100th Post - Let's Celebrate with a Giveaway!

I'm not too interested in all the statistics that go along with websites and blogging, but today when I opened the back office window and saw the page number, I was happily surprised! Today is my 100th post! Follow along to the end for a giveaway :)

Introducing my website's quilted banner :)

This banner design has been in the back of my mind for quite some time, but it wasn't until I realized that I am registered for two weekend long shows in the next month that I put some of those ideas to paper.

You may recognize the hummingbird from my website header, it's also on my business cards, and it looked easy enough to translate into a paper pieced pattern.

Of course, I've never designed a paper pieced pattern. Or used any computer software in designing anything. Fortunately the learning curve wasn't too steep!

I used a free software program called Quilt Assistant which takes images and translates them into paper piecing patterns. There are a few things I couldn't quite figure out - like how to rename the pieces and permanently regroup them (the program kept reverting to its default names and groups), and somehow one piece refused to print (the huge triangular piece between the bird's belly and tail feathers).

Piecing and Quilting details

I used fabrics from my stash - all the bird pieces were from scrap bins, and the background of the bird and text fields were from yardage. The letters were also cut from yardage because I wanted a good contrast between the gingham and text so it can be read from a distance. I am so totally pleased to have such a close match of colours to the original image! And equally happy that there hardly seems to be any fabric missing from my hoard :)

For the lettering, I printed the letters C, r, a enlarged so the lowercase letters are about 3 inches tall. Then I free handed the other letters onto the Heat 'n Bond ultra. I used a satin stich in Aurifil #2815 to secure the edges after they had been heat set.

When quilting this banner, I wanted to emphasize each section of the hummingbird, so on the head I used radiating triangles, and on the chest and back I used an echo spiral design. The tail feathers have the same radiating triangles as the head. I ditch quilted the beak, but it doesn't really show in the photos or in person.

I used two different threads to quilt the banner, a blue Aurifil #2815 for the image section, and a white cotton thread labelled Cucirini Tre Stelle. The white wasn't the best choice for free motion, it tended to twist and fray a bit, so I'm glad I was only doing a simple stitch.

back of banner showing the quilted hummingbird

I used two quilting motifs in the background fabrics. On that darker fabric, there is a loopy meander with loops spaced every inch or so. On the gingham fabric, I did a simple meander of in the same scale (just about 3/4 inch spacing between quilting lines). The difference is subtle, but the first thing I see when I look at the banner.

You can see the hanging loops I attached to each corner of the banner. This will give me the option of tying each corner down when I need to display it. I also made a hanging sleeve for the top and bottom, this way I can slide a tent pole or long dowel/curtain rod for hanging, and the bottom one will let me add some weight when I'm at outdoor events. I don't want the seams for the hanging sleeves to show through the front, so I haven't attached them yet but I'm probably over-thinking it.

Quilt Assitant #1

And here's my handsome quilt assistant (along with Grandpa) helping with the photo shoot. This is the first quilty thing I made that he doesn't want for himself ;)

Thank you for reading and following my quilting journey - and to celebrate this 100th post, I have a giveaway! To win this package of 5 fat quarters from my stash plus a 5 inch charm pack of Moda's Crazy for Red, simply leave a comment, follow on bloglovin and share on social media. The contest runs for one week from today and the drawing will be on Wed Mar 23, open to anyone in the world. Good luck!

Linking up to Linky Tuesday, Sew Cute Tuesday, Fabric Tuesday, Whoop Whoop, TGIFF

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