Monday, January 28, 2013


A couple nights ago I worked on my Madrona Road Challenge Quilt.

Modern Quilt Guild Madrona Road Challenge
My guild is participating in the Modern Quilt Guild Madrona Road Challenge - each guild was sent a packet of fabrics to be passed out to anyone wishing to participate. We each got a set of several fat eighths to work with. We were allowed to add solids and any other fabrics in the Madrona Road line.

Our guild had chatted about what guidelines we should follow for this, in the end we decided that our challenge projects could be anything, as long as we tried something new. Pretty general right - I actually suggested this rule; I like a challenge!

To be truthful I wasn't that excited about the fabrics when we received them... the ones we received were from the blue colorway and I was feeling much more inspired by the citrus (pink and orange) colorway.

I worked my lukewarmness toward the fabric colors into my challenge - First off I wanted to add some solids to change the feel of the colors. So I added some greys and two different purples. The purples played really well with the blues and the yellows.

Time keeping!
The next part of my challenge was a time challenge. I decided to set my timer for one hour. For that hour I'd do some free piecing work. Whatever piecing I had at the end of that hour was what I'd use for my quilt (my goal was a mini quilt for my wall). This was really exciting!

I set my timer and got working. It was slow at first, I just didn't know where to start, and in turn I spent nearly 20 minutes fiddling around with some piecing that ended up on the back. After that I really found the flow of things. I did a bit of a curved piecing, a bit of fussy cut, and some HST's. I really love how it turned out! The words "Sweet Dreams" jumped out at me while I was piecing, and in a way those words began to shape a theme of dreaminess in this quilt.

I also knew that I wanted to add some words to the binding. I didn't let myself think too much about this, and by going with my gut I ended up with the phrase "Sometimes unraveling again." It seemed to fit my mood. 

Words in the binding! 
In a world where I work with fabric every day I can easily identify with words like "unraveling." Sometimes it's easiest to use sewing terminology to express things going on in other parts of my life (see also "improvisational driving," and the hierarchy of cars in relation to sewing machine models). On a more serious note though, sometimes it feels like our dreams are unraveling, even though they never really do.

I contemplate my own dreams a lot while sewing. It's a time to let my mind wander in my otherwise busy life. My dreams have always included having kids, having a family, and that dynamic that comes with having lots of kids around. Well that hasn't been the case so much. I have a daughter, and she's amazing, but it's so sad to see her growing with out siblings. And each month I unravel a bit more. Sometimes more than others. It gets to the point where I try to be ok with it. I turn my creative energy into making quilts instead of babies.

My signature, three prairie points.
I'm still working on the ability to live in the now, trying not to worry about what the future will bring. I'm trying to live in the present and enjoy what I have, without worrying if I'll ever have the rest of my dream. It's not easy, it's uncomfortable to push past. I guess I could take this all the way around and say that I'm learning, just like this self imposed one hour piecing challenge - it was hard to do, it was uncomfortable and outside of my norm.

Well I didn't expect a guild challenge to pull all of that out of me. But there you have it. Madrona Road Challenge Quilt.

Quilt Title: Unraveling
Dimensions: 13" x 14"
Fabrics: Madrona Road and various solids from my stash (I think they're all Moda Bella Solids)
Time spent piecing: 1 hour
Total time: about 3 hours


  1. it's funny how sewing lets your mind wander, and wonderful to see the beautiful results xx

  2. Great post. It grabbed me. I like the quilt, too; its pretty and meaningful. Thank you for sharing this.