I am so thrilled to be sharing with you today as a winner of the Michael Miller fabric challenge! My name is Colleen and I blog (every once in a while) at thebusybean.com. I started really sewing about five years ago, when my second daughter was born. I have done a little bit of everything in those five years, handbags, accessories, and children’s clothes, all for a little online shop I used to run, but my true love is quilting. Even with all the other sewing I was doing as a way to supplement our income, I kept quilting for myself, with no designs to make it a business. My husband would laugh at me when I’d take a break from sewing to quilt for a little while. He seemed to think it was the same thing. Silly man.
I remember gathering material and a pattern for my first quilt and being so scared about it. I wanted to make a quilt for my first daughter, but put it off for a long time because the lady at the fabric shop told me the orange I liked wouldn’t go with the rest of the fabrics. I remember the day I finally got the courage to cut it up and start sewing. I turned to the internet because I didn’t really know anyone who quilted (until months later when I found out that one of my best friends was a closet quilter). I discovered so many blogs with fabulous women sharing their knowledge and helping me build my skills.
I made many quilts from beautiful patterns designed by others, with fabric pulled entirely from one fabric line. It made it so easy to learn how fabric played together, to learn construction techniques, to learn the ins and outs of quilty math and the magical ¼” seam. The moment I stepped out of my comfort zone and started mixing and matching fabric from my ever-growing stash was a magical one. I started making quilts that were so much more individual to me and my own aesthetic. I know what I like; I know what I enjoy sewing (and that I do not do improv). I know what I do well and that I enjoy pushing the limits of what I can do.
I had more fun with this challenge quilt than I have with any other I’ve made. From the design process inspired by browsing for a kindle cover, to the math involved making the templates for my quarter circles, pulling out bolts and bolts of solid fabric at the quilt shop to find just the right colors for the look I wanted with the inspiration fabric, and even sewing all those circles. Quilting the concentric circles and burying all those thread ends was worth it in the end, even though that wasn’t my most favorite part of the process. It is 100% mine, and I love looking at it on my wall every day.
For more information about the Modern Quilt Guild and the MMF Fabric Challenge, please click here.
Do you love the fabric collection used in this challenge? Find the complete Petal Pinwheels collection over on our website!