I finished my Madrona Road challenge quilt for the Vancouver Modern Quilt Guild two days before the deadline of March 18th. When I first arrived home from the guild meeting with my bundle of fabric, I pain-stakingly worked on deciphering the story in the text fabric hoping to gain some inspiration.
I knew right away that I would design the quilt around the gypsy girl in the story. I headed on over to the fabric designer Violet Craft's blog to check out the entire fabric line and there in a post was the entire story written clearly right in front of me... ! I immediately fell in love with the Farmstead print which was missing from my bundle. I added a bunch of fabric to my pile plus a yard of the white text fabric and six other fabrics in the Citrus colourway... drool!
From the start, I knew that my quilt would need large rickrack and bright yellow pom-pom trim to give it a gypsy flair! It was the first time using rickrack in the border and I was so excited to see it put together that I sewed it to the quit top without thinking... big mistake! Free-motion quilting + rickrack = trouble! Next time I will remember to sew the rickrack on after quilting! I definitely put my new Janome Horizon to the test and was thankful for the easily height adjustable free-motion foot!
I left the outer border un-quilted to allow turning the edges of the quilt under when sandwiching the pom-pom trim. For the front edge, I folded a strip of black fabric in half lengthwise and pressed. Then I basted the pom-pom trim the folded edge of the strip. I attached the strip just like regular binding but to the quit top only, folding the batting & backing out of the way. Then I folded the batting and backing to the inside of the quilt matching the edge of the quilt top & trimming excess at the corners.
Here is the front of the quilt. It is 42 inches square and filled with details. It is basically a giant log cabin layout with the story of the gypsy girl's life beginning at the bottom right and spiralling toward the centre. The gypsy girl is riding Buster the donkey following the winds through the forest, the sea and the desert. I originally had 21 paper-pieced trees in the design but that was insane so I toned it down to 19 ;o) I am especially proud of my free-motion pebble path through the forest!
Then the girl falls in love with the robot maker which is shown by a row of paper-pieced robots whose magnetic hands stick together to form hearts. She climbs a huge ladder to battle an evil giant and settles with her family in a beautiful castle under the watchful eye of the Griffin in the City of Bridges. I had fun piecing and embroidering the bridges... maybe it's just me or does anyone else see Darth Vader's helmet in them?!
They move on in search of a farmstead to call home and settle on Madrona Road. I changed the original design for the centre block slightly by using the Farmstead fabric for the background and I added a row of appliqued tulips with a fussy cut "Madrona Road" street sign. I finished quilting the outer borders with a few ducklings all in a row amidst tulips.
Here is the back of the quilt. I fussy cut the complete story from the white text fabric, and used the information and a row of those sweet little flowers from the selvedge as the title! I machine embroidered a label and attached it to the bottom of the story and finished it off with a black border and a very carefully planned random-looking border that took me hours to design incorporating every last scrap of Madrona Road fabric in the Ocean colourway.
I really like how my quilt turned out. I had fun free-motion quilting so many different designs and I enjoyed working with the Madrona Road fabric. And just look at that yummy pom-pom trim!