This quilt was an experiment in many ways. I had offered my services to my sister-in-law if they ever needed an auction quilt for one of their school projects. A short time later she asked if I was serious and that they had a preschool auction in March. This was in November so at least I had a large timeframe. This is the smaller test quilt for the larger one which the preschool students will be working on.
I made this little quilt to test out all of the techniques necessary to make a pixelated quilt similar to Emily Cier’s kindergarten auction quilt. The blocks are constructed using a self stick washable stabilizer. In this case I used a jelly roll of dusty kona cottons set in kona charcoal. The backing is from the Kona Modern Quilts collection. This was quilted on a computerized longarm machine with Superior So Fine polyester thread. The quilting design was not really what I had in mind when I designed this quilt, but the triangles suit the squares on the front as well as the circular patterns on the back, without interfering with either of them.
I learned many things while working on this project. First off, water soluble stabilizer does not like heat or steam. Some of my first attempts to press open the seams my iron was too hot, and that block had a square that was puckered. Luckily you cannot tell in the finished quilt, but it made me turn my iron down to a wool/silk setting with no steam. On this setting it was almost impossible to get a decent press on unwashed cotton without heat or steam is difficult.
Never piece when sick and exhausted. While this may seem like a common rule, I was under a timeline and felt the pressure of needing to finish this little experiment. This is why several of the blocks in the final quilt are in the same (not rotated) orientation. Make sure to use a washable marker when marking on water soluble stabilizer.
I finished the binding on this quilt on the machine. This is the first time that I have used this method, as typically I hand stitch the bindings down. In this case I used 1/4″ steam a seam lite to “baste” the binding to the back before I stitched in the ditch from the front. In the end I did not like the fusible, and the end result was alright, but I think I will shoot for a different method in the future. But since this was an experimental quilt, at least I can say that I experimented.
To further experiment with this quilt I used washable wool batting for the first time ever. And like the rest of this quilt I learned several things. While wool batting can be washable, expect bearding. Only use wool batting on light background quilts, as this can minimize the effect of the bearding. Because the background on this quilt was charcoal, you can really see the wool fibers sticking through the background fabric.