Aurifil Artisan Challenge: November 2021

It’s time for another share as an Aurifil Artisan! In late October, I received 3 fat quarters (two cuts of Mick Jaguar) and one cut of a Designer Essential solid in Ballet, and a 50-wt spool from Aurifil, partnering with Free Spirit fabrics for this Aurifil challenge. I will admit, I was pretty stumped when I received the fabrics. I’m not huge on prints, especially prints with so much personality (from Tula Pink). And because of that, I decided to fussy cut around the jaguars and focus more on the background gradient in an improvisational design, but I did save the jaguars for other projects!

I chose to augment my fabric selection with additional Designer Essential solids in Merlot, Pesto, Razzmatazz, and Shadow, focusing on colors outside of what I might normally gravitate too. I cut a number of 1″ strips from the original Ballet fat quarter, as well as a few leftover randomized rectangles to place in the corners. I cut the Mick Jaguar fabric in 2″ strips, the Shadow in 1.5″ strips, and the remaining colors in 1″ strips. I put together a rough layout on my small design wall, and let the piece evolve and come together with adjustments along the way. My design goal was to blend chaos with order (in the form of strips), but retain color balance throughout.

After the piecing came together (with my preference of 50-wt Aurifil thread), I loaded the quilt up on the longarm with leftover solids as the quilt back, and Warm and Natural batting. For the quilting, I knew I wanted to play with some 45-degree quilting, also in a semi-improvisational method blending order and chaos. I quilted a number of random rectangles on-point with straight lines in varied directions, using Aurifil 50-wt thread. Most of my quilting work was done with two sizes of smaller rulers and always a ruler base on my Juki longarm. I washed the quilt after I finished it off with matching binding, and blocked it! Then I took it out for a little adventure with Stuart. I had visions of Stuart holding the quilt hanger with his mouth, but Stuart wasn’t into that idea and instead his head was used as a hook. And of course, a tree was a more stable quilt hanger. Anyways, don’t worry – Stuart was handsomely rewarded with treats during this endeavor!

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