Monday, August 22, 2011

Quilt Challenge

Well, I was going to write about something else, but yesterday I got an email from Leah Day that congratulated me on being a finalist in her Transformation Quilt Challenge.   Needless to say I am stoked!

Leah Day is one of the quilters I follow – her tutorials, approach to quilting and her free motion quilting designs have been most inspiring.  So when she announced the challenge to make a 9” by 11” quilt around the theme transformation and using at least 5 of her quilting designs, I thought I would give it a shot.
The adage to beginning writers is to write about what you know – I would say that’s true for art quilters as well.  I am a forester by profession and I love trees, forests, leaves, flowers.  I have now made several quilts using leaves (Photos 1 -3), so I decided to express the wonder of the ever changing seasons as displayed by changing leaf colors.

Photo 1: Spring Leaf Dance.  The background material is fabric I painted.

Photo 2: Maple Leaf Runner.  Experimenting with Ellen Lindner's double reverse applique technique.

Photo 3: Persistence.  Made in an online class with Ellen Lindner.

Another quilter whom I admire is Robbi Joy Eklow.  In her book Free-Expression she has a tutorial on making a type of quilt called a puzzle quilt, which consists of overlapping objects.  The overlap is a different color from the two (or more) objects.  Instead of vases and bowls she shows, I elected to use leaves.  

So I started by making one quilt using commercial fabrics (Photo 4). The leaves are aspen leaves I collected, scanned and printed out. The result was nice, but lacked something.  I have been painting fabrics for a while and decided to try again using fabrics I had painted.  It has a much fresher look and that is the piece I submitted.  Photo 5
Photo 4: Seasonal Transformation using commercial fabrics.
Photo 5: Seasonal Transformation using my painted fabrics.

Since then I have made a third piece, tentatively called Leaf Pile. (Photo 6)  This quilt is poster sized and I used leaves from white oak, red oak, sugar maple, tulip poplar, Boston ivy and aspen.  These leaves all grow in the park I live on or in my yard. The fabrics are a mix of commercial and painted. I haven’t quilted it yet – still deciding exactly what to do. It was much more involved to create this piece, but very fun and I like the results so far.

The other finalists entered some beautiful pieces and only half will be selected as winners, so I am not getting my hopes too high.  But just to get a nod from Leah is already a huge boost!

Photo 6: Leaf Pile.  Yet to be quilted.


Denise said...

I saw your quilt on Leah's blog. Congratulations! It is a beautiful piece. I am taking a couple of adding color and dying classes at the Utah Quilt Fest in Sept. You're right... the piece using your colored fabrics really enhances it. There's always something new to play around with.

Erilyn said...

Hi Monica, congratulations on having your piece accepted! I loved to read your story about how it came to be about, and definitely using your own painted fabric (something I'm doing more of) has more impact than the commercial fabric, What a beautiful selection you have in "Leaf Pile" - can't wait to see how that will be quilted.
Good luck!

Monica said...

Thanks to you both. Painting your fabric is so fun and certainly is the best choice in some cases - intend to do lots more of that. Thanks for your good wishes, too

Rona said...

Congratulations. I love the colours you've used in your leaves.

I like Robbi Eklow's designs too. Katie Pasquini Masopust does a similar thing with three layers. I've made a few quilts inspired by her designs now. I just love colour! Why have a few colours when you can break it up and have lots!!

Monica said...

Hi Rona - I looked at Katie's website - awesome stuff. Thanks for bringing her work to my attention!