If you're not a member of the MQG, you can join up as an individual ($25/year) via their website (here) or find a local guild (from this list) and see about joining up with them (the local guild will then add you to the national roster; membership dues vary by guild). Once you join, you'll find the free monthly patterns from 2014 in the members-only community pages under resources. I love my local guild and heartily encourage everyone to check theirs out! (Edited to add: Yes, the pattern will be available to non-MQG members later this year!)
About this pattern....!!!!
As the title suggests, this is an improv pattern, which means I describe the process of making the various parts of the quilt, but I don't give you an exact recipe for duplicating my quilt. I mean...it is a pretty fabulous quilt, but this idea of the echoed hexagons is just BEGGING to be played with in a huge variety of ways.
I made mine with Kona Raisin, Moda Bella Berrylicious, and Purrfectly Happy in Raspberry, with a binding of Kona Curry. The thread used quilting is Aurifil 2570 (Prune) in 50 weight; I free-motion quilted it on my domestic machine. I used the same thread for piecing, since the fabric is dark and lighter thread might show at the seams. This is also my first quilt with BLACK batting; I thought white batting might compromise the richness of my dark solid, so I bought Quilter's Dream Poly in Midnight. I think it was the right choice!
As a side note: Kona Raisin is such a GOOD color of fabric-- it has a lovely complexity--a deep purple with a touch of burgundy and a hint of dustiness. In person, I just find this fabric hypnotizing. However, it's complexity is a double-edged sword as this quilt proved to be a total bear to photograph accurately. I have exactly one photograph of the top that I think the colors look right in! Argh! Despite three attempts!
Luckily, I don't have to rely on photos of my quilt in this blog post because I had the help of some WONDERFUL volunteer pattern testers, who used their own fabric choices and have agreed to let me show you their work so that you can start to glimpse the variety that is possible with this improv pattern. They also helped me work the kinks out of the pattern, for which I'm so grateful!
This awesome block was made by Cindy.
Isn't that fun? I just love the printed fabric she used. Cindy actually finished her whole quilt top in the short time between when I sent my pattern to testers and today.
Jenna Brand, one of my favorite people on the planet, fellow member of the Ann Arbor Modern Quilt Guild, and accomplished quilter (she's got two quilts in this year's Modern Quilt Showcase), whipped up these awesome pillows. I love the fussy cut centers!
You can keep up with Jenna on her blog; she's also on Instagram as howtobejenna.
I myself couldn't stop playing with this pattern and made a soft little rainbow block; the echoes are each 1/4" wider as they go out (Blue is 1", Green is 1 1/4", Yellow is 1 1/2"...).
Anjeanette Klinder (you can find her on instagram as anjeanetteklinder or on her sweet blog AnjeanetteK.com) made a couple of blocks:
And last but not least, Jennifer Topp (she's on Instagram as pinkbrain_here) made this lovely block.
I'm so happy to have this new pattern out in the world. Seeing what pattern testers have done with it has been a real thrill and knowing that over a thousand members of the MQG received it in their inboxes today is just amazing!