I have never tested a quilt pattern before- have to tell you it was a really fun and challenging experience.
Christina from A Few Scraps posted on IG that she had a new pattern called Magic Carpet, and I volunteered to test her pattern for her before she put it up for sale online.
I knew I was going to be away at retreat and would have some time to sew it, so I jumped at the chance. I saw the pattern photo and some of the examples she had in different colour ways- and wanted to make one with grey fabrics, ranging from light to dark and into black. The week before I received a bolt of Quilter’s Linen that I had ordered- and pretty sure the colour silver is not a bright blue- but that is what they sent me. So I thought this blue would look good with the greys and I had many, many metres to use up. Even with using it in the quilt, for the binding and backing, the bolt looks full, guess I will have to find another pattern to use more of it.
When reading the pattern, I had some confusion with the cutting directions. I made notes when working through each colour and eventually got everything cut properly. One thing about pattern testing- I was a tad nervous about relaying my input back to Christina as I felt like I was criticizing her or being too bossy. But I thought- what if I were a new quilter and had problems with the cutting section? I would want the cutting directions to be as clear as possible. So I closed my eyes and hit send on my email and hoped for the best!
I am a person who loves a blank pattern so that I can colour in the blocks in my colour way. Christina included this with her pattern and I found it incredibly helpful. One thing I would have loved is a place to tape my fabric selection within the pattern so that I could look at that and reference the colours when cutting and sewing. This was one idea I suggested. You can see on my photo that I taped a bunch of fabric to keep me straight. I think using so many greys might have been a little more confusing if I didn’t tape my fabrics to my pattern.
Well Christina took my suggestions and added a place to tape the fabrics to, and reworded the cutting directions to make it more user friendly. And she said I wasn’t bossy at all! Hopefully she is being honest!
I noticed in the final version of the pattern some notes were made regarding directional fabric. I did not use directional fabric, but I think another pattern tester might have since this was different from the original pattern. I really appreciate Christina taking all the feedback into account and making changes to her original pattern. It wouldn’t be easy to create a pattern then have a bunch of people telling you what to change.
With there being a few IG people working on the quilt at the same time, we were all posting photos as we went along. Lots of photos were at the cutting stage, piecing stage and then photos of the completed quilt top. Someone even started the hash tag #ilovepatterntesting so people could look up our progress. It was interesting to follow along with some many of the same quilts.
Once I had my entire fabric cutting complete, I started piecing the background fabric to all the different coloured fabrics. I must say that this step went together quite quickly. I read the instructions on sewing the strips together, then really did not have to refer back to them much when sewing the columns. Christina has some great coloured photos in her pattern so I basically put the quilt together by looking at the photos. How easy is that?
Here is the quilt top I made at retreat. Don’t you love the carpet at Memories Manor?
I was working on this quilt at retreat with some people that did not sew, they were there to do scrapbooking. At dinner they had to walk by my quilt pinned up on the design wall, and they loved how it looked. Wonder if any of them will take up sewing now?
With the layout of the blocks and the colours of fabric I chose, I thought that the quilt looked 3D. I wanted to try some quilting to reflect that idea, and thought the farthest away light fabric would have narrow straight-line quilting. Then I worked my way up the greys from lightest to the black in the middle with the same straight- line quilting, but increasing the width of the lines by ¼” each colour.
Here is a close up photo of the quilting, which looks interesting. I actually quite like it close up.
Sometimes I get a brilliant idea in my head- well I thought it was brilliant! After quilting this brilliant idea, I am not sure it is really what I was going for. I think you may need to stand really far away to see my concept, but then if you are too far away you can’t see the actual quilting-LOL Let me know your thoughts- bring on the truth tea! The photo is a bit blurry- so you might not be able to see the different widths of quilting. I was hoping when you looked at the quilt the perspective would be a bit more noticeable.
I am now at the hand turning the binding stage- which might take a little while. Here is the finished quilt so far. (what a crappy photo- once the sun comes out I will take a better one. I was standing on a chair trying to not get my head chopped off by the ceiling fan that doesn’t have a shut off)
Pretty cool pattern eh?
Thanks again Christina for letting me test your pattern, it was a lot of fun! If you have IG look up #magiccarpetquilt and see what the other quilts look like.