QDS™ Challenge 1 Showcase – Marla Whalen

Professional category finalist Marla Whalen gave a shot of color to a traditional black-and-white design with her entry-round quilt, “Starring Tim and the Cousin Norma Earrings”.

Marla Whalen Starring Tim and the Cousin Norma Earrings QDS™ Challenge 1 Showcase   Marla Whalen

Starring Tim and the Cousin Norma Earrings

Marla found some inspiration from her past to help her create a Challenge 1 quilt top: “I’ve made the Storm at Sea Block, over and over, before! My younger sister (by 15 years) chose it as her high school graduation quilt, done in blues in a large twin size, and I made a matching pillow. Of course I had almost a year to work on that one!

Within an hour of finding out I had been selected for Challenge 1, I was sitting down with Electric Quilt and designing. Over the next day or so I created six different designs in several variations of each. My husband helped me decide which was the most effective and the most “me” – and we ended up choosing the very first design I created!”

Describing her newest “collection”, Marla writes: “My newest passion is vintage sewing machines. The majority of my piecing is being done on my White 77 beauty. This machine is unusual in many ways – it doesn’t use a belt and has a rubber cylinder that turns in direct contact with the hand wheel. The hand wheel turns AWAY from the user, instead of toward like nearly all other machines. It also has unique tension and bobbin assemblies. I love the way it sounds…like a small plane preparing for takeoff!

You actually can sew on more than one machine at once…well, sort of. A certain amount of my piecing needs black thread, so I threaded up my Elna 1 ‘Grasshopper’ machine for that – saves time AND this machine is really fun. It’s very portable and is operated by a knee lever that folds away. Notice the hand wheel’s unusual position, on the lower part of the machine.

white 77 300x225 QDS™ Challenge 1 Showcase   Marla Whalenelna grasshopper 300x225 QDS™ Challenge 1 Showcase   Marla Whalen

This challenge is increasing my focus on efficient use of my time. As I work full-time, weekends and nights are my opportunities to quilt, so I have to use that time wisely. Some projects around the house are being postponed a bit while I work on my entry.

Here are my fabric selections for this challenge. I gave myself the added challenge of not buying any new fabrics – just picking from my stash. The fabrics are from a lot of different sources, and I found that the perfect lime green was one I had dyed myself.”

fabrics 300x225 QDS™ Challenge 1 Showcase   Marla Whalen

Don’t miss any of our QDS™ 2012 Designer Showcase posts – click here!

Thanks to one of our partners, Timeless Treasures, for sponsoring this QDS™ update!

Timeless 200px QDS™ Challenge 1 Showcase   Marla Whalen

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6 Responses to QDS™ Challenge 1 Showcase – Marla Whalen

  1. Julie says:

    Can’t wait to see the Storm at Sea using your fabric choices! Congrats!

  2. Kim says:

    So happy for you, Marla! I can’t wait to see what you create this time.

  3. Cathie in Ut says:

    Love that you use vintage machines…it’s nice to see that some things like your machines are timeless!
    Good luck withe contest

  4. Kerry says:

    your quilt is beautiful!
    Best of luck in the contest.

  5. Judy says:

    I love your vintage machines. Congrats on your progress. I cant wait to see all the new projects for this round. Good Luck to everyone!

  6. Sonia says:

    Marla my favorite is the vintage sewing machine.

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