Saturday, July 28, 2018

one, two, now three . . .

So, family is coming in from all over the USA over the next several days . . . Virginia, Texas, California, Georgia . . . even Alaska! So you can imagine where my focus will be over the next week, right?!

The next installment of A Quilter's Journey was published in the May issue of our guild's "Fanfare".  It's the prelude to our challenge show, so it's kind of funny that it follows my last post revealing my challenge piece!  Enjoy -- and I'll see you in a week or so!

Challenges. Quilt challenges, that is. Regardless of how long you’ve been quilting, this can be an alarming word! I remember my very first HQH challenge very clearly; I was still a relatively new quilter, I had never been to a quilt show (local, national or otherwise), and I had absolutely NO CLUE as to what was expected of me in a challenge (beyond what the rules listed – I got that). But as a newbie quilter, thinking outside the box, in both a vague (create what you want) and specific (but follow the rules) kind of way, was quite alarming. 

The theme that year (2008) was Quilt the Vote. Essentially the rules were that we had to make our entry voting or patriotic themed – it was an election year – and we had to use a specially purchased piece of them fabric. 

I was stumped. Seriously, I had no idea how to proceed from there. What I *should* have done was to go back to the guild’s scrapbooks, kept in the library (which is located in back room of Patches & Stitches), and thumbed through pictures of past challenges and entries, so I could have had a better idea as to how to proceed. 

But I didn’t. 

Instead, I went over to Quilter’s Cache and looked for blocks that I could possibly use for a voting theme. I came up with two. A paper-pieced star and the Alabama block. I put them together, using the specified fabric, and fashioned it in a sort of flag shape with quilted stars in silver thread and with a silver metallic binding. I have no idea what I called it and to be honest, I didn’t really like it (I’ve always wished I’d been able to “think outside the blocks”). But . . . I. Was. Determined. To. Have. An. Entry. 

I sat out the next challenge. In retrospect, I wish I hadn’t – the theme was really a really cute one: In the Cards. But I was still recovering from both the first challenge and entering a quilt in my first guild show. The next time I attempted a challenge it was the guild’s Still Crazy After All These Years challenge. That was 2012 and I was a little more seasoned as a quilter and had an easier time thinking “outside the box.” I was having fun trying different techniques, and at the time I was playing around with faux applique, using colored pencils and a special color setting liquid. My entry that year was Crazy in Color and won a ribbon! (I rarely share that it was the only entry in its category.) 

Challenges stretch us as quilters. They call for us to dig deep and to be fearless! They want us to have fun, and be innovative and creative! They demand we keep secrets—which for me now, may be the hardest part—and they give us a show like no other! 

I’m already stitching up this year’s challenge entry for Stitchin’ the Blues! and I’m so excited for our show! I’m looking forward to seeing all the lovely quilts, to seeing how members interpreted the theme, and all of the wild, wonderful ideas that are presented. And I truly hope everyone will consider joining in on the fun. After all – the more the merrier! 

My name is Denise and I’m a quilter. :)

4 expressed . . .:

Janet O. said...

I enjoyed your "challenge" journey, Denise. After this year's results, you obviously have the hang of it now!

Needled Mom said...

Have fun with your family. They are special times.

Cheryl's Teapots2Quilting said...

Have fun with your family. Ours just left, and the house is really quiet (hard to concentrate is is so quiet now). Trying to get back in the groove. Hope you are healing, too. Don't over do things.

Sandy said...

LOL, had to laugh when I read, my name is Denise and I'm a quilter...certainly made me think of AA. Congrats on your Blue ribbon, love the colors in your quilt! Good luck with that many house guests...sounds wild, crazy and loud.

Enjoy your family time.
Sandy's Space