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Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Fun with a challenge

Hi everyone,
who loves quilting challenges? You know, when your guild, or small group gives you few fabrics, or a theme or something like that and then you have fun creating within the parameters (restrictions?) of that challenge.  I do love these.
Not sure if I told you this, but I belong to a wonderful, new chapter of Modern Quilt Guild here in western NY - WNY MQG, so much fun and inspiration!! We participated in latest challenge by MQG, Riley Blake Challenge and prints on the left were our set of fabrics:
Rules were that you can add either any solids or any other RB prints, so I choose to add white and gradation of gray solids (on the right). We could make ANYTHING, as long as it is quilted.

WELL... lets first admit that challenge fabrics did not speak to me, as a group, at all in the beginning. There, I said it. The only thing I was thinking while looking at them is how they all have different SHAPES in it - squares, circles, rectangles (stripe)...but...nothing else!
Then one day I was in our regular lab meeting and while listening to some chemistry talk (not very interesting to me, I must say) someone said "shape-shifting"..Hmmm, you know how word gets stuck in your brain - yeah, that. So shape-shifting was in my brain and doodling happened:
OK!! Now we got something!!
Shapes in those fabrics and word stuck in my head - weird combination, but it worked! Decided that doodle above will be my Riley Blake challenge - let the fun begin!!
I will have SHAPES, different shapes, like triangles (read: Flying Geese), squares, rectangles (hmm..piano-key type border?) and some circles too?
So cut some strips of grays and white and first I did a whole lotta strip-piecing:
Basically, I added a white strip to BOTH short sides of each gray strip and once laid out, this is where I was going:
Staggering them up and down, sewing them together:
And - VOILA!!
So with "rectangles" done, time for some triangles!
Made Flying Geese in 3D (remember my tutorial? it's HERE) from all the challenge fabrics, only they needed to have longer "sides" - background square wasn't a square but rectangle, like this:

Stitch, stitch, stitch... (don't you just LOVE strip-piecing? I so do...)

And here they are:
I was having sooooo much fun!!
OK - now is the time to do something with all this...
Started by cutting the gray piano-key looking thing in half - yeah, I did THAT! Scary! Then some Flying Geese going up, up, up...
Then some going down...
Placed some squares in the middle:
Hmm... looked a bit...not flow-y? At loss for words here, but do you see what I mean? So decided to add some squares:
HA! Better... but now it just looked a bit too big? Too much? Too...something. Maybe symmetry wasn't working here? Took my camera and took few pictures of different parts.
Without the left piano-key part:
 Without the left Flying Geese?
But I really liked geese going BOTH up and down...so back to this one and sewn together:
Time for some circles!!!
I had just enough of all the challenge fabrics left for a few of each color. By the way - this little Olfa circle cutter is an awesome thing - love it!!
The idea was to quilt the piece first and THEN add circles - just sew them on, with 1/4" raw edge that would fray a bit in time. So, basted my creation and tried to start quilting...

Oh, but this is where this lovely story ends...for now.

You see - all this was happening THIS WEEKEND - as much fun as I had, this was 48h before the challenge deadline. Yeah - crazy me.
So, when I started quilting it was Sunday evening and...it just didn't work. Not to my  liking anyway...
See what I mean? UGH. Lines not smooth, stitches wonky...I was just tired.
OK - so I will miss the challenge deadline to post my finished project - bleh. Just started too late.

HOWEVER!!! I really, really, REALLY had fun doing this!! From a doodle to some improvisational work, to using a lot of WHITE in my quilt (that's a first for me) - all this with a lot of great music in my sewing room, my darling hubby making delicious dinner while I had fun, my Marley occasionally coming to "talk" to me or hide his treat in my stash (yes, he actually does that!).
Don't know about you, but in my book - this is still a success. :) I was challenged and I had so much fun! Next time, I will try to also make the darn deadline, ha ha!
So this morning, got up early and yes, I did think -oh, I wish I made the deadline - but then I just went into my sewing room and played with circles...




Even the leftover piece got some circles:
Next? I will have some, relaxed fun quilting this one, so stay tuned! :)
And, of course - the name will be Shape shifting.
Do you like challenges? Did you do any? Please share your experiences! :)
Have a lovely Tuesday,
Marija

12 comments:

  1. Love, love the work you've done. It was so great to see how your process started and worked through. Thanks so much for sharing, makes me want to go and try something. Can't wait to see the finished quilt.

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  2. Wow that is amazing. Thanks for sharing your process. I am doing the next MQG challenge and am terrified. There are so many wonderful things made from the past challenges. I have participated in the challenges that Caroline @ Sew Can She host a few times a year. I really enjoy them because it makes want to push myself and stress myself out all at the same time. Looking forward to seeing the quilting you do to finish off your quilt.

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  3. I really appreciate it when people tell about their design decisions and alternatives. I enjoyed looking at photos of with this, without that here, and I love the final design you came up with. And what a fun inspiration.
    I too like challenges. Sometimes I buy the challenge set of fat quarters from Keepsake where you have to use four of their six and can add only two others. I look at them and wait for inspiration. I've actually entered twice. Other times they just sat there.

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  4. Absolutely priceless!
    Skew whiff flying geese and shape shifting layout ........ priceless - love it!

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  5. geese, you would have won the first prize with it!

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  6. Spectacular.Those flying geese caught my eye!!

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  7. The quilt design is definitely eye catching, love how you mixed all those colors which had perfectly compliment the quilt design.

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  8. Thanks for such a thoughtful, detailed process post Marija!
    Your "leftover" has great potential, as of course the "real" quilt does too. Kudos to you for all the auditioning and thought put into it!

    Ruth

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  9. The one layout you picked is exactly the one I would have picked as I was scrolling down. ANd the circles, they really tied it all together. Kathy C told me about you. I am enjoying browsing your blog.

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