Saturday, March 31, 2018

Try a Technique - Conversion quilt

One of the best things about being an Island Batik Ambassador is the monthly challenges!  (and Island Batik also provides the fabric for said challenges)  The challenge for March was to try a technique that we've never done.  Many of us had a tough time with this challenge!  The great thing was in discussing and coming up with ideas a whole new world of ideas opened up for me.

I went through my Pinterest Board of Quilts I Want to Make, but didn't really find any interesting techniques that I hadn't done before, so I started working on a new board:  Quilting Techniques to Try
I really loved the idea of making a rainbow quilt, but the fabrics I have to use didn't really support that very well, so I kept looking through my boards and found that I have pinned quite a few conversion quilts.  Well, that looked like fun, so I decided to give it a try!  I found some simple directions online and got started.

I picked out four half yard pieces from my blenders bundle - (three were from the most recent ones I received, and the teal was from an earlier box)
I decided to cut the largest possible squares from my fabrics and decided on where to place them.
After doing the vertical cuts and shuffling the pieces I had this...really loved how it was looking!

Then I made my horizontal cuts and this is what it looked like.

At this point I wasn't really delighted with it, so started playing with border ideas.  (And forgot to take pictures!)  I think that I should have placed the darker fabrics across from each other diagonally so that the lighter ones weren't right next to each other.  I decided to frame the center with a contrasting flange and use the four prints for in the border to bring out the colors more. 

I had the perfect pink in one of the StashBuilder rolls.  Those things are so handy to have on hand for when you need just a bit of a color!  The way I did the border was also a new technique for me.  I usually either make a pieced border or a simple plain border.  I ended up offsetting the seams on the border in order to make the most of the strips I had cut - but that adds a little more interest to the quilt, I think!

Now I was almost ready for quilting.  I pieced a back out of some odds and ends of other Island Batik fabrics I had left from previous projects.  For the batting I used a piece of cotton I had in my stash that was just the right size (yay for using up some stuff!)  I was debating on what color of thread since I have a blend of light and dark fabrics, so I went with a thread in a medium gray tone.  This is a color that was provided in my Ambassador box from Aurifil Thread.  The color is Earl Gray (6732) and it was perfect for this project!
I mostly use 50 wt thread for piecing and quilting because I love that it is strong, yet fine and really blends in without showing too much, even on contrasting fabrics. 

Isn't it nice?  I quilted paisleys in the center, then did hook and swirl in the border.  I just love the fact that you mostly see the texture and not the thread!

After the quilting was finished my final challenge was the binding.  I didn't want to use one of the fabric in the quilt top because it would match one of the corners of the border and I knew that would look a little strange.  I thought I would use pink, but I didn't have enough of any of my pink fabrics to make the binding.  I ended up cutting some strips from the rapidly dwindling leftovers from the top, and used a third technique I have never done and strategically pieced the binding so that the seams met the border seams!  Tricky!

I made four strips of my binding fabric, but did not sew them together.  As I sewed the binding to the quilt, I joined the binding pieces with a straight seam where the seams in the border were.  This would have been a little easier if I had sewn the binding to the top of the quilt, but I like to machine stitch the final fold of the binding to the top so I can do my No Hand Stitching binding technique!  So I had to do some careful judging of where to cut and sew, but it came out pretty well!

Now I will show you the finished quilt - it ended up being almost 36 inches square and used up most of four 1/2 yard pieces of fabric:  

I wasn't the only Island Batik Ambassador who made a convergence quilt!  You can see Nancy's version at Masterpiece Quilting.  We even did our borders the same way, but we used very different fabrics.  

This was a fun project, and I can see how making these Convergence quilts can be addicting.  Now I am going to add a hanging sleeve to my quilt so I can hang it up.  Hope you enjoy your weekend - and wishing you a Happy Easter!


teachpany said...

Stunning, from fabric choices, to piecing, to borders to quilting. Excellent job!

Kathleen said...

These convergence quilts are so stunning. I really love the ways yours turned out. You did a fabulouos job! Fun to search out things we wanted to do and never have gotten to for Island Batiks!

Barb said...

I love this quilt but it frightens me, if I were to make it, I would have to think.....what amazing job you did.

Anita said...

It is a stunning quilt, love it!