Tuesday, September 16, 2014

A Hadley Finish

Denyse Schmidt so graciously gave the members of my quilt guild, Southern CT MQG, full fat quarter stacks of the prints in her new Hadley line (a few months before it was released for sale).  Denyse is local to our area and I believe she wanted to promote the line and showcase Hadley in some examples of projects that can be made with her yummy fabrics.  Sadly, I joined the quilt guild about a month after the fabrics were handed out - bummer!  As luck would have it, a very sweet member of the guild offered me up her "leftovers" so that I could play with the fabrics too!  I was so excited!  I picked them up at the next meeting and got to work!  Here is what was posted about my project on our SCTMQG Blog:

My quilt is named "Hadley Hides the Ice Pops". I was inspired by two of Denyse Schmidt's patterns from her "Denyse Schmidt Quilts" book - Ice Pops and What a Bunch of Squares. Neither patterns was followed exactly, but both were used for inspiration while I drafted my own version. The name is three fold - obviously Hadley is the name of Denyse's new fabric line that we were given to play around with. The Ice Pops part is a direct reference to the Ice Pops pattern. The "hidden" part is a reference to the brown squares hidden in the Ice Pop rectangles. The name makes me think of a impish little girl named Hadley, hiding ice pops in the freezer on a hot summer's day so she doesn't have to share them with her siblings. It makes me think of a simpler, carefree time, which is also what the fabric line made me think of when I first saw it.

I joined the guild after the yummy fabric bundles were handed out. I saw the challenge on the Facebook page and Sharon so kindly offered me her leftovers. Since she was so generous to share, I wanted to make the most of the fabrics. I chose my favorite prints to feature on the front. I then took all remaining fabric and cut it up into "bricks" to piece together a back. I used Denyse's paper bag method to piece together the back. I'm usually very neurotic about arrangement, so I made myself be more random for this. The last little bits went into a scrappy binding. All fabric put to good use! This challenge was a lot of fun for me! I'm very happy I joined the guild and get to participate in fun challenges like this.

As I mentioned above, Sharon's "leftovers" were still QUITE a lot of fabric!  Not the full FQ stack, but still plenty to play around with.  I made sure all bits and pieces were put to good use and very little was left over.   I believe I got the fabrics in mid-July and the quilt needed to be COMPLETELY finished by the end of August.  Off to work I went.  Oh, and I had a commissioned quilt to complete in the same time frame...and a week-long vacation...and my day job...NBD.   The top and backing all went together swimmingly.  No issues.  Then, I decided this would be my first quilt to be quilted on my HandiQuilter Frame with my new-to-me Juki machine.  I thought I'd quickly tear through the quilting and it'd be done in a jiffy.  I pretty much detest the quilting part, but can't afford a longarmer's services at this point in time.  So the frame was my answer.  Well...not exactly.  It looked LOVELY on the frame...
Looking lovely on the frame.
But the quilting was a shit show...

What in the hell?
Turns out, I had no idea what I was doing.  SURPRISE!  I've been a straight-line quilter up to this point and this was my first attempt at FMQ.  Why I chose this point in time to step into something new, I can't tell you.  Long story short, I think after all of the research I've done since then, I think it was because I didn't set my stitch length to zero.  So I have some FMQ on my Juki on my list to try and once I can get that down, we'll head back to the frame.  I'd LOVE to learn to quilt on the frame (no basting!!!!), so that is still the ultimate goal!

I needed to return to my trusty straight-line quilting to hurry up and finish this piece.  I still gave the Juki a shot and we did pretty well, despite some rippling - which was hidden once washed (if you don't look too closely).  I'm still pretty happy with how it turned out and this will eventually be MY quilt - my first one ever that is finished and JUST FOR ME!  Here is the finished product:

The front.
The scrappy back.
The story gets better!  Denyse had an open house hosted at Christie's Quilting Boutique to launch the Hadley line.  Sadly, I couldn't attend (my camping obligation prevented me from going), but the ladies in the guild seemed to have a great time and the event was a success.  You can read about the event HERE and see all of the beautiful quilts on display at Christie's.  It STILL gets better!  Once those quilts are taken down from Christie's they are going on tour with Denyse.  I don't know more details about that as I just found out Sunday at the Lizzy House class, but I believe they will be heading off with Denyse to show people what can be done with Hadley.  How cool is that!  At least my quilt will get to travel with a Modern Quilting legend, even if I didn't get the chance to meet her.  And when the quilt is done travelling, it has a place on my couch where it will be well loved and used.  This was a great experience and I really look forward to more challenges with the guild!

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