The Patchwork Prism, is Finished!
Earlier this week I was able to finish my Patchwork Prism. Every finish is so rewarding, but this one in particular felt so good! Patchwork Prism was the first Quilt Along I have participated in and I had so much fun!
I enjoyed sharing my progress with you and the other participants, your feedback and comments helped me press on and really made me realize that quilting would truly not be the same without the Quilting Community. I am so thankful for you my readers and your support :)
When I originally saw the pattern for this quilt I thought that it was so beautiful, but not completely my style. So I wanted to think of a way to make the quilt fit my style, but still stick to Anna Maria Horner's brilliant design. Well the answer to that was solids.
Despite it's tiny size, this quilt had many challenges! First I had to figure out how I would use all solids, without completely breaking the bank. Purchasing yardage of each color would have been way too expensive, so I decided to downsize the pattern by 50% and order five Kona Charms packs from Fat Quarter Shop.
Once I got my charm packs I divided them into colors and counted out how much of each color I had. I was really low on the gold and yellows, so I decided to make some changes. I played around in photoshop for a few hours until I came up with a new layout.
Before I cut any of my charm squares I laid them out on my design wall to make sure I only cut colors I would for sure use.
I printed my templates on card stock and I used a quilters marking pencil to trace them onto my charm squares.
I spent about 4 weeks choosing colors and cutting the pieces. Each day I would just stand back and stare at the progress of the quilt on my design wall. I'd move a few colors around, and go about the rest of my day. Taking my time on this step was crucial.
Once I finished cutting my pieces, It hung on my design wall for a week. All those bias edges and little pieces were extremely intimidating!
I started off piecing about one row a day. Once I got about halfway I got piecing fever and I finished it after a midnight sewing section.
My points are far from perfect, but I am still so in love with it. I could have just been happy to hang the quilt top on my wall.
I tossed backing ideas for days. This was another part of the process I really struggled with. Since this is a hanging quilt, I didn't want to go to crazy on the back. At the same time though I didn't want it to be just one solid color. After days of brainstorming I decided to repeat the center hexagon on the back using all shades of my favorite color, green.
The biggest challenge of the whole project was the quilting. I knew from the second I saw the pattern exactly how I wanted to quilt it. Echo quilting the hexagons from the center out. The idea seemed so easy in my mind, I thought its a small quilt this will be a cinch! Wow, was I wrong. First I could not decide which color thread to use, there are so many colors in this quilt and the backing is so dark. I decided on a silvery gray, but wish I would have gone with a darker gray thread or possibly an invisible thread.
Once I started quilting I immediately started having problems with my sewing machine. If you have read my past posts you know that for some reason the two sewing machines I have owned both always caused problems when quilting. I used to have a Brother CS-6000i, which broke twice and I returned it. Now I have a used little Elna I got for $170 a few months ago (I don't have a big budget). Little Elna pieces beautifully, but as soon as I put her walking foot on and start quilting she skips stitches, and I get bird-nests on the back of my quilt. I tried everything new thread, new needle, new bobbin, took my machine apart cleaned it, made sure my bobbin was in correct, nothing worked. The machine just got serviced when I bought it so, based on my history of this problem, Im starting to wonder if Elna isn't the culprit, and its actually the operator, aka me. I could not figure out what to do, so I just pressed on and left the messy stitches :(
I decided on a Kona Mulberry binding. Originally I planned to hand stitch this binding. I got into the zone and accidentally cut all my binding strips 2", which is perfect for machine stitched binding, but too narrow for hand stitching, so machine stitched it was. I added two pockets on the back to allow for wall hanging, and It was complete!
- 32" x 34.5"
- Completely Kona Cotton
Once I have time to get a wooden dowel, this beauty will be hanging in my sewing room! I wan't to thank Bianca from Sweet Diesel Designs for hosting a fabulous Quilt Along. Also a thanks to Anna Maria Horner, and Janome, for letting use this amazing pattern. And to all the sponsors who have made this Quilt Along so exciting!