting Cottons
Quilting: Machine quilting done on my little Euro-Pro
Anyone involved in the MQG knows that this year's fabric challenge was sponsored by Riley Blake. We were given a fat eighth bundle of blenders in various colors and were allowed to add any solids we wanted, as well as any other Riley Blake fabrics. I'd bookmarked the Irish Cabins pattern from Volume 2 of Sew Scrappy a while back, which does a traditional Irish double or triple chain with strip piecing, intending to just copy the pattern as is. However, after measuring what size blocks I could get out of the challenge fabric and looking through every single one of my quilting books and magazines (of which I am starting to amass a small stash), I decided to blow up the pattern and just do one "repeat" of the larger pattern. I drew it out on paper, re-drew it and added in the 18th and 19th row to match the pattern more closely and keep it from being truly square, and then counted, re-counted, and counted again how many colored squares and how many white squares I needed.
For anyone interested, here are the cutting instructions:
From assorted colored prints cut:
111 3" squares
From white background cut:
94 3" squares
4 3"x13" strips
4 3"x23" strips
From grey solid cut:
4 3"x8" strips
4 3"x18" strips (I cut these from my dark grey fabric)
2 3"x28" strips (you're going to need to have at least a half yard so you can cut this from the WOF)
I decided to add a few more prints to the mix, to add in a red, green, and black, as well as a second aqua and grey. I pieced the top in strips and then sewed them together. I used a semi-random approach (i.e. I laid it out on my floor in sections and then rearranged as I felt was necessary). I used a very scant 1/4" seam allowance, which ended up warping the panels, because it made the strips a little too short, so if you want to make one like this, I suggest carefully measuring your seams to make sure they are coming out at a 1/4".
The backing was made from one piece of rainbow chevrons, and because I didn't order enough, I decided to mirror the front by piecing some white and grey to insert into it. This became one of those happy accidents, because I love the back. Quilting is straight line quilting on the diagonal in the white squares. Looks great on the back, but also nicely frames the colored squares on the front. I used the Frixion pens for the first time to mark the quilting lines, and I am in love!
The binding is a black and white stripe, also by Riley Blake. I'm on a stripey binding kick lately. This quilt actually has no intended recipient, but that's ok. I'm hoping to display it at our Guild's February show.

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