Sunday, 4 May 2014

Sunshine through the rain {Umbrella Prints Trimmings Challenge}

If you follow me on Instagram, you will have noticed I've been working a bit obsessively on this quilt since Wednesday - and I'm extremely pleased to say I finished up the binding and last few bits of applique last night. I know I say this about almost every quilt I make, but this is quite seriously my favorite quilt I have ever made. I loved every single minute of putting it together and I'm absolutely delighted with how it turned out. The picture I had in my head has come together exactly as I'd hoped it would.



My initial idea for this mini was inspired by the blue trimmings packet I ordered from Umbrella Prints when they announced the 2014 trimmings challenge a few weeks ago. I ordered blue with the vague idea of raindrops in mind, and when they arrived they were absolutely perfect. To make the raindrops, I drew freehand tear drop shapes on each of the trimmings, sizing the raindrops so that they would use up as much of the trimmings as possible. I then needle turn appliqued them onto a variety of pale grey and white prints - a process I'm falling deeper in love with each time I do it.


Once I had the applique done, I put them all up on my design wall and started playing. I decided to try improv piecing a sun using very pale yellow prints (so it is more a suggestion of sunshine on a rainy day than a really bright and bold sun). I'm very affected by the weather and tend to get a bit down in the dumps when we have day after day of overcast gloomy weather. As we move deeper into autumn and winter in Tasmania, and we are having a lot of overcast rainy days, I wanted this mini to be a gentle reminder to myself to focus on the positive things in my life rather than get weighed down by what's going on outside my window.


There were a few very hairy moments piecing the sun part of the quilt - I ended up needing to do some improv y-seams (NOT fun) and one of the seams is actually an exposed seam on top of the fabric - but now it's quilted you can't actually see it so it's all good. I then improv pieced the raindrop blocks together, log cabin style. Putting all the pieces together was like doing a puzzle, and I included the smaller, heavier weight Umbrella Prints trimming at this stage (they would have been too difficult to needleturn due to the combination of size and weight.)


Once the quilt top was pieced, I needle turn appliqued the partial circle for the sun in the top corner. I pondered whether to hand quilt this one - but in the end I went with my gut and decided to matchstick quilt it, using free motion quilting. To me it fits perfectly with the idea of the rest of the quilt - and is quite reminiscent of rain sliding down a window pane. I used Aurifil 40 wt for all the quilting - I used a pale yellow around the sun rays, and then a variegated grey for the rest of the quilting. The texture is sublime - and really made those raindrops and sun rays pop.


 A few people have commented how quickly I got the quilting done. Relatively speaking I suppose that's true - it took about 5 hours to quilt as opposed to the usual 20-30 hours I spend quilting most of my quilts. Having said that, it is a pretty small quilt (around 30" x 36") so it wasn't especially quick for a quilt this size. And there is a LOT of thread on this little quilt - I used almost 8 bobbins of 50wt Aurifil.


When I matchstick quilt, I use my free motion foot, and work top to bottom rather than side to side. I started on the one seam I knew ran vertically (just off centre) and tried to keep each of my subsequent lines parallel. I did drift a little bit, but they did essentially stay in line with each other.


We have already had a few family discussion as to where this mini will live - we all absolutely love it, so it will probably hang somewhere in the loungeroom or kitchen so we can all appreciate it :o)



If you're interested in joining in the challenge, entries are open until the end of this month. I can't wait to see what everyone comes up with!

xx Jess


33 comments:

Patchwork and Play said...

How appropriate to make a quilt from Umbrella trimmings and call it Sunshine After Rain! It's gorgeous Jess! Well done on every delightful aspect of it! It's a winner in my eyes!

Anne said...

I love it!!! Very creative from the fabrics to the name.

Jill R. said...

That turned out so great! Love it!

Carla said...

So cute and fabulous quilting!

A Quilter's Mission said...

I really love this mini! The colors are so pleasant and the quilting is perfect. Congrats on this great finish.

Jo Jo said...

It's beautiful! Love everything about it :)

wipgirl said...

This turned out really beautifully! The texture is amazing.

Catherine said...

This is fabulous Jess. Love the quilting

Charlotte said...

it's so beautiful. I think it should hang in my lounge, personally. Yes - that's the perfect place for it ;-)

cat and vee xoxo said...

oh Jess, it's absolutely fabulous, I LOVE it so much! Love your raindrops, sun, low volume backgrounds and quilting - it's just SO great! Awesome work, I'm so happy it's turned out how it was in your head too.

SewPsyched! said...

Just stunning!! Inspiring!

Theresa Henderson said...

i just love this

Jess @ Scrappy n Happy said...

It is awesome Jess! Your improv is amazing!

DeborahGun said...

It's amazing Jess. I think you should just donate it to me as it has the same name as my blog - hehe :-)

Renee said...

It turned out so fantastic! I love all the details, and it was such a fun process to see come together.

Lisa Mikel said...

It's amazing! I love it. You did a wonderful job piecing and quilting it!

CitricSugar said...

Just finished catching up after my disappearance from the interwebs!

This piece is so gorgeous, Jess! Love the texture you got from the low-volumes and great use of those trimmings! Love love love. And your Pantone piece is amazing....

Also, totally didn't realize you were in Taz and as ridiculous a question as this is, given population sizes and probability, I have to ask: Do you happen to know anyone Pinnington in Hobart? :-)

Leanne said...

This quilt is totally fantastic! I love the use of the small package of fabrics, the theme, the quilting, the way you left the rain and sun unquilted, all of it. I have done the competition in past years as I love their fabrics but have no time this year. It's good as this one is the one I would pick as the winner.

Cille said...

What a fantastic project! The colors are just perfect... Yes, the whole thing is really :)

Newbie Jen said...

Do you and I share a brain? I'm just wondering since I absolutely LOVE everything you make, and occasionally have similar projects in my sketchbooks. OH, perhaps we are really twins separated at birth with a cosmic quilty connection???

I love this one, BTW! Could you tell, could you feel it?

Ella said...

I love watching you quilt!

Little Island Quilting said...

Beautiful. Thank you for sharing your process.

Serena @ Sewgiving said...

I love everything about this quilt! Especially the way you've made the trimmings pop with the dense quilting in the background :)

Wendy said...

it's fabulous! I love the raindrops, very skillfully needle turned! The quilting really sets it off too.

I'm the opposite with the weather - the warm sunny weather actually makes me feel more depressed than winter. Good job I live in England really

Heather @ Winding Bobbins said...

Simply amazing!

Katy Cameron said...

Love this, and raining elephants is a change from cats and dogs :oD

Rachaeldaisy said...

Everything about this mini is wonderful ! And a great way to use the trimmings. I like that the shapes of the fabric determined the shapes of your water drops. I've got some trimmings waiting for me, hopefully I'll find time this weekend.

katyquilts said...

I have been following your process on IG. This is so lovely! I am sure you will win!

Kristie said...

Absolutely stunning!!

Oops-Lah said...

Love it! Good luck with the competition.

Michele said...

What a great idea and it turned out fabulous. Nicely done.

Willit Neverend said...

LOVE IT! And now I can't get Christine Anu's voice out of my head..sunshine on a rainy day!

Laura G said...

This is just stunning. Everything about it, color, composition, and quilting is perfect. You deserve to be proud.