Monday, March 3, 2014

Botanics Challenge

Jess from Quilty Habit and I sometimes get a little silly on Instagram. I especially like that we each post Target pictures for the other person because #targetlovesquilters. So when I saw that she had won a Botanics layer cake, and I had purchased one in a moment of weakness, I said "we can't mess with destiny" and a challenge was born!

We agreed to create a project using said layer cake and it was to be based on a picture. And wouldn't ya know it, the picture Jess chose was all about improv, and mine was all about precision.

And voila! Here's my finish! Sorry the picture was awful, I haven't been able to get a picture outside yet :(

I created templates using the cardboard piece at the back of the layer cake and a variety of embroidery hoops. I cut the pieces out, added seam allowances, and chose my fabrics.

Orange is a color that I almost never work with, so this was certainly a little out of my comfort zone! And the night that I did most of the bulk of the piecing for the circles left me with a headache. Honestly, I'm not quite sure that I could do it again, but I just tried to sew the pieces together in the most logical order, and it miraculously resulted in no Y-seams.

One of the things that was nice about the Botanics fabric is that it doesn't have a lot of stretch to it. While this makes me sad that I won't be making any shirts out of it anytime soon, it was nice for curved piecing. But despite my best efforts, the final product was a little wavy. And I had used up all my ability to figure out the math to piece any more curves, so I used my machine to thread trace the 1/4" seam and then pressed the raw edge under and appliqued it to a 15" square of Kona silver [which, by the way, I'm in love with that color now].

And that square sat for over a week. While I looked at it and wondered where to go next. I totally would have made a pillow, but Jess had shown some sneak peeks of her awesome quilt, and I was feeling the pressure to create a bigger project, lest I look like I was taking the easy way out.

I think this is where I started to veer off from the picture. I would wake up each day with a different idea. First I was going to do chevrons on all four sides, and then I was going to create additional gold half circles extending out, and then, and then, and then... And my project still sat. Finally I got it in my head that the final product needed to look like a circuit, or machinery type vibe. So I added some gold strips, some equilateral triangles, and lots more Kona silver.

 When I was taking pictures of it Stephen asked me what it was. I explained the challenge and said this was my project. His response was to clarify whether or not it had a purpose and I said that it didn't necessarily need a purpose but that sometimes it was just about creating art.

He ended the conversation by saying "Well then this is like all that famous modern art, because I've never understood it, and that's how I feel when I look at your project." ;)

Make sure you go check out Jess's project - a wildly different use of Botanics and a fabulous end result! I can't wait to see the quilted version because she really rocks the FMQ and I'm sure it will add another layer of spectacular depth to her quilt!


  1. What a fun challenge, and well met too!

  2. This looks awesome! I love how you made it for the sake of art (like me). Haha husbands/fiances and quilts don't always match up ;) How are you going to quilt it?

  3. "He ended the conversation by saying "Well then this is like all that famous modern art, because I've never understood it, and that's how I feel when I look at your project." ;)"

    That's hilarious. And I'm in awe of your circles and curves!

  4. Great challenge, I love your inspiration pic.


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