I've found that one of the best ways to achieve my Q2 goals is to turn them into an external deadline. Like entries for quilting shows...
I submitted my Technicolor Galaxy (the 2015 Skill Builder Block Of The Month Quilt by Alyssa at Pile O'Fabric) to the Sydney Quilt Show, which put it on a timeline, and meant I had to get a move on my quilting. At the time, I'd only just started working on it, although it had been out since 2015.
Choosing a dark design with heavy, saturated colours was a bit of a risk - all the other versions I'd seen made were pale backgrounds.
But once I got moving with it, I really rather liked the bright colours against the black. It gives it…punch. Pop. Zing. That little something more.
Rather than doing quilt-as-you-go, as per the pattern instructions, I decided to join everything together and make it a quilt top, then quilt it. It caused a few problems - mainly in fitting everything together at the end.
Also, making the background ‘patchy’, and trying to gradate the colours around the arcs of the circle? Was a pain in the butt! So many fabric shades, so many delicate shifts of colour – and the blues and purples are particularly awful for this!
Meanwhile the yellows are not very varied at all!
The thing is, once you start putting it all together as a whole, you don't really notice the fine details. However, I note that never stopped any quilter from angsting over fabric choices!
Also, I didn't quite follow the order of blocks for the pattern. I'm not really good at English Paper Piecing, or turn-under applique, so I tended to leave those until last.
And then it got accepted for the Sydney Quilt Show, and the pressure was on!
So, I thought it looked pretty good when I had all the 'arc' sections done, but once I started putting the background together, I was blown away.
I think it helps that I didn’t have the radial lines of the section binding interrupting the flow of the colour, too. In the QAYG version, the quilt is usually put together in a dozen ‘spokes’ and each spoke is joined to the others by a strip of binding. Which would be great if the background is one colour and the spokes match that colour (or are a deliberate contrast), but isn’t so hot when the colour changes around the circumference of the quilt.
Unfortunately, in the process of quilting it, I stuffed up. The back ended up all wrinkly and wobbly and sewn-in. If I was really dedicated to making this a quilt-show worthy quilt, then I could have redone it. I decided not to bother. But I’m going to have to work on my quilting techniques. They’ve been really bad lately. And no, I don’t expect to win any prizes, but it would be nice to have a decent back.
Ah well, it still looks pretty good from the front, even in the not-so-great lighting of the Sydney International Convention Centre where the Sydney Quilt Show 2017 was held!
I called it the Duct Tape Galaxy, because, like duct tape, it has a light side (the back), a dark side (the front), and it holds the universe together!