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.
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.
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!