Chiagu Blog

Running before walking . . .

Posted on March 05, 2012 | 0 Comments

Like I mentioned in my quilt update post, I've already dipped my toes into the world of quilting fabric design. I often say that I like to "run before I walk" and this particular endeavor is no different!

What you see above is all the swatches I ordered from Spoonflower. When you're designing fabrics, if you add a bunch to one "collection" in Spoonflower you are allowed to order swatches all printed together, like this, which saves you money. Each swatch is only $5 to start anyway, which is really affordable, but when you want to order 10 or more fabric swatches it really starts to eat into your project budget! So this option is awesome in my opinion.

Let's take a look at some of the fabrics more closely, shall we?

This Grellow Robots fabric was the first one I did and everything else came from this one. Why robots? Because I was inspired by the "robot cheater quilt" challenge that Spoonflower is running this week. If you didn't know, they do a Fabric of the Week challenge every week with some type of theme to it. It's so much fun to see and vote for the fabrics, and I love the idea of the contest, so when I saw a theme that inspired me I dove right in.

Because the entry had to be done as a cheater quilt (ie a large piece of fabric printed to resemble a pieced top, so you can "cheat" and just do the quilting step) and the size was 42" x 36", I decided to go with a baby quilt design. The robots you see above were the starting point, and one of the all-over fabrics I started with before building up into the Cheater.

You can also see that I ended up doing two colorways, one grellow (gray + yellow) and one mint + grey + pink.

I thought it would be cute to do both regular polka-dots and also do gears-as-dots, and in the end I think the gears may be my favorite print. The samples came with the repeat incorrect (I intend this to be printed with the half-brick repeat), but you can see it the right way if you go to the fabric page on Spoonflower. Oh by the way, all these prints can be bought from Spoonflower if you're interested! (10% of the price you pay comes to me via Spoonflower)

The last design I did was a larger-scale zig-zag, shown here in the Grellow colorway. I think this one would be great for the back of the quilt! This one was the most work to design (well, not counting the cheater) because getting the repeat to work out exactly was really really challenging. I learned a lot from this one, let me tell you!

I'm guessing that after looking at all those prints you're very curious to see the cheater itself, right?

Here's the digital version:

And here it is printed up (and all wrinkled!):

I have to admit that when I opened the Spoonflower package, I could hardly believe I had designed this myself! I'm totally in love with it and absurdly proud of it. I took it with me to quilt class yesterday and acted like a proud momma showing it off to everyone who would look! Luckily it was received well and everyone seemed to like it, otherwise that might have been awkward . . .

To make this panel into a quilt I still needed a quilt back and binding. For the back, I went with the swatches:

I cut out them all out of the sampler and sewed them together in a simple grid. When I got to the shop yesterday, I bought a coordinating solid mint green and put that around these blocks to finish the back.

Since yesterday's class was all about the "sandwich" step of the quilting process, I decided to learn on this cheater. Here is the quilt during the pin-basting step:

I kind of hated this step to tell you the truth. Pinning safety pins all over the place was really boring and hurt my fingers! But thankfully it was over pretty quickly. And after this I got to quilt with a walking foot for the first time! So much fun and so neat to watch it happen.

In class I finished all the quilting and started cutting the binding. When I got home I finished sewing the binding and even did the hand-sewing on the back, and cut off all the extra threads . . . so this little quilt is DONE DONE DONE.

In my next post I'll show it to you . . . stay tuned!

Posted in fabric, quilting


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