Friday, October 17, 2014

RJR Fabric Challenge Quilt

My RJR Fabric Challenge Quilt through the Denver Quilt Guild.

1. Pick 12 fat quarters chosen by RJR fabrics.
2. Design and finish a quilt (top) in one month's time (bonus points for finishing the whole quilt).
3. Maker could add one additional "neutral" fabric, BUT you had to notice the RJR fabrics, and not so much the added fabric .
4. Minimum size, 36" square

Ready Set…….. GO!!!!
The details:
"Read Between the Lines"
 57" x  54.5"
Fabrics top: RJR Cotton and Steel line 2 prints and 10 coordinating solids. Prints: Dottie in Fedora, XOXO in Ghost. Solids: Tiffany Box, pink Sapphire, rhododendron, pink orchid, mandarin, on the rock, silver, driftwood, linen white. Additional fabric, Kona 100% cotton in snow.
Fabrics back: Kona cotton in silver and slate, Shimmer Metallic Dash by Jennifer Sampou for Robert Kaufman. Additional Stash Fabrics. Small remnant improv piece left-over from front.
detail of back

Thread: Piecing Aurifil 2026; Quilting (bobbin) Aurifil 2600, (top) center metallic: Sulky 7009 Metallic silver, remainder Aurifil 2026.

Quilting: matchstick on Bernina 180 with walking foot
yes, matchstick quilting does take time and uses lots of thread

Batting: Hobbs heirloom cotton
Binding: 2" straight of grain with inset seam detailing
inset seaming continues through binding
Design: original design with couture inset seam detailing. Cool colors used in larger improv pieced square. I also inset rectangles of improv pieced fabric in the warm solid colors. The inset seams were used to add tiny, less than 1/4" color strips. These were added as the top was being pieced. The inset seaming proved difficult in areas in which multiple seams came together because the inset pieces are so tiny and you can really only press other seams to the side so much.  I used the same sewing technique to continue the inset fabric through the binding. I glue basted the inset seams, so laundering was going to be necessary at the completion of the quilt, even before I stained the top (gasp). (see below)
inset seam detail

inset seam detail

Something I've never done before: I was nearly finished the quilt and noticed a black stain on the top. I have no idea how (what looks for all the world like a sharpie mark) the stain got onto the quilt top.  (Insert Boo Hoo face here). Luckily I received all kinds of great stain removal advice and was able to remove the stain after just one washing. (phew).

Things I learned: even though you start with the equivalent of 3 yards of fabric (12 fat quarters) once you start cutting and piecing the amount you end up with is significantly less, especially if your design has lots of seams. Also, I {still} LOVE metallic threads. It's the most I've used in any quilt and it really sparkles against the improv pieced the cool fabrics. My question is- how come Aurifil doesn't make metallics? I'd use them if you had them!! (hint, hint Alex Veronelli)
Metallic thread… it sparkles, it really does.
One final note- often when in the process of creating a quilt design, or at least during the cutting and piecing I have a pretty good idea of what name goes with the quilt. And for sure by the time I'm done quilting I know for sure. Oddly, that didn't happen in this case and I toyed with the idea of calling this "The quilt with no name".  Luckily that didn't happen, and eventually, after all the cutting and sewing and quilting and praying the stain came off after washing, and then even asking some friends for suggestions (none given), something came to me (phew).  I almost wanted to smack a palm to my head and say DUH! There are so many LINES on this quilt I'm astounded it didn't come sooner,  but then again, maybe even I had to "read between the lines…."


  1. This is just SO interesting! I mean that in a very good way of course. Just so much to take in - I love the thoughtful details in every aspect of this. Very nice.

  2. What a cool quilt! You did a fantastic job with those rules!

  3. Please enter this in Quiltcon. It is amazing!


  4. This quilt is stunning, and I see you used the metallic threads in it. I love the bits of reds added in to the design, it really makes the design special.

  5. This is awesome, I think I love it more than your Fade into Grey quilt. It is so intriguing, those inset seams make it seem as though the quilt is bleeding.


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