Design Wall Monday

Monday, May 25, 2015
This week my 5" challenge project became a flimsey--

You may recognize it as the pattern received in promotional mailings from Fons and Porter called Milky Way. 

How the challenge worked--I picked 75 pairs of 5" charms from my stash.  Everyone started with the same 5" pairs of charms.  You could add or subtract any charms/fabrics.  The finished top had to be at least 40" square.  It had to have one common quilting design element in it.  You could cut your charms into any shape/size.  Sounds easy doesn't it?  I STRUGGLED FOR MONTHS!!!  Paged through countless magazines and books.  Stared at the computer until my eyes were sore. (This challenge was when my MOJO was on vacation all winter with Liz and Teresa!)   I'm okay with it, some of the fabrics were medium value and it muddied the design a little, but overall I like it.  I added lights to mine, there weren't enough lights in the charm packet.  Mine is 71x88"--a nice size.  Because I could I used GREEN as a border.  I think it really adds to the top. ;-)

And then I saw Teresa's and Liz's.  WOW!!!  I was floored with their artistic efforts and out of the box thinking!   

First is Teresa's--

Teresa wrote--

It was interesting to see/ hear how we all approached this. I even checked out a few books from the guild library on nickel quilts- but I did not like them for this challenge. I sometimes speak on string quilts and have multiple settings... so I decided to incorporate strings into this one. I think I added two green charms to this from my stash. I concentrated on the charms from Lori that read as solid/ tone on tone without using any solid. Picking the strings- tried to find ones that matched that specific tone of the charm- example, not just any blue but turquoise ones. 

I auditioned multiple print borders and just by chance has this African print. Liz had given it to me as a potential backing for something years ago- and I had just enough to put the masks around this quilt.

I originally thought of quilting masks in each block- great idea- but I was always going to have a nose etc over the center seam and was too bumpy for that. So I tried a jungle inspired leaf. 

The label on the back is pieced into the backing... and by weird coincidence has a quilted leaf almost perfectly centered on it, 

I did not use all of the challenge charms- and when Liz's went missing I shared my leftovers... (Liz later found her packet.)

This measures 47 1/2" square and uses half square triangles. 

I think this is the most I have ever explained about one of my quilts. My daughter picked the title--African Mosaic.


Liz's comments--

This was going to be my Plan A:

(click on the link and open the pdf to view)

There was a Plan B, a magazine article from the late 1990's, but needed a lot of nickel blocks with the same look.

So, Plan C unfolded

Since the squares were in pairs, I used both to cut rectangles and used them to accent the MAM blocks.  4 pairs from Teresa's pack were used to duplicate some of my squares.  Size is 66 x 77 inches.  I love the result!  I just might make another with the remaining squares using bright MAM blocks.  Don't have a name for it yet.

This challenge was certainly a challenge, but it was fun!

For giggles I asked Teresa and Liz to guess my two favorite fabrics, I included both with the packets.  They were very surprised at the reveal--

The Japanese Royalty sitting and gossiping is my all time favorite!  I am hoarding the last of it, and add it to every scrappy quilt I make.  The pink/purple/blue/green is I think a Hoffman Christmas fabric from several years ago.  Alas, none is left.   

I admit I balk at thinking out of the box.  Challenges are HARD!  But fun!  Never pass up an opportunity, I learn a lot from these projects.   Please see everyone's design wall posts at Patchwork Times.



Vic in NH said...

All three of the challenges are a big success, each in their own way! But I confess that I have already made my own Muddy Milky Way from that promotional page, and I love yours best. I also can appreciate how much effort it is to sew all the rows of those tessellating stars. You done good!

Sue H said...

I love those kinds of challenges. I am going to take part in a 9-patch challenge next year, and the possibilities are almost endless! Like all the quilters, gorgeous.

QuiltinLibraryLady said...

That same Fons & Porter pattern is laying on top of my sewing room bookcase. I DO intend to make it.....SOMEDAY.

Tired Teacher said...

While all the quilts are beautiful, I am drawn to yours the most. It is traditional, has movement, and allows the fabrics to be showcased. Nice job.

Kate said...

Your challenge quilt turned out beautifully. I've never done one of those type of challenges, but it sounds like fun.

Nann said...

What a great idea for a challenge. The interpretations are so diverse. I like your Milky Way and I remember earmarking that pattern for "someday."

Rhonda said...

What a fun challenge and so interesting to see how differently they all turned out. I really like your Milky Way--it's long been on my list of "some day" quilts.

Susan said...

Yours is quite lovely - nothing 'meh' about it! Great job!

Lee said...

"Milky Way" is one of those patterns I've set aside for my "someday" projects, and I generally prefer colors as in the original pattern. However, I think you did a fantastic job with your colors. To me it all looks good and goes well. Beautiful!

Sara said...

Love all of them - you did a great job!
One of your hsts is turned wrong in the last row of Milky Way. If you haven't quilted it yet you may want to change it. I wish someone had told me about one of mine turned weong several yrs ago - before it was quilted!


Lori said...

As always beautiful!

Katie Z. said...

I was ready to guess the Royal people fabric as one of your faves! I still remember the quilt I made with the bit you gifted me.