Wednesday, July 8, 2015

Challenges Are Not Me!

If you are a member of the Modern Guild (or not), you may know about the Riley Blake Fabric Challenge.  You sign up for a little bundle of fabric from a specific line (The Cottage Garden) and make something. 

The rules are make something quilted, something you have never done before and only use Riley Blake 'The Cottage Garden' Collection.  You can buy more fabric from this line, what ever you need above and beyond the free bundle.  

This was the bundle that was mailed out to members.  I did buy one additional fabric.  A 1/2 yard of the grey solid.  Just in case, I figured it was grey and I can always use that color!


Where will I go with this?  Heck if I know!  I wasn't sure what I was going to do at all.  I knew that I was only going to allow myself to use the free bundle and the half yard of grey. Nothing more.  That means I followed the rules...something new.  (yes, I am pushing it)

And, I knew I wanted to paper piece something (not new).  Only this time I would combine different patterns and twist, cut and twiddle with it.  (new)  

The pattern above is 'Rockstar' from Diane Bohn:  From Blank Pages blog.  I love the shapes, but they were going to change.  


The birds are a big draw!  You gotta use the birds!  Fussy cutting (something new) and the first time I pieced this Mini Trajectory block which I found on Craftsy.  (new).  

Now to figure out how to make them go together.  After turning, twisting and eventually cutting, I came up with this design.



I had to sew partial seams which just about killed me!  I don't think my calculating was correct, but it eventually came together.  



See how wonky they turned out?  It happens. I kept thinking that some good old quilting will take care of the issues!



Sewn together in one lovely large block.  I have to admit that by this time I was hating it. What was I thinking?  I'm not sure, but I knew this 'thing' was not going to see the light of day, let alone be entered in the challenge!

But I forced myself to keep going.  I added the left over pieces from the 'Rock Star' blocks around the center.  Then grabbed the rotary cutter and sliced an improv border with flower print.  Done.  I have never combined the precise method of paper piecing with improv...New! 

16" x 16"
Pillow Cover
I used my very limited free motion quilting skills to finish it off.  Go for it!  Quilt the hell out of it, it will be fine...  


In all honesty, I threw up my hands in frustration by now!  Just quilt it, wash it and chalk it up to a lesson learned!



Last, the backing.  The remaining three pieces of fabric were combined with a hidden zipper for this crazy pieced backing.   After that, not one little piece of fabric was left over.  Not one!!

After washing, after the crinkle action happened, I then felt much better about this pillow. I'm not saying I love it.  I'm saying I don't hate it any longer!  

I kind of feel bad that my attempt at this challenge didn't work out so well.  I'm sure there were plenty of people who wished they had been able to get one of these bundles when the challenge was first announced.  And I'm sure they would have made some thing fantastic. 

I now know that if you aren't in love...love...love with a fabric line or color combination, there is no way you can make something that you love.  I'm proud that I finished and happy that I did complete the challenge.

Did you take the Riley Blake Challenge?  Did you have difficult time with it?


LINKING:

43 comments :

  1. I did! I actually love my finish & need to do a blog post on it soon. We shared ours at our modern guild meeting last night & although many (maybe 20?) of us had the challenge fabric, only three of us had finished items to share. Most agreed that they were uninspired by this particular fabric.

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    1. It wasn't that I hated the fabric, it just wasn't my style. I've heard from many people that they weren't inspired by the selection of fabrics and imagine there will be many who never finish! That being said, there were many more who loved it and loved what they made! I've seen tons of gorgeous finishes!

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    1. Thank you Anja, in the end I'm pretty happy with it. Maybe because it's finished! I'm a firm believer now that quilting makes all the difference!

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  3. Fab cushion. I love these fabrics, I'm using them for a different QAL at the moment! :0) xx

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    1. The fabric wasn't my style, which makes all the difference when trying to design something! I'm happy I pushed through it and love seeing what others have created using the same bundle!

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  4. I am quilting my entry right now (actually, I should be quilting it right now - haha). I actually really liked the fabric line and had fun with it; I paired the prints with the clean white and it worked well for me. I really like how your pillow turned out, personally, and congratulations for putting yourself out there to try something new!

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    1. I honestly don't hate the fabric, it just isn't my style. Which makes it difficult to design something. I did take the easy road in the end, but I'm happy I did it, mostly I'm happy its finished!

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  5. I think this came out great. The block is fun and it makes for a lovely pillow. I challenge you to look past the nit-picky and appreciate what you have made for what it is! :)

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    1. Thank you Jennifer for the words of encouragement! You are right and for the most part I'm happy with the pillow. I owe that to the quilting, which in my mind made all the difference for me!

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  6. Those fabrics are so pretty and I like the colour palette. You never cease to amaze me with your improve skills and ability to power through and finish. Your cushion turned out gorgeous!

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    1. I have a hard time letting something go once I start it, so regardless of the out come it was going to get finished! I owe it all to the FMQ and the washing machine…because in the end I was happy with it!

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  7. I think this pillow turned out great! I'm actually a little jealous....I have never, ever, made a quilted pillow! I took the Riley Blake fabric challenge too, did a table runner. Wasn't in love with mine either and was so disappointed not to be able to source any RB solids locally so had to use Kona instead, which meant I couldn't enter mine into the actual challenge. Oh well, I had fun anyway!

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    1. It was an exercise in persistence!

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  8. I actually really like how you have used the birds in this pillow. Probably not my favorite fabric line, just not my style, but you did a great job with it.

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    1. I agree 100%! I pushed the envelope on making something 'you've never done', but I'll stand by it! The quilting sealed the deal for me and if it wasn't for that, I don't think I would have shared!

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  9. I love how your pillow came together and think the improve border brings it all together. The back is awesome also. How nice to win the scrap war and use all of the fabric!

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    1. I think it's fun to throw together lots of different techniques and elements ~ this pillow shows that!

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  10. I really like the design you made and the color palette! Sorry you don't love love love it, but I think it's really pretty! I wouldn't know what to do with that bundle, to be honest...so you did much better than I would have. ;-)

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    1. I don't triple love it, thats for sure! In the end I am very happy with it. More than I expected!

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  11. Everything you accomplished with this challenge is so far and above my skills that it is a hoot for me to hear you call it "this 'thing', lol! I completely understand the feelings, tho! I actually love the way the borders brought everything together!!! Very clever, all the way around!

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    1. I hope I didn't come across that I hated the fabric, or the design. I just wasn't loving it! In the end, after washing it, I came to like it so much more.

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  12. Congrats to you for trying this! It looks great! Unfortunately, I missed this challenge. But I did participate in my first mini swap. The subject matter was not to my taste, but I put that aside and created the mini, hating the applique stitching with each stitch! Now that it's all finished, I kind of like it. Will I do a mini swap again? Probably not, but at least I went outside my comfort zone with this one.

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    1. It was a challenge from start to end, but I always learn something! I have never done a mini swap, although I would love to give it a try. It is all about pushing ourselves sometimes, lessons learned and how you handle the situation!

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  13. I love this fabric line and the SKU's you have shown at the top of your blog entry. I paired mine with the light cream background and it really pops.

    Sorry you were dissatisfied with yours, but I think you did very well. The grey background really does drag the fabric down. Grey is such a hard colour to work with.

    I think your turned out really well - but if the fabric doesn't turn your crank it is hard to be creative. I totally agree with you.

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    1. Cream sounds like a wonderful pairing! I wasn't loving mine during the process, but in the end after it was said and done…I do like it so much more!

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  14. Very often, as I work on projects, I go through spells where I don't like what I'm doing too Jayne. I think you recovered beautifully though, The outer border, improv cutting and then your quilting, plus the way you did the back too, turned this into a really cool looking pillow!

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    1. Whew! Thank you Lara!! Unless every one is just being kind…it seems my pillow isn't as bad as I felt it was!! Chalk that up to not loving the fabric! It is hard to power through a project that you don't love. Taking my own advice…keep going, you never know how it will turn out!

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  15. Well, I love the pillow you created,especially the way you highlighted the birds. I've done two Riley Blake challenges and passed on others. I may do another someday. I find I generally do better when a challenge has a theme instead of required fabric.

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    1. I really do love how the birds turned out!! I should have mentioned that in the post. I'm with you…I think I would do better with a theme too!

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  16. Challenges can be frustrating. I guess that's why they're called Challenges. I did this challenge and made drunkard's path blocks for the first time. I enjoyed it. It's a very little amount of fabric that we received so I did wind up buying more. I wound up with a table runner which I gave to my Mom for her birthday as she loves all things birds, nests and eggs. Your pillow is beautiful! I like this colour way better than the pink. It is hard to sew with something you don't like. Fortunately I liked these fabrics. (visiting from Let's Bee Sewcial)

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    1. What I love about quilting (and challenges), you never know if you will like a technique or project. But learning to do something new is amazing!

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  17. I guess the beauty of experimenting while quilting is learning what you'd like to try again and what you would not. I do understand about working with fabrics that you are not in love with, although the bird fabric is fabulous. If someone asks me to do something custom, and I am not in love with with what they have picked, I always feel like it is not as nice as it could have been had I had free range. Love the improv PP borders!

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    1. I like to try something at least once because you never know if you will love it or not. Paper piecing was that way for me.

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  18. Jayne, I have to disagree - I love this pattern and the pillow and it worked out VERY well! I did enter the challenge and even have a design, but have been so busy and then was out of the country for a month. Now I'm waiting for fabric.I'm not sure I'm going to be able to finish the darn thing in time...gonna try, though.

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    1. I wasn't feeling the happy feeling I usually get when I am working on something! Since I finished the pillow, I have found myself liking it more and more.

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  19. I'm not good at working with fabric combos that I'm not entirely in love with either ... but I do love what you've done! Rules, pfft, I'm no good at those either lol :)

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  20. I love the color combo of your pillow and how it turned out.

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  21. "So many precious projects, so little precious time" is a wooden sign I ran across today on the Primitive Gatherings site. It reminded me of your dilemma: take on a challenge that is not your style, or perhaps miss out on a new technique, such as paper piecing. I do not participate in challenges, partly because it does not seem to be a good use of my "precious time." I adopt new techniques, such as thread painting, when I need to use them for a project I am creating.

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    1. Love the quote! I like to push myself, even if I'm not feeling the fabric or design! That process can certainly be aggravating, but for the most part I don't mind it.

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  22. The fabrics definitely were a stretch for me, and I had to add the pink portion of the line to make it all work. Kudos to you for paper piecing. I like it!

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    1. At this point I'm very happy with it. Some projects grown on you after a while, this one has.

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  23. I did indeed take the challenge. Here's my creation...
    http://quarterinchfromtheedge.blogspot.ca/2015/06/friday-finish-challenge.html
    I didn't feel the level of frustrating you did with this one... perhaps because I didn't dislike the fabric quite as much.... though I generally don't go for florals. And I don't think you should feel one iota of guilt about not making something (you think) is glorious with the highly sought after challenge fabric. Any guilt about not enough fabric should lay squared on the MQG's shoulders (or perhaps Riley Blake). You took on the challenge and made something lovely. Perhaps you could gift it... mine is making it's way to Australia!

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