Wednesday, October 19, 2011

How to make Habitat Challenge quilt

Bird in the Tree
Habitat Challenge for Sacramento Modern Quilt Guild
Fabrics from Habitat line designed by Jay McCarroll, first winner of Project Runway
Original design
9" x 20"
"Lots of impact for very little effort."

How I did it: I am a member of the Sacramento Modern Quilt Guild. A few months ago participating members were given a challenge to create a quilt using fabrics from the Habitat collection designed by Jay McCarroll, first winner of Project Runway. We could choose three fat quarters or six fat eighths. I chose three fat quarters, having no clue what I would do with the fabrics. We could make anything we wanted, adding any solid fabrics, making sure that the Habitat fabrics stood out.

One fabric reminded me of log cabins. Habitat means a place to live, and I thought I could show a home. Then I decided to do a birdhouse. Birds are frequently associated with the word "habitat."  I figured I could put a bird in the birdhouse, have his head sticking out the front, his body inside, and the end of his tail poking through the "logs." At my request my daughter-in-law Laurie drew seven terrific birds, using the fabric as a guide as to scale.

I combined parts of three different birds: the body of one, the length of tail of another, and the end of the tail of a third. Drawn on tracing paper, I placed the bird carefully on fabric so that a certain spot looked like an eye. I cut him out, and put him on the birdhouse fabric. All of a sudden, the birdhouse disappeared and it looked like the bird was in the trees. Earlier my daughter-in-law had said that the logs looked like trees, and I had to agree with her now.

Amazingly, the piece looked finished, even though there were only two pieces of fabric. The background was busy and didn't need anything more.

I used the third piece of Habitat fabric for the back of the quilt, and did quite a bit of machine quilting with invisible thread.

I'm really happy with the way the little wallhanging turned out. It is simple but beautiful.

Lessons & tips: Be willing to go with the flow in your art. My plans changed drastically when the logs became a tree. It's okay to scrap your original ideas and go with the new ones.

Resources: My artistic daughter-in-law who can draw

It took me 4 days.

It made me Happy

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