My local guild challenge this year involved using a printed color pallet generated from photos that the challenge committee selected. Members had to choose a envelope that contained the color pallet and not open it until they were home to discover what color pallet they had to use. Each member got a different picture and color pallet and we were to use at least four of the colors in the pallet for our challenge quilt. We were to make a table runner no smaller than 10” x 20” or larger than 18” x 48”. The biggest challenge was that we had to have the piece of paper with the printed pallet with our completed challenge at the big reveal in May (not loosing it in the depths of your sewing things) plus we got the challenge in September and trying to keep it all a secret from other members until the May meeting.
I was thrilled with my pallet when I opened my envelope after I got home from that September meeting as these are colors I had in my stash and use a lot in decorating my home. Now to get to work and design something that will work in my house and satisfy the challenge rules. I used Electric Quilt computer software to design the Mariners Compass blocks that I printed to finish at 7 1/2”. I love using that program as anything you design can be printed at what ever size you want. The program is pretty easy to understand and use as well. Here are the fabrics I selected for the table runner and you can see they match my color swatches pretty well. They are all batiks and from my stash so I didn’t even have to go out and buy any. I love shopping from my stash.As you might guess the block sections were pieced in a ring. I split the pattern along one of the lines then foundation pieced the points and background then after they were pieced the ring was seamed back together. I usually don't make all the fabric decisions at the beginning but decide as I go and contemplate the fabric to use for the center and the outside triangles. The center circle will be appliqued in place and the triangles machine pieced. All pieced and ready to machine quilt. I joined the blocks on the sides, leaving off the side triangles so one block would flow into the other. I liked the look of the points on the ends so added those corners to the block to achieve the points.
Planning the quilting designs is always a lot of fun for me. I try out different designs on paper first and here are ideas for the large triangles. and the mariners compass.I have had two small fine line rulers from Accents on Design to be used for machine quilting for a while and was anxious to give them a try. The advertisement for the rulers said they could be used on a domestic machine. I didn’t trust myself to just quilt along them with no markings so I chalked the lines first.The small handles made holding onto the ruler more stable as well as the Velcro like strip on the bottom gripping the fabric. I do not have the correct foot used for ruler work but used the BSR foot. I did have to make sure I didn’t change the angle of the stitching lines as the foot is not completely symmetrical and make sure the ruler didn’t get under or over the foot, which would have been a disaster. So far Bernina doesn’t have a ruler foot but I am guessing/hoping that they produce one soon.I have admired curved cross hatching that longarm quilters have stitched for years and it was fun to be able to stitch the design on my table runner. It was so much faster than using a walking foot and stitching smooth symmetrical curves free hand can be a nightmare. The rulers really did help with the curves and the straight ruler for all my straight lines. The hardest part was judging how far to place the ruler to get the line stitched where I wanted it.All done and ready to use and I finished it in March so no last minute stitching which is a big relief.My next post will have photos of all the challenge table runners and let me tell you they are amazing.