Wednesday, February 17, 2021

Rainbow Rings
24" x 24"

To celebrate the opening of QuiltCon Together, I decided to post about my Make a Mini Make a Friend quilt.
This is a quilt swap with the Modern Quilt Guild.  After you sign up, you are paired with someone else who is participating.  We get introduced to each other via email, and then make a mini quilt for each other that are eventually sent through snail mail.  This is my first time participating and it was fun!  I was also grateful that my normal break neck pace had slowed down enough to have an opening in my normally very full schedule. 
First, my swap partner did not have any requests at all.  This made it really hard for me.  I already struggle with decision making.  I was worried that I wasn't going to come up with any ideas at all. Luckily for me, she had an Instagram account, so I was able to look at her previous posts.  Brilliant!!  It didn't take long, and then I was well on my way.  The only thing I found hard was keeping this a secret!  She wasn't supposed to see it until it was mailed to her.  We were allowed to post shots of details that did not give it away, and that was good enough! 

Another thing I really liked about this project was an opportunity to explore an idea I had.  I had previously made a double wedding ring quilt, but since then I have had a number of other ideas, but hadn't yet had time to pursue them.  This one was perfect because it also incorporated the idea of transparency in the overlapping colors.  

Using my copic markers, I sketched my idea.  I loved the idea of starting with the markers, because I could overlap the colors and see the transparencies.
It also took me a while to find colors that would work and appear to be the in-between colors.  
Then I drew the pattern full scale and cut out the rest of the pieces.  For this to work, I needed to keep track of the placement of all the blocks because none of them were interchangeable.
I started piecing the smallest squares first to make the corners of the DWR. 
These were quick and easy! The curves were a bit stretchier, but doable.  It went together really quick, which was very satisfying! 
I decided to hand quilt the colorful rings because I love the texture of hand quilting so much!
I finished it up with some black echo quilting and fine line quilting in the melons (the black and white striped inner section of the rings).  Then I sent it to my swap partner.  I was surprisingly anxious... waiting to hear if it arrived and if she liked it or not.  After a few days I saw her post on Instagram.  It warmed my heart to see that she liked it!  That's the best part of this project is how I felt.  The act of giving warms the heart!

And, within a day or two my quilt from Julie arrived!
I love it so much!  First, I LOVE hummingbirds! They symbolize joy for me.  And I have used them in my work before. Perhaps you remember from this quilt? Also, I love the bright aqua/turquoise colors she selected for my hummer.  It is PERFECT for me!  I also love the background fabric and the backing fabric because both had hummingbirds on them! A nice repetition of pattern.  Last, I love the precision of the paper pieced pattern.  I am not a paper piecer.  This is not something I would normally have, but I am so grateful that Julie can do this (and she does it VERY WELL!!).  It is so beautiful.  The pattern is called Sugar Baby and is from Nicole at Lillyella Stitchery

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