Thursday, November 3, 2016

Machine Quilting Unlimited 10 x 10 Challenge

Machine Quilting Unlimited issued a 10th Anniversary Challenge: 10 x 10. The rules stipulated that entries must finish at 10" x 10" and have something to do with the theme "ten". I had a couple of ideas and set to work, wanting to try out some new techniques.
My first piece, TEN, was inspired by the graphic nature of letters. Using the word "ten", I created a modern, tessellating design. 
I chose matchstick quilting with Aurifil 50wt #2024 to emphasize the letters, and a matched binding that extends beyond the quilt top. 
I produced my own print for the backing, which I transferred to fabric using Transfer Artist Paper. The TAP does give the fabric a stiffer hand and makes holes created from the needle punching through the fabric more pronounced. However, it is washable, impossible to scorch when applying to fabric, and retains the vibrancy of the original design.

I chose to illustrate candles in my second piece, Celebrate!, as they bring to mind momentous occasions. I used Dale Fleming's method for machine piecing an inset circle to create flames. The candles were assembled using Seminole and paper-piecing techniques. 40 wt variegated rayon thread and composite free-motion (comprised of many different design elements) fills the navy background. The binding was free-motion quilted before being attached.
The challenge finalists have been announced and will be featured in the Janurary/February issue of Machine Quilting Unlimited. Alas, I am not included amongst their ranks. As much as I prefer acclaim, I don't regret my efforts as I enjoyed the process of creating these two pieces and trying out some new ideas on a small scale.
I've found some other entries online, if you'd like to check them out as well:
Mel Beach of Piece, Love, & Happiness
Terry Aske Art Quilt Studio
Cheryl of Meadow Mist Designs
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  1. Awesome job! Not that my acclaim counts for much ;). Especially love your binding treatments. I would love to hear more about your process.

  2. I've never seen somebody FMQ a binding before putting it on the quilt, that is absolutely awesome! I love the contrast of your pieces, very different styles but both are lovely. :)

  3. I agree - both your pieces are terrific. I especially like TEN - the design as well as the quilting and over-the-top binding. Nicely done!

  4. They are both splendid, winners in MY book! XO

  5. Both of your entries are amazing, but I love the first one! Such a great design, so graphic! Great job Afton!

  6. Very cool to have made your own custom fabric for the backing, and I am intriqued by the quilting on the binding. It might make a great tutorial to share...

  7. Both of your little quilts are very creative. You put a lot of thought into every aspect of them. You deserve to be very proud of both of them.

  8. Two great minis. I like the difference in them with the common theme. Thank you for the link to the circle tutorial. Wow, it does make me want to try that technique!!!

  9. All I can say is WOW!! Both mini quilts are amazing.

    I absolutely love the one with the candles. If you turned that into a pattern, I'm sure it would sell to people for are making birthday gifts! Especially for milestone birthdays!

  10. Both minis are great! I made one and did not make the cut either (I just have not had time to blog about it yet).

  11. You are a rock star, times TEN. I love how your creative mind works--fun to see these projects!