Friday, March 11, 2011

Robert Kaufman Solids Challenge - Over!

Edit:  You guys, I'm such a dummy!  I typed out this post over a couple of hours, and alot of interruptions, and so my train of thought was kind of broken.  But I completely failed to mention that we had the great Jacquie from Tallgrass Prairie Studio as a guest speaker last night!  She was amazing, and she brought in several of her quilts to show.  Her passion and love for quilting showed in her work and her words.  She was truly inspirational, and I'm so glad she visited us!

Back in January, I posted about the Robert Kaufman Solids Challenge that the LAMQG (and other guilds) was participating in.  When I posted about it, I said I had a designed all sketched out.  That was true. 

However, I totally did not go with that sketch.  I wasn't feelin' it.

I decided to do something circle-y.  I told my husband (who is a very good listener, even though I know he probably really doesn't care) that I was thinking of doing circles.  Then I told him how I could just applique them, but that wasn't much of a challenge since I've done that several times before, and that there was this method to piecing the circles that would be more challenging for me.  He said I should definitely do the more challenging one.  This was called a "challenge" after all, right?

So that's what I decided to do.  My very first LAMQG meeting back in May, when I knew absoulely NOTHING about quilting (Stippling?  What's that?  Is that a dirty word?), Latifah gave a demonstration on Dale Fleming's 6 Minute Circle technique.  It took me a while and a lot of watching the video to help me wrap my head around the concept, but once I got it, it really was pretty easy.

I wanted to give the circles more flair, so I decided to wonkily piece together some of the insides of the circles.  Here's my test block (excuse the wrinkles!).

It's not so great, but I practiced some more before I started the real thing.

So I picked out a white cotton fabric from Ikea as my background, picked out the colors I wanted to highlight from the charm pack, and went to town!

But when I got it all pieced, I just really didn't like it.  It was very boring to me.  This is what it looked like before it was sandwiched - I happened to have this Valori Wells print that I thought matched the colors I picked out for the top, and it was the exact same size as the top, so I went with that for the back.

At some point, I just wanted to throw in the towel, because I just didn't like this.  But then I thought about all of those reality competition shows I watch, and how annoying it is when someone just drops out because they just don't want to be there anymore, or because whatever competition they're doing is too hard.  Do you know what I'm talking about?  I took one of those charm packs at the January meeting, and I needed to finish this, because some people didn't get a charm pack, and didn't get to participate.  Cheesy, I know, but that was my thought process.

So I decided I needed to step up this quilt, big time.  I really, really wanted to try pebbling, and I figured since this was a pretty small quilt, it would be perfect for it!  (I heard that you don't want to do pebbling on a big project - little did I realize that this was a big project for pebbling)  I also decided to use thread in a similar color as whatever circle I was quilting around, and use white thread within the circles.  I think that's one of the main things I would change, because it turns out that you can't really see the piecing I did in some of those circles with it quilted over.

About 10 spools of thread later, here's the finished product -

I chose yellow for the binding, because I happened to have some yellow that I don't know if I'll ever use, and it matched the back.  Here's a close up of the quilting...see what I mean about how it masks the piecing inside the circle?

Anyways, the quilting took several hours over several days.  I was.not.happy with it.  At all.  But our meeting was on Thursday, and I finished, so I was happy about that. 

Finally, our meeting came, and we all revealed our finished quilts.  There were some AMAZING quilts shown.  And I couldn't believe how many of us actually took on the challenge!  Then we were all given ballots to vote for our favorites in different categories - best overall, best use of color, most unique, etc.  At the end of the meeting, they announced the winners.  I was not surprised that I didn't win anything.


They said there was one additional prize - the officers choice, which was for the quilt who came close a few times, but just missed it.

And then they said my name. 

And THEN my jaw dropped.

"I am Jack's complete lack of surprise."

So I won something, and I never win anything!  And for me, this was a pretty big thing to win!

Also, doorprizes are handed out at every meeting, but I've never won before, in my 10 months of going to meetings.  Last night, I won one of those, too!  I had a lucky day.  (I won a giveaway a few days ago, that I haven't blogged about yet, because I'm waiting to get my loot, but I think that may have turned my losing streak around for me!)  To say I was a happy camper last night is a HUGE understatement.

I still don't really like the quilt, but maybe I need a time-out from it.  Maybe I spent too many hours with it, and I'm just sick of it.  I don't know...But it will be put to good use, as it's a perfect size to use for the girls in their double stroller.


  1. I think the quilt is really beautiful. The effect of using the different colors of thread really makes it stand out. The pebbling looks super difficult, and I'm impressed that you stuck with this to the end!

  2. I think the quilt is great. But I agree with you. I've pebbled two quilts and just the process of doing it made me hate both quilts. Ha!

  3. All I know is that you deserve every last bit of praise you got for the quilt.

  4. Aw Kelly, I am glad you are so excited with the win. For some reason your post brought tears to my eyes.

  5. Your quilt is fabulous and your pebbles look fantastic. Isn't Jacquie wonderful and her quilts fantastic? I belong to the KC MQG and she is our president. We missed her at our meeting when she was with you in LA!! Glad you enjoyed her! Your solids quilt is wonderful.

  6. I think you just spent too much time staring at it to truly appreciate it -- I think it's amazing and beautiful! Thanks for the close-up pic, too, so we can appreciate the ridiculousness that is pebbling.