Sew Karen-ly Created...

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Tuesday, 24 May 2011

If A Quilt Falls In The Forest And There's No One There To Hear It...

Does it make a sound? That's the question my entry in this year's CQA Trend Tex Challenge poses. This annual challenge is a fund-raiser for The Canadian Quilter’s Association (of which I am a member) with all quilts going up for auction. It is held during Quilt Canada which this year is in London Ontario, May 24 - 28. Each participant purchases the same 5 Fat Quarters of fabric for their challenge quilt. You can see the fabrics in an earlier post. This year's theme is Quilting In The Forest, so I began with 4 Tree of Life blocks for my forest. I drew a sketch of the block and coloured it in by hand to get the colour placement correct.
The idea was to rearrange some of the half-square triangles forming the foliage into recognizable mini quilts. I also added triangles to the base of the tree trunks to form a secondary quilt design where the blocks meet in the centre. You will notice one tree has a blank spot (the black background fabric shows) from where a quilt has just detached and is gently wafting to the ground.
This is the separate mini log cabin which will fit in that spot. It finishes to 2-1/2", so the blocks are 1-1/4" each. The logs are pretty narrow.
I added a plain border in the background print, and drafted a template from card stock to trace a scalloped edge.
It's a very high tech process.
Using a white Clover marker, I traced the scallop outline on the quilt.

Because sometimes the marks will rub off during handling, I like to stitch along the marked line with a contrasting thread.

I trapuntoed the four quilt sections in the trees.
The next step was the dreaded basting...a necessary evil in the quilting process.
While basting, I was thinking ahead to how I would quilt the piece. There really wasn't much room and the border was quite narrow, so I doodled out a feather border on paper to see how it would look.
It isn't very wide, but I decided if I kept the feathers tightly spaced it might have a bit more impact. It was a tight fit.
Because I used black thread on the black print, the quilting did not show up very well in the picture.

The extra layer of batting helped the little quilt blocks stand out.

When the quilting was complete, I trimmed the quilt along the stitched scalloped border and had just enough of the yellow Fairy Frost to make the bias binding. I was hoping to use the red which forms the tree trunks but there simply was not enough left. The little log cabin was added with hand stitches, as were some stitching details.
It was a fun piece to make, and it's always interesting to see the different results folks achieve for these challenges. You can see the rest of this year's entries here on the Canadian Quilter's Association website.


  1. Sweet quilt and a great post. Loved looking at all the process pictures.

  2. Great design Karen. Very creative. I love the scalloped border and the little quilt falling away and thanks for showing how you made this quilt. Good luck in the competition.

  3. Oh, it's darling. What a sweet story and I love al the step by step photos....

    Good Luck

  4. I always love to see your process. Great little quilt!

  5. What an interesting quilt.....and seeing the design process is fascinating too. Have just had a look at all the entries - so many different quilts, and so many ideas within the same theme!

  6. Absolutely gorgeous! You are amazing:)

  7. I am loving this design!! I like to work small, too.

  8. Great job Karen. Some very lucky person got your lovely little quilt today in the auction....