January Challenge · quilting

Twice in January

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January is not my favorite month. The movie Groundhog Day is a perennial favorite in my house.  I can relate to the main character, Phil Conners, stuck endlessly in February 2nd, forced to live the same day over and over again. What I enjoy most about the movie is the evolution of Phil.  After much struggle he decides to focus on self improvement, the people around him, and looks for ways to be helpful; which ultimately leads him to sincere happiness. I love Michigan but dread the winter months so my strategy is to make goals and  keep super focused.

I  decided to join the Mighty Lucky Quilting Club, a monthly subscription club offered through the  luckyspool.com website,  where challenges are published each month to challenge quilting techniques and stretch design ideas.  Amy Friend of @duringquiettime, kicked off the new year challenge which involved taking photos of life in my neck of the woods. I ventured out day after day with camera in hand trying desperately to capture the exciting life in Michigan.  In January.   Gray, overcast, dark, cold, dreary, sunless days did not help. Did I mention dreary?

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I found myself in the next town over and after taking several pictures, I  came across low lying fencing with an interesting shape. My immediate thought was that it summed up my feelings for January; steely gray and cold. Surrounded by mostly muted colors of debris,  a splash of green  and some litter. I know, uplifting.

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My design ideas for the quilt came pretty quickly. I used low volume fabrics, 17 to be exact, for the background. I don’t normally have those on hand and found two great fat eighth bundles from Pink Castle Fabrics to supplement my stash.  They were the perfect addition. For the fencing I came across a beautiful shot cotton in the color steel, cut on the bias to make strips. I had never worked with a shot cotton and fell in love with the weave and delicate hand of the fabric.

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As I  worked on finishing the top I heard the news that Michigan saw exactly two whole days of sunshine. Two days. Sure, the sun peeked out behind clouds every so often, but we had only two days of sunlight.  Twice in January the sun showered us with glorious rays of light and reminded us that brighter, longer, warmer days will soon be here. So, I added a last minute edit of goldenrod yellow.  It appears twice in the quilt; once in the body and the other as the binding. A glimmer of hope.

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The backing is a great print from Windham fabrics, Sew Hope Full, in wideback. I’ll be using it again in my next quilt. It really lifts my spirits.

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Trusty Aurifil thread for the piecing and quilting, Hobbs Heirloom wool for batting. I usually use cotton batting but had a strong desire for a warm, cozy quilt.

So, Twice in January quilt is complete. The Mighty Lucky challenge did just that, it challenged me and like the character  Phil Connors, I continue on my quest of self improvement, focusing on others and helping where and when I can. Will I find sincere happiness? Maybe. But I  know that sun, sand, and summer are a guarantee. And that makes me happy.

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