Monday, September 24, 2007

Hoffman Challenge 2007

OK, I admit it, I'm hooked on the Hoffman Challenges. I first participated in the early days of my current quilting era, 1999, used a pattern (*gasp*) and didn't win anything (no surprise) and the quilt came home. Lesson learned: get original.
I next ventured in 2006 and decided to do something original (I'll post that one in the next blog, gotta take a decent picture of it first!), and lo and behold, I made it in to the traveling show. Lesson learned: do something that has nothing to do with the print selected as the challenge fabric.
When the 2007 fabric was announced, I honestly realized I would walk on by if I saw it in the quilt shop. Flowers, sunflowers, butterflies. But hey, that's the challenge. So with the above lessons learned, I started paying attention to shapes and concepts. And during that observation period, I started talking with my massage therapist about walking a labyrinth. Hmmmmm, a labyrinth. And that's where it started.
This design is from the Amiens Labyrinth in France, an 800 year old design, paved in the floor of the noted cathedral. Like the Chartes labyrinth, this is an 11 circuit labyrinth, but with straight paths instead of curves. With assistance from the Labyrinth Company, I drafted the pattern for foundation piecing. The center features a machine embroidered asian lily. Machine pieced and free motion quilted.
I'm very grateful that the Hoffman Challenge has chosen my quilt, Caerdroia: Castle of Turns, as part of their traveling exhibit in Trunk A, which will show at Houston this year.

Sunday, September 16, 2007

Fractured Quilt Challenge

There is an internet culture of quilters who participate in challenges. Anyone can host, rules are determined, and we go for it. I just completed the Fractured Quilt Challenge, where we each got a photograph of a pink daisy (photo on bottom). It was separated into 4 uneven segments and we each replicated the segments in fabric. We sent them back to the moderator who "shuffled the deck" and sent 4 quadrants (made by 4 different people) to the participants. I did my quadrants in applique, then beaded and even added crystals. But I was very disappointed in what I received in return. One quandrant, especially, looked like a total afterthought and that the maker just slammed it together. The centers were way off and the colors clashed. I tried transparent fabric paint to dull some of the colors, but as it was, there was no way I would finish it as it was. So after a few weeks of really looking at it and listening to it, I decided to cut it up. After all, there were no restrictions on how to finish it, we only agreed to finish it. The result is There's No Place Like Om, a lotus floating in a starry night. I looked at some of lotus images on line and drew a fairly symmetric lotus and appliqued the petals (cut from the pieces I had received) with a variety of rayon threads. The OM is also appliqued on the top. Due to the variation of fabrics used by the challenge participants, some kind of shrunk with the heat of the steam iron, but I like the puckering that resulted). The sky is bobbin quilted with blue metallic and the base with variegated green rayon.
And the funny thing that happened on the way to finishing it: I had originally intended for the blue to be the bottom, but I placed the OM upside down.... so now the foreground is the background, and a lotus at night is a lovely thing to behold.

Journal Quilt 2007

The final year of the Journal Quilt Project will premier at the Houston International Quilt Festival in late October. Our assignment was to create one piece, 17 x 22", using techniques from the compliation of the previous years work, Creative Quilting: The Journal Quilt Project, edited by Karey Patterson Bresenhan. My Entry "I Hope You Dance" is a fabric weaving with encrusted beadwork and applique. It is dedicated to the memory of Hazel Raines, who died in July after a valient struggle with cancer. I was working on the weaving during her final days and realized that she had danced into this piece.
In the Artist Statement I wrote: At her memorial service, a dear friend spoke to her love of music and dance and ended his comments with the words of a LeeAnn Womack song: "And when you get the choice to sit it out or dance, I hope you dance, I hope you dance." In that moment, I realized that my friend had danced into the quilt, and I dedicate it to her memory. The dancing figure is adapted from "Sophia," original art by Lynn Rae Lowe of Tucson AZ ( and used with the permission of the artist.

Starting out...

Since many of the free photosites are disappearing, and the ones taking their place do not allow remote hosting, I guess its time to jump into the world of blogs. So many friends ask to see my quilts that an online forum to display them makes sense. Plus, I may find the time to post musings as I walk thru the world. My latest project is an apron and potholder set for a friend on another online community. Names were drawn for a Creativity Swap and while I won't now divulge who gets my gift, I know who it is and I know she'll love it.
It is done with Lemoyne Stars, created with Marti Michel templates (set E) and a variety of cottons. The green leaves are fused and appliqued, the rest is pieced. The potholder has two layers of Insul-Bright (made by the Warm Company) and machine quilted. The star actually became almost a trapunto look!
Now back to quilting...