How could I resist a challenge with the theme “sunshine and vines”, especially the year that my quilt Flourish on the Vine would be hanging in the National Juried Show? When I signed up for the contest last fall, my thought was to make a small wall quilt using elements from that quilt. But when the five challenge fabrics arrived, I realized I would need a different plan.
RaNae Merrill visited York Heritage Quilters Guild last fall and I was quite intrigued with her pieced spirals. Just as Sewflakes mirror-image and rotate around a circle to create an interesting design, so do RaNae’s spirals. The Trend-Tex challenge seemed like the perfect opportunity to try out the technique.
Since I was unable to attend RaNae’s class, I purchased her book Magnificent Spiral Mandala Quilts. Following her directions (but drawing on my computer rather than by hand), I divided a 45-degree wedge into random shapes.
Inside each shape, I drew a series of concentric lines to form the spirals.
Then for the fun part – coloring it in! I settled on this arrangement.
Eight wedges, with every other wedge mirror-imaged, looked like this.
Each wedge had four spirals to piece. I printed out eight copies of each and used foundation piecing to construct each wedge. It sure was a challenge to join everything together with all those seam allowances!
Here is the final result. I called it “Solar Flare” and it measures 28″ x 28″. I figured that the spiral medallion would be the “sun” and I would use cut-away trapunto to add “vines” in the quilting. Once it was pieced, it looked more like an exotic flower – a sunflower, perhaps?
All entries into the Trend-Tex Challenge will be sold by silent auction. Watch the Canadian Quilters Association website for more information about bidding on this and other entries.
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