Sunday, 28 February 2010

Iron Quilter Challenge

Another online quilt group is running an "Iron Quilter Challenge" this weekend. We had to pull a focus fabric, four to six co-ordinated fabrics which must include an orange, a stripe and a non-cotton specialty fabric, some embellishments, threads, backing and batting. The idea is to complete a project, structured only by a two-hour working window to create a 9" by 12" quilt.

Our very dear Mattie (quilter, knitter, wordsmith and cheery friend extraordinaire) was running the challenge. She posted the rules on Friday night and the group could choose when throughout this weekend they were able to devote the two hours. Mattie even prepared an " inset technique" tutorial to allay fears.

Here is my start ...

and my end point...

An Octopus's Garden Under the Sea

I started with a Laurel Burch fish fabric (leftover from a guild challenge), found my orange (fabric damaged from another color running in the wash) , a stripe (leftover from a backing), a blue batik, a colorful tropical scrap and some random scraps from other projects.

I had some pre-strung beads leftover from making purses, carved seashells, pieces of green organza scrap and a bit of magenta silk chiffon.

I had also pulled out a pack of paper pieced scraps, imagining that I would use them.

Mattie's request to do the inset switched my thinking and so I decided to inset the focus fish into my tropical filowers, as I was playing with that I thought that I could cut the magenta chiffon into strips and twist them so it would be like swimming through seaweed.

I ended up rotating the orientation to landscape and then I knew what direction  to head for the finish.
I pulled some metallic variegated silver/blue thread and a blue sulky thread out of the stash and used these to create texture and flowing water. The orange became more seaweed.

In my haste I left the threads hanging as I moved the stitching lines but I decided that I really like them flowing loose.

I hope you like it!

I used a twin needle, did some couching, twisted pieces of fabric, then did some ruching and I also frayed a lot of edges.

To get the hanging sleeve done within the 2 hour window I set it in between the layers of front, backing and batting so that when I "birthed" the quilt it would be stitched down. I top stitched with the metallic.

I also used a good shortcut to sew down the bottom of the hanging sleeve - carefully  pull away the backing from the main piece, catching the backing with the blind hem stitch.

2 hours and 4 minutes.

The studio however looks like a disaster area

UPDATE: I spent another 30 minutes to add some beads and painted fish (in their previosu life they were earrings).  I"ll leave it alone now.


  1. Great job! It really does have the look of a wonderful undersea garden.

  2. I love your little quilt! Now you've got me looking at my UFO's in a different light. Thanks for the inspiration.

  3. OMG! My ID came up Linda instead of footie. Now to try and fix that one. LOL!

  4. fantastic job! So very creative!

  5. I love your iron quilter challenge. You did a great job.


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