Friday, August 7, 2015

Broadway Mini Swap

The beginning.

Instagram has been a gateway to the world of mini quilt swaps. There are swaps for nerdy quilts, super hero quilts, zombie quilts, rainbow quilts, quilts featuring specific fabric designers. If you can dream it, there is probably a swap for it. While I resisted all of the monsters and heroes, I could not pass up the Broadway swap. I know it's a stereotype, but before I even knew I was gay, I loved Broadway and stage productions. The first CD that I ever owned was Riverdance! Wow, I can't believe I just admitted that. I quickly put my name into the sign ups.

If you've never participated in an swap on Instagram or otherwise, they are tons of fun. Essentially you fill in a form with your quilty interests such as fabric likes, dislikes, favorites of the swap theme and some information about allergies and snack weaknesses. You are assigned a partner and you get their information from the questionnaire. Based on this you get to search them out on social media and learn more about them. Then you create a spectacular mini quilt just for them!

My partner for the Broadway Mini Swap loves Grease, so I thought I would make a quilt featuring the female lead, Sandy. I referenced the packaging of a vintage clothing pattern to make a drawing of the the new girl at school. I thought I could simplify the lines to make it more angular and that I could make a paper piece pattern of the drawing. My drawing proved to be overwhelming to me and I could not figure out how to make the pattern. How do you eat an elephant? One bite at a time. So I decided to create a grid over the drawing to break it into smaller more manageable parts. This worked well, but may have created some unnecessary seam lines. I wish I could better describe the process I took, but struggle to put my thoughts into words. Instead, here are pictures to show the girl coming together.
The bottom of the skirt starts to develop as I add row three.

With the addition of row four I was pleased to see the draping of the skirt match with the parts below.
Sandy gets some arms.
I took a break from working on her at this point, because I was disappointed by her wasp like waist and I couldn't figure out how to make the band at the top of her skirt. The lines of her cardigan and head were also bothersome to me. During this break, I was notified that my partner had dropped out of the swap! Eek! My new partner had a long list of Broadway likes, and buried at the bottom of the list was Bye Bye Birdie. Since I had already invested so much time into the design and creation of this mini I wanted to make it work instead of starting over again.

I used the wrong fabric as I pieced the top.
I had some struggles with the piecing, but enjoyed the puzzle of it all. In the picture above I had used fabric the color of the cardigan when it should have been the color of the blouse. I had to take it apart and insert the correct color and use some hand sewing to recreate the seams.

She's almost complete. Just waiting to 'get her hair did.'
A detail of the quilting. 

I wanted the quilting to help tell the story of the show as I transitioned this quilt from Grease to Birdie.  I imagined quilting other figures in the background holding signs expressing their love for the drafted rock and roll star. I simplified this idea and quilted hanging pennants that spelled out "WE ❤ YOU CONRAD." I used crosshatch quilting to fill the negative space behind the girl to create a wall, I used larger diagonal cross hatching to create a floor for her to stand on.
With about half of the quilting done, I was running out of thread. Boo!
Another quilting detail. This shows the pennants a little better.

A hand embroidered label for the back. 

The finished mini all bound and ready to be sent.

The back featuring a crossword puzzle fabric I purchased at Pink Castle Fabrics.

She had to make it to the groves for a photo as well. 

I'm linking this finish up to TGIFF (Thank Goodness it's Finally Finished) this week hosted by Laura at Quokka Quilts.

Wednesday, August 5, 2015

Midnight Mystery Quilt: Sponsorship

I am pleased to announce Quilting Among the Groves is a proud sponsor of the Midnight Mystery Quilt hosted by Meadow Mist Designs. 

Cheryl has rounded up awesome prizes to be randomly given away at the Quilt Reveal Party in March 2016. You can find all of the details about the Midnight Mystery Quilt at Meadow Mist Designs. 

Quilting Among the Groves will provide one winner long-arm quilting services for a semi-densely quilted all-over design on their Midnight Mystery Quilt top or a quilt that is similarly sized. This prize is being offered to players in the United States due to shipping charges.

I'm looking forward to solving the mystery myself and have my fabrics all cut and ready for the sewing instructions that are expected on Thursday! 

For more details about these fabric choices, read my Sunday Stash post here.