Modern Sunbonnet Sue's Musings

Musings from the mind of a modern day Sue:
Designing my SewBatik Challenge Quilt

I shipped two quilts off to the National Quilting Association Quilt Show, at the beginning of June, and they arrived home safely, last Thursday. It's always a bit disconcerting when you send a quilt in the mail. You hope that it will find it's way to the destination and back safely.

This is my second year to enter the SewBatik Challenge. I really wasn't sure if I would complete the project on time. I have had so many projects going, with deadlines for completion. Each week, I have had to plan out what needed accomplished to stay on track. The challenge quilt kept getting put on the back burner. Last month, I had to commit to completing the quilt,or not enter it. I decided that I had finished enough of the project that I would be able to get it finished. Then, after I emailed my confirmation, my plans for the quilt began to turn out incorrectly. In the end, I was able to finish everything before it needed to be mailed.

This year's show and challenge theme was the Marinar's Compass. I received a fat quarter of the challenge fabric in January. At that time, I was planning to make a pictorial quilt of a hand holding a compass. However, my decision to paper piece a small compass was more frustrating than challenging, so I changed my design plans. I decided to complete an applique compass, using the reverse applique technique. Not exactly what most of you would choose to complete this block. I drafted my compass onto paper to the actual size and used this pattern for making compass point templates from freezer paper. I pieced the center of the two fabrics that formed the compass points. The points were positioned and basted to the background fabric. I chose to use the challenge fabric as my background. Then, I overlayed the compass design with a black batik fabric that I had also traced the original design onto, as a guide for the reverse applique. I completed this process using a light box. I also drew a circle around the compass twice. The black overlay was basted down, after snipping inside the design. Then, I completed the reverse applique to expose the compass design. No need to turn under the compass edges, except where the smaller points intersected the larger points. I also appliqued the inside circle on both sides of the circle to reveal the blue background fabric, before appliquing the outside circular edge.

I struggled to decide how I would finish the edges to make the quilt the required 20"X20" size. I only had a fat quarter of the blue star fabric. I miscalculated my border width and cut my blue star fabric too wide, making the finished dimensions too large. I also discovered that I had appliqued the compass, so that it needed to be turned on point to look correct. This would require adding corners. My first attempt was to trim the blue batik corners at a 45 degree angle and add the blue star fabric the same width as the original side borders. Then, I planned to re-sew the blue batik corners to the new corner. However, I had an insuffient amount of star fabric to finsh the edges according to my original plan, so that I had to trim my first star strip borders in half. I also had to trim the border strips before cutting the 45 degree corners or I wouldn't have sufficient fabric for the additional strips. This worked, but the result did not compliment the quilt. However, an octagonal shape formed with the star fabric border strips, that introduced an unimagined element to the qult. I decided to remove the blue corners and add more black fabric as the corners, instead. This complimented the central compass design, drawing the viewer's eye out from the center. I also bound the quilt with the black fabric.

Here is the finished quilt, which I named, Applique Compass.

Happy Designing!

Published Sun, Jun 24 2012 6:45 PM by Pamela


# re: Designing my SewBatik Challenge Quilt@ Monday, June 25, 2012 2:38 PM

Wow. That is stunning. Gerie.