Saturday, January 26, 2013

madrona road

happy fall! happy winter! happy new year!

When I attended my local modern quilt guild's holiday party in December, I was excited to snag a bundle of 6 Madrona Road fat quarters so that I could join in the latest MQG challenge. Participants were encouraged to create a quilt (or quilted item) using this new range from Portland designer Violet Craft. I absolutely love Violet's first collection, Peacock Lane, which I've been hoarding collecting and fondling dreaming about using for some time. 

Madrona Road is offered in a couple of colorways. My guild got the blue/grey/yellow stack. The colors are soft and spa-like - different from my usual pull toward jewel tones and bright, fruit-punch rainbows. Here are the fabrics that were in my bundle: 

madrona road bundle

I knew I wanted to either design my own quilt or use a "method" instead of a pattern. I had settled on a simple, offset coin pattern that would feel like bricks as kind of a play on the "road" part of the range name. But when I got to ironing and really looking at the fabrics, this one struck me.  

I'm starting my #MQG challenge project and loving this #madronaroad print!

I just really love that herringbone - or is it a chevron? who knows. Either way, it compelled me to go in a different direction. I got out the graph paper and resolved to reinterpret this fabric design as a quilt. It worked, and the swearing was almost zero. Once I got the hang of cutting on the 45-degree line on my mat, the herringbone inset came together quickly. 

Madrona Road

My original intent was to use a charcoal solid as the background color on the front, but everything I had access to at that moment wasn't right. It was either too light or too purple. I consulted with a gang of quilty friends and we tried white and linen and a yarn-dyed linen blend. They were "fine," which everyone knows is code for "meh."  Ultimately I settled on this not-quite-navy blue solid, and I'm "really pleased" with the end result, which everyone knows is code for "YOU GUYS THIS IS SO GOOD, RIGHT?!"

I pieced a back that echoes the front with a panel of the inspiration print and a medium grey solid background. 

Madrona Road - back

I machine-quilted it, echoing the front panel herringbone and extending the straight lines out to the edges of the quilt. 

Madrona Road - back detail

On the back it creates a quilted herringbone in the negative space, which makes me happy. 

Madrona Road - back quilting detail

For the binding I used a coordinating print that I picked up at my LQS. I like how it reads a solid from afar and really plays well with both the not-quite-navy on the front and the grey on the back. 

Madrona Road

Overall I'm once again totally geeked that my graph paper design translated to a finished quilt so smoothly and perfectly. The novelty of that never wears off. 

Madrona Road

Another member of my guild commented that she felt liberated to try new things because she had been given the fabric rather than purchasing it herself. I tend to agree that there's a certain sense of freedom and decisiveness that comes with these MQG challenge projects. Having a deadline helps (not that I've come close to meeting it in the past).  It's not lost on me that my Peacock Lane stash is still sitting there waiting to be exhumed from the depths of my fabric closet, while this Madrona Road bundle only glanced the cutting table way-station for a hot second.  

Can't wait to see everyone else's challenge quilt! With the deadline fast approaching, there are sure to be a flurry of finishes this week.