Sunday, January 10, 2016

Be Creative Quilt Challenge Finalist

Last spring I read about the Be Creative Quilt Challenge on the McCalls Quilting Blog. I was intrigued as I like doing challenges, but with my class schedule, plus creating new quilts, I don't always have a lot of extra time. So I followed the link to the challenge guidelines to see what I needed to do to enter this challenge. It was actually a design challenge so I was really curious then! I saw right away that some of the fabrics from the Lotta Jansdotter collections were involved. I have to admit, I wasn't familiar with her fabrics before this, but fell in love with them when I saw them.
Challenge Lotta Jansdotter fabric bundle 
The 4.5 yd. fabric bundle included twelve prints of varying sizes, and was available to purchase from the Quilt and Sew Shop.  One of the requirements was to use 8 of the 12 prints. You could add 3 fabrics of your own choice. 

Shortcut after quilting, relaxing on the bars. I didn't want it to get wrinkled !
After much time debating the issue...should I or shouldn't I...I decided to order the fabric bundle. Meanwhile, I played with ideas I had for designs using EQ6. It was difficult to think about using so many fabrics in established amounts. ( I have no problem using lots of fabrics in a quilt, but having a pre-determined amount of fabric caused much planning and head scratching!) I finally figured out a design I thought would work, and planned the fabric placement. I ordered 2 other Jansdotter prints to coordinate with what I had and decided on a white background. Aren't they gorgeous?  


 Once the fabrics came, I plotted and planned some more. After seeing the actual fabrics, I changed my mind on which fabrics I would use where. Plus the size requirement of the finished quilts was fairly stringent, measuring 56” to 60” x 68” to 72". I think this was the hardest part to accomplish for me as I reworked my design many times as I tried to make a design I liked within those boundaries. I'm used to making quilts designed to fit twin or queen beds, but the sizes can be somewhat variable, so it's not that difficult.
I ordered backing fabric, also Jansdotter
 Finally I was ready to cut and sew! Since I didn't decide and order the fabric bundle until late summer, it was almost time to go back to school by the time I started working on it.  With a submission deadline of Nov. 1, 2015, I couldn't waste time either. Once it was finished, I ordered another Jansdotter fabric to use for the backing, though that wasn't a requirement. It was one of the fabrics that was in the original bundle. I had used it on the front and really like it! I thought about taking it to someone else to quilt, but ended up quilting it myself with an all over pattern.

Naming the quilt...sometimes that's the hardest part. To find a name that "fits" the quilt for whatever reason, is an interesting journey. Sometimes it's evident to others, sometimes it only has meaning for me. I decided on Shortcut as it described for me the path the diverse sets of fabrics were taking

Shortcut in the sand....beachy!
One sunny day,I took the finished quilt on a field trip and took some pictures of it in different locations and at different angles. The submission included an artist statement and a photo of the quilt. I sent the one at the top of this post to them. About a week later, I learned that I was a finalist and needed to send Shortcut to them. I knew from the guidelines that all of the finalist quilts would travel to the Original Sewing and Quilt Expos in 2016, so I was excited! I bundled it off to them quickly!
The judging commenced and in December I learned that my quilt was not one of the three winners, but would be traveling with all 12 finalist quilts to the OSQE shows plus the America Quilts Expo in Des Moines (which is about 2 hours from me), so I will get to go see the exhibit.
I have been waiting  for them to post pictures of all of the finalist quilts as I was curious to see what other designers had done with those same fabrics. They were posted online last week, so take a look for yourself! They are all interesting with many different techniques used. I'm really glad that I decided to take the challenge. I feel like I learned a lot about adapting to size and design elements that I don't always worry about. Plus using fabrics with so many interesting prints made things interesting as well. I would love to chat with the other challenge participants to see how they felt about the challenge.
Shortcut hanging out after the quilting.
If you go to any of the Original Sewing and Quilt Expos in 2016, please take a picture of yourself with my quilt! I'd love to see you with it! 


Exuberantcolor/Wanda S Hanson said...

Well....I like yours best! I tend to like pieced designs over applique most of the time. I have some of Lotta Jansdotter's fabric and really like her designs.

Barb said...

Looks wonderful!!!

Cheryl's Teapots2Quilting said...

I usually help with a Quilts of Valor booth at a Sewing & Quilting Expo near me, so, I'll have to remember to look for your quilt. Cool! (some of those blocks remind me of your Red, White and True blocks.

Dee W said...

Challenges always bring out an assortment of ideas. And it's always good when the judges can let go of their prejudices and pick ones that are out of their comfort zone. I guess I'm more of a traditional quilter, but the one called Don't Fence Me In, is also a favorite. My daughter and I are going to the show in Des Moines, so I'll be sure to look for it. Congratulations!

Karen said...

Love this design! Looking forward to seeing it in person at the show in Des Moines. Congratulations on beautiful quilt!

QuiltShopGal said...

Absolutely gorgeous. Fun to see this stunning quilt go thru various phases, but the best is the finish. Let the fireworks explode. Let's celebrate. And, what an honor to be accepted into such a wonderful quilt show. Just wish I could see it at the show, but logistics won't work.