Tuesday, June 14, 2011

How to make Kona charm pack challenge quilt

                                       23" x 29"
                                 Original Design
"It came out really cute."

How I did it: The project was a challenge from Sacramento Modern Quilt Guild, of which I am a member. We were given a pack of 5.5" charms in 42 gorgeous colors by Robert Kaufman. The challenge was to make a quilt in any size, any design, using the charms and up to two other fabrics.

I'd been wanting to make a butterfly-themed quilt for a while, so it seemed like a good time to make it.  I found an applique butterfly pattern on Electric Quilt, bought a pale blue print for the background and a shimmery, sparkly sheer to give one special butterfly a gossamer look.

I wanted to make black bodies and antennae for the butterflies, but there were no black fabrics in the pack. I'd already reached my limit of two extra fabrics and I didn't want to give up either of them.  What to do?  I decided to create black fabric from some of the charms.  After auditioning a black permanent marker and some fabric paint I went with the paint.  I also purchased black dye, but didn't try it since the paint worked just fine.  End result: I made black fabric without breaking the two-fabric rule.

I chose 2 charms for each of the 9 butterflies, and ironed fusible web to each of them.  I wanted the butterflies to be similar but not identical so I cut the parts of the butterflies free-hand which gave each one a different personality.  If pieces were too big for the area underneath, I trimmed them a little until they fit.

I fused the wings pieces together, arranged them on the background (previously backed with fusible fleece), then ironed the wings in place.  I quilted the wings, attached the bodies and antennae with fabric glue, then quilted those.

I did a pillowcase finish with the backing, turned the quilt right side out, then machine quilted the background.

I like how the quilt turned out.  It's really fun and just in time to display for spring/summer.  I'll take the quilt with me to Saturday's quilt guild meeting.

Lessons & tips: When you run into a stumbling block, think creatively to get around it.

Resources: Electric Quilt quilting program
Tulip fabric paint

It took me 2 weeks.

It made me Happy

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