It’s a new year and a new quilt challenge – well, sort of! Three months ago each of us revealed the first quilt in our own individual, uniquely themed, three-part challenge series. Previously, as an impetus to stretch and grow bigger creative muscles, we had set ourselves the task of interpreting a chosen theme three times – each time with a distinctly different style, process, and/or use of materials. Our idea was that, even though the quilts themselves would be quite different, the use of a unifying theme would result in a cohesive series. Whether this endeavor succeeds or not remains to be seen, but I will say, it’s definitely turned out to be a challenge.
Speaking strictly for myself, I’m finding it difficult to let go of comfortable methods and well known materials. After using a traditional approach for my first quilt, I intended to make surface design the highlight of quilt #2. I just couldn’t pull it off. The loosey-goosey, painted, stenciled, stamped and abstracted quilt I imagined never materialized. Instead, I ended up with a quilt that very much reflects my ingrained graphic and controlled style.
I think some of the others may have had similar struggles. One of the best things about our challenge group, however, is that we maintain a judgement free zone. It’s the laughter, encouragement and willingness to keep creating that brings us together time and again. So lets enjoy the quilts!
My quilt image is the result of collaging together three different vintage photographs printed on fabric. This created an entirely new wedding portrait that superimposes our current and evolving societal mores upon the past. I embellished the quilt with a timepiece, a lock, and a key (look for it!) to represent the idea of passing time unlocking a greater acceptance for what would have been an unacceptable romantic pairing in the past. I stamped paint on the quilt as a design element and used Prismacolor pencils to enhance the color of selected areas. Dense free-motion stitching filled in shapes to help create form and the quilt was balanced by log cabin appliqué on the left (also used in quilt #1) and buttoned lace on the right.
Candace used paint and stencils to create a new fabric surface design. Her sophisticated use of color and shapes, appliquéd onto the designed textile, creates a push/pull tension that keeps the observer’s eye moving in and out from the center. Hand stitching complements the scale of the piece and becomes another element of movement. One of my favorite things about this quilt is that Candace embellished it using the same irregularly shaped shell beads that she used in her very first challenge quilt – from way back in 2012. Mad respect for the stash!
Alison used an assortment of decorative machine stitches in this colorful quilt that she created in the crazy quilt style. Music is her chosen theme but the emotions that music both elicits and conveys are an important element of the message her challenge quilts convey.
Brenda lined up her personal tequila collection on a windowsill at night in order to create ‘bar-like’ photographs. She then printed the photos on fabric, adjoined them into a pleasing design and created another homage to her Margarita theme. During the reveal she entertained us with the history and details of each bottle…and we discovered why some of the bottles are nearly full and others are nearly empty!
Jean’s second quilt in her Circle series continues with the underlying message imparted in the first – that there is light and happiness to be found in the broken cracks of life…and in between the lines if you’ll only listen.
Our next quilt challenge reveal in March coincides with a fun undertaking that’s a real stretch for the group – a selection of our themed quilts will be on display in a small local gallery! More details and photos (of course!) will be coming along soon. 🙂