Thursday, February 9, 2017

Quilters Quilt the Blues Challenge-- 2nd place Fragments

Have you entered any challenges this year? I read about the Quilters Quilt the Blues Challenge on the McCalls Quilting Blog and was intrigued. Blue is definitely a fun color to use, but could become monotonous if the fabrics shades were too similar or if I didn't use the right techniques. There was criteria for size, and you had to get the 16 pk. of blue fat quarters from the sponsors. We wouldn't all get the same fats, but they would all be blue. Then you could choose up to 3 other fabrics to use with them. The finalist quilts would be part of a traveling show with the Original Sewing and Quilt Expos in 2017.

Quilters Quilt the Blues Challenge: Fragments

I did some thinking about what I would do before I ordered the fabric as it had to be an original design. Once they arrived, I spent a lot of time considering if my original idea would work with the fabrics I was sent. I wanted to do something using my circle and spin technique, but had a specific idea of how it would look. I wasn't sure I could accomplish it, but I needed to show chaos, and unity in the same design. Once the fabrics came I lined them up to see how they related to each other and if I could use them as I had originally hoped. Many of them were fabrics I wouldn't have chosen myself, but that is part of the use what you are given.

The next decision was which fabrics (up to 3) would I put with them. I wanted to spice things up with another color so decided to use these batiks that were blue, but also introduced the orange, gold and red.

One of them was mostly blue with a little green, so blended well with what they had sent.

It all worked out well in the end, but I had many moments when I wasn't sure the design was shaping up the way I wanted it to. I also had to find someone to do the quilting on the quilt. I can quilt on my midarm, but I wanted quilting that followed the shape I was trying to enhance...showing unity in the chaos of the design.


Corinne Mittag agreed to take a look at it and listened carefully to what I wanted to show. She understood that I wanted the organic lines of quilting to enhance and follow the quilt design to show that unity. You can really see the lines of quilting well in these pictures that I took out in the bright sunlight. She suggested some pebbles in a few places for interest ( and to get more of the rust colored thread on a fabric I really didn't like.)

I found out around Christmas that my quilt was a finalist, so then I had to get the hanging sleeve sewn on and get it ready to send them for the final judging. Fragments took second place! You can see all of the finalist quilts here on the McCalls Quilting Blog. I loved seeing all of the finalist's designs and wish I could've seen all of the entries. It's fun to see what other people did with the same fabrics!

 I am pretty excited and honored that it will be traveling with the OSQE shows throughout 2017. If you see it at one of the shows, please take a pic for me. I even won a prize...a Sizzix machine, 5 dies and gift card to the Quilt and Sew Shop. The Sizzix has arrived, but I haven't figured out where its new home will be so I haven't tried it out yet.

Fragments closeup. 

Here are some close up pictures of Corinne's beautiful quilting.

Fragments closeup. I love the rust colored thread we picked for the quilting.

It's fun to try a challenge with parameters like this. It makes you really think about your fabrics and what you want them to portray. It's so much different than deciding what you are going to make and getting fabrics to enhance the design. If you haven't tried one yet, I highly recommend it! This is my second quilt that will travel as part of an exhibit with the Original Sewing and Quilt Expos.  Shortcut just returned home in Dec. from the 2016 shows.


Karen said...

Congratulations Jean! It is an amazing quilt. And the quilting really adds to your design. I love the movement it shows. When looking at it I thought of a pool of water with rocks and the quilting showing the movement of the water. There are so many ways to look at this quilt and things you can "see" in it. Well done!

Sharon said...

Congratulations! That is cool! I like your quilt - I think it does convey chaos and unity. And the quilting is great - it adds a lot of energy and texture. I like how the added orange really spices it up too. Great job!

Rachel said...

Congratulations Jean! You keep amazing me with your designs and color combos! This one is so interesting and the custom quilting adds life to your fabric! So cool that you have more and more ideas...they seem to multiply in your brain :) Love your Blue quilt!!

Cheryl's Teapots2Quilting said...

Great quilt! I didn't make it to the Expo last year. Maybe this year, and I can see your quilt then.