Most Guilds have a challenge (or two) that they offer to the members to participate or not. In my Guild, Timberlane Quilters Guild, we are given a challenge at our first meeting in September and have the entire Guild year to work on it. Our last meeting is in June of the following year and at that time we show off our creativity, skills and hard work.
This challenge was a simple paint chip challenge. In September we were given a paper bag with a paint chip card and we were to use at least one of the colours on the card in our quilt. A pretty simple challenge but the creativity it inspired in those that participated was unbelievable. We had our year end party last night so I don’t have the pictures yet but as soon as I do I will post them here or at least the link to the Guild’s site so I can share with you.
I can share mine though. When I opened my paper bag last year the paint chip I received was of the ‘denim’ sort of blues. That was when I realized that the challenge wasn’t necessarily in the colour we got but in what to do with it! I spent a couple months just thinking about it and decided to make something playing off the word ‘blue’. Hmm – blue suede shoes, blue lagoon; nothing. Feeling blue… feeling a little blue…that was something I could work with. Now, what to make.
I liked the idea of “feeling a little blue” and could picture something with just a small spot of blue in it. To feel it I’d have to have a hand in it so to speak ;). I looked around online to see if I could find a paper pieced block of a hand but decided that I would rather it look more realistic. I enjoy doing trapunto, not that I’ve done a great deal, but I figured that was the only way I could make something that looked real. I took a quick picture of my hand with my finger out as if I was touching something and printed it out a little bigger than life-size, one in colour and one in greyscale.
I traced the outline on some white cotton and used my Derwent Inktense water soluble pencil crayons to colour it in. If you’ve never tried them they are a blast to play with. You can use them as is or with water or a fabric medium and the colours are beautiful.
Once the colouring was done I pinned a small piece of Dream Puff batting underneath and stitched around the hand with Vanish Extra. After trimming away the extra batting I used another scrap for the batting and some leftover muslin I had for the backing. So far this challenge had cost me nothing 🙂
I decided to use the background for practicing background fills. Because it was background fill I used So Fine! thread; any of the thicker threads would have been too heavy and just taken over the piece.
I did this on my Janome MC10000 and not the longarm. Seeing as I teach machine quilting on domestic sewing machines at the local QS I need to keep in practice! All in all it was a lot of fun. I wasn’t sure how to finish off the wrist area so I went down to the thrift shop and picked up a blue corduroy shirt for $3 which became the total cost, besides my time, for the project.