Tuesday, July 22, 2014

"Gridlock" The MQG Michael Miller Challenge

Hello everyone!   I finally figured out how to update my header and hopefully will be back to blogging a bit more frequently! I miss having a place to share projects and finishes, and happenings in the bloggy world. So it's a new start and today I want to share my Modern Quilt Guild Michael Miller Fabric Challenge quilt with you..  

 It is ended up very different than what I had in mind when I received this beautiful fabric---BUT....I am very happy with how it turned out.

The fabric is bright and happy and summery with great graphic designs and modern flowers. I was definitely thinking something that showed off those flowers and petals.  By the way it is from Michael Miller and is Petal Pinwheels. As time went on, I could not settle on a design. Nothing seemed right, or I just didn't want to make it. Have you been there?

Back in June I attended CampStitchAlot which is put on by Brenda at Pink Castle Fabrics. Three whole days of uninterrupted sewing time and socializing!  Lee from MayChappell came up to my house and we went to camp from there.  Sooo much FUN!  Meeting so many new sewing friends and friends I knew from the internet world that I now was meeting in person, not to mention meeting and sewing with the fabulous "camp counselors" TulaPink; Katie I'm a Ginger Monkey; Deborah from @Whipstitchier on IG (instagram) and John aka QuiltDad. So what's this got to do with my challenge quilt?

Well while there I met Janice and she was making a HashTag quilt - 2 actually!! I loved the little squares! And Boom! that was it, these fabrics were meant to be a HashTag's!

But as I was making all the little HashTag blocks my mind drifted to the daily commute I have. It seems over the last several months the traffic has increased and of course there is the summer vacation/ summer construction traffic. It can be tiring, and nerve wrecking at times especially dealing with speed demons and aggressive drivers. It can be well...somedays Gridlock!

And right then and there my quilt was born, it was no longer hashtags but representative of my daily commute from a rural, low traffic flow area, into a busy city.   I decided on a mini quilt with the blocks surrounded by a solid and some matchstick quilting.  That matchstick quilting inspiration came from this picture. This was the first time I had ever quilted that close. Love it! Love the texture it adds!

As I quilted I wanted it to represent the drive,  I quilted the lines spacing progressively further apart the further you are away from the city blocks. I used an orange variegated thread to bring color and movement to the piece. Like all the different cars and trucks I see.

I added blocks to the back for interest and then I then pieced all my scraps into a great scrappy binding - the perfect accent!

So there you have it, my "quilt story." It is very modern and abstract for me, I tend to be more structured, but I must say I love it! I don't think I have ever let the story speak and the quilt develop from the story, not really knowing where it was going...  Most of the time I have the pattern and fabric and know what it is going to be and what it represents in general. Maybe I just need to slow down more often and let it develop and become what it wants.......  Do you believe quilts develop and become what they are supposed to be or is it all just pattern and fabric? I am interested in hearing your thoughts and stories.

Size:  20 1/2 in  x 17 1/2 in
Fabric: Michael Miller Petal Pinwheels and  assorted Kona solids
Thread: Aurifill 50wt Orange variegated and Dove grey 50wt
Spray Basted: 505
Binding: Scrappy Petal Pinwheels

Thanks for stopping by and Happy Stitching!


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  1. This really caught my eye on Instagram, and I'm pleased to read the story behind it. Though I am happy enough with the routine of making a quilt from a pattern, there's something really special about letting a quilt create itself! Love the quilting - so glad you let it happen!

  2. Love it! Sorry about the traffic, though. You're inspiring to quit piecing and start quilting!

  3. Love your MM challenge quilt with the orange quilting stitches. Loved my quick visit to your blog! will surely be back again!


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