Saturday, May 30, 2015

Monkey Tail - Project Quilting

"Monkey Tail," 20" x 20", made for Project Quilting, Focus Through the Prism, Challenge 1: Monkey Wrench, May 2015 in Yellow Springs, Ohio

If you're a regular reader of this blog, you might be wondering why there's a Project Quilting entry for May. It's because Project Quilting is doing a special series, "Focus Through the Prism." To play along you need to purchase a ROYGBIV hand-dyed bundle of fabric from Cherrywood Fabrics and then at the beginning of the month a traditional quilting block is selected. Participants get to chose which of the seven focus fabrics they want to emphasize for the month, but other fabrics can be added.

All quilts will be made 20" x 20" with the intention of displaying them together in the future.

So on May 1 the block "Monkey's Wrench" was selected. Some quilt designs have many different names and this one is also known as "Churn Dash." Participants just need to be inspired by the block.

First the fabric that I ordered disappeared during the delivery. The tracking said it was left in my mailbox, but I never got it. So I ordered another bundle.

Then we were out of town for a good part of the month but I wasn't worried. I'm used to doing the Project Quilting challenges in one week., although I did work up some layout ideas before we left so I was ready to jump in when we got back.

I spent all day on Memorial Day piecing and quilting. I was happy with the layout but as I was half way through the piecing, I came up with another idea. I wasn't really willing to abandon what I'd started so I pushed that idea aside and finished piecing. As I was quilting I noticed that things were getting a little wonky, and I hadn't intended on making a wonky block. I couldn't tell how out of whack things were until I finished and squared it up.

While I'm not a perfectionist, this wonkiness was outside of the realm of acceptability. I went to bed disappointed and also with the realization that I didn't have enough fabric to redo this quilt exactly the same way, and I didn't have any stand-out ideas of how to quilt it differently, but I still had several more days before the deadline.

The next day I decided to examine that last-minute idea. I used the Cherrywood Fabric to piece the basic Monkey Wrench block at 15" square, using the BLUE fabric as the main part of the block and the other colors from the bundle as the negative spaces.

Then I cut small pieces of fabric in colors similar to the Cherrywood Fabric and fused them on top, making sure to fuse one piece of blue in the other colors, plus pieces in the black center. I couched a black piece of yarn starting with a spiral shape, to represent a monkey's tail, and then pieced the borders.

To quilt it I used black thread and followed the shape of the yarn 1/4" away and continued to echo the quilting 1/4" from the other quilting lines. I used a knife-edge facing to bind the quilt.

More about Monkey Tail and my Focus Through the Prism Series

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Click on any of the photos to see larger images.

To read more about Project Quilting's Focus Through the Prism, go here.

To see other entries for this challenge, visit the Monkey Wrench link up. 


PersimonDreams said...

This is wonderful! Thanks for sharing so much detail and joining in the fun!

Rochelle aka Bella Quilts said...

The colors in this little quilt are so bright. Love that piece of yarn as the monkey tail.