modern bias tape quilt fmq straight line improv

I made this quilt to compete in the Panasonic Bias Tape Applique Challenge at QuiltCon 2015 prior to being elected as a Board Member. It was accepted into the show in the blind jury process; however, I can still exhibit but I cannot compete for any prizes.

IMG_20140824_154534[1]I like this quilt although it is more low impact than what I usually make (jewel tones ftw!). This was quite an experience. I did not know anything about bias tape applique when I began and there aren’t many tutorials online about it.  This was the only modern looking one I could find online, at the time. Making the tape was arduous as I needed long strips for what I was planning. After cutting strips on the bias I did use starch prior to putting them into the bias tape maker and that proved very helpful. Then I sprayed the first inch of the strips heavily with starch and ironed it. That was awesome! It make the end go right into the bias tape maker! Then I rolled is all onto a paper roll as shown.

I was going to make what I thought would be a cool schematic of a bobbin from an open source patent drawing. I was so excited by this I even used my long-hoarded Blueprint Architextures by Carolyn Friedlander for Robert Kaufman. It is so special I can’t even find it online to link to it! I also used Robert Kaufman Essex Linen. I made a basic background for the applique to really shine based on the Black Flag bars. The result was abysmal:

IMG_20140829_140721367[1]I do not even have good picture of it because I was so disappointed. I snapped this picture with my phone and then was like, what is my life??? Mind you, I spend HOURS burning my fingers to get the bias tape just right. I was going to add quilting to mimic the dotted lines on drawings and decided I’d rather die. But I already used my special blue print fabric!  It was sobering as it has been a while since I made something that I did not love.

IMG_20141003_083504314[1]I can only have 3 WIPs in the world and I was for sure not going to let this failure occupy 1 of the spots for eternity. Plus, I wanted to enter it into QuiltCon so I cut it up! Into squares!! Full disclosure: I had to turn it wrong side up to cut it because I was not sure I would go through with it.

IMG_20141005_210505616[1]Then I designed the circle-with-no-curves pattern on graph paper. I went with a white background because I swear if something looks lame and awful then a crisp white background with change it to modern and cool. I used the original top in the circle and then added the floaty bits to the white squares at my usual 30% ratio.

For the quilting, B casually walked by and was like, oh you should do different sized circles in it nbd. So I used my awesome 5-in-1 hem gauge that has a compass thing at one end to draw all sorts of perfect circles in the big circle. I quilted them and then added pebbles in between because there was not enough contrast. I did straight lines in the white with my walking foot.

Akhaten Detail

I named it Akhaten because it reminded me of the planet from Dr. Who that they had to sing to in order to appease it. I know there is a petri dish vibe as well but being from Dallas I didn’t want to make any Ebola references. Too obvious.

Final verdict is I like this quilt but, at 65″ x 65″, I wish I would have made it bigger. I entered it into the 2015 Dallas Quilt Celebration (as an art quilt since there is not a modern category) as well as QuiltCon.