Monday, March 26, 2012

Decisions, decisions

What to do. What to do?

I received a note from organizers of an international quilt competition/festival saying they would like to use my quilt as a finale' piece in one of their exhibitions during the festival, but that it doesn't fit within any of their other categories (which means no judging and no chance for winning a purse) due to size issues or thematic guidelines.

Well, phooey.

"Why are you bummed? That is so cool that they want to use it."

Back to the quandary.

Aside from exceeding their 144" perimeter max for the competitive category titled "Yin and Yang," the quilt is perfect for that exhibit/part of the competition - and could easily stand a chance to win.

Right, except for the pesky size thing.

Hey, it's only 116" larger than their standard. (Yes, I am smiling...and most definitely kidding.)

"Um, excuse me....where's the quandary?"

Oops, sorry.

I am certainly encouraged that they want to show the quilt. [smiling like a happy idiot] They want to highlight it and use it as the "emotional" culmination in a particular venue of the exhibit, but I am not certain about exhibiting it in such a drastically large, public, international arena when I still have future hopes of entering it in an AQS show (yes, in hopes of winning some prize money), and into another 'homegrown' contest where the outcome could possibly mean a little $ residual happiness.

Again - Hey! I am still out of work and in need of bill-paying capital after all, and if quilting satisfies that need then why not? Exploit your strengths, right?

I love the situation (the idea that the quilt is desired for something important and cool like this) but I am not liking the decision I have to make. I know, though, it's a great problem to have.

Monday, March 19, 2012

I love a mistake, don't you?

Especially a really dumb mistake where you find that your calculations were so off the first time that recalculating the numbers actually resulted in a need for way fewer blocks (or material) required.

I did just that over the weekend. I found a 'happy' mistake.

Stupid, but happy. Oh, and I nearly broke Lesson #5 to smithereens in the process. Not to mention Lesson #7 - Don't make color decisions in a poorly lit environment. NEVER!

In ciphering for the Ocean Waves quilt, now on the cutting table, I somehow miscalculated the need for whole center blocks in place of the pieced blocks. (And actually, I know how I managed that error, too...but I won't go into it now.) Suffice to say, I only require 18 bird print squares to piece into the fray - as opposed to the frightening 35 or so I named earlier - along with another bunch of half squares and quarter squares that will fall into the corners and along the edges of the quilt.

Eighteen! - what a lovely number. :)

I've also reassessed how I will be configuring the color scheme for the blocks. Yup, I did.

Instead of framing the birds on all four sides with a pair of materials, I will be using the more traditional (and familiar) method of piecing those elongated hexagonal facets with the color pairs, and most likely infusing a lot more brown into the pairings to help the other colors in the whole blocks (and in the pieced blocks) shimmer. My intent has always been to have those brights absolutely sparkle, and I think the brown infusion will make that happen.

The first of the blocks will be constructed over the coming weekend, so I will keep you posted.

Saturday, March 17, 2012

With the daylight comes the realization

Ah, yes - daylight.


An opportunity to share a bit more of the palette for the next new [gasp] quilt.

Yesterday I revealed a few of the center squares for the scrappy Ocean Waves on the cutting table, but ran out of good daylight with which to add a few extra photos. So, here now is a portion of the material for the multitude of triangles.My only real trouble/dilemma/quandary/SNAFU/issue is in actually being happy with the size I've chosen to make the blocks.

The desire to simplify and quickly make this gift for xx xxx (a bit larger in proportion) has outweighed my inner desire and intuition to scale the blocks a tad smaller and assemble more of them for the final result. You see, in order to make more of the blocks (on a slightly smaller scale) would necessitate my having to find and buy more material with realistic looking birds (very hard to come by).

So, my hands are essentially tied and the fate of the quilt block size is sealed. As it stands right now, I am still going to have a significant number of repeated central squares (those birds,, and perhaps some solid squares in complementary colors, to be able to finish off the 35 blocks it will take overall.

Ah, quilters, our lot is never an easy one, is it?

Friday, March 16, 2012

Can't do it

Well, I seriously tried to do nothing else (new) until I tackled another of the items in my existing pile...but I am weak!

Weak!! [fake sob]

I can do both! Really...I can. And I will!

These are the larger central blocks for an Ocean Waves for xx xxx.

That's right - the recipient is a secret. If I told you, somebody else would be able to read it and the surprise would be ruined. Other people do read the blog, you know, even if they never comment. :)

Don't worry, all will be revealed soon enough.

Thursday, March 8, 2012

Deep breath. Cleansing breath.

Clearing the cobwebs out of my mind - and even some from the sewing area - I unearthed a few little bits of tid (AKA: "tidbits") that made me smile.

I guess these should be added to the list of quilting projects, eh? Well, they'll have to find their place in the queue, just like everything else!

I can clearly remember the reasoning behind the miniature houses; and even using a small number of all those I made in projects here and there (mostly Christmas in nature, as you can imagine from looking closely at the fabrics used). I remember sketching out the pattern in the size I required, and then drafting the pattern pieces and sewing together the first block in muslin to make certain the dimensions were correct. Just don't remember why I never finished using them all. Hmmm.What a thrill it was to find that everything in the piecing was perfect!

Now, I will need to come up with another project for these remaining precious 4.5" houses (but most likely I will need to make several more blocks in the process).

No, no, no! Pink and brown, pink and brown, pink and brown! You still have an Ohio Star to quilt...remember?!

Oh, and stacked carefully away with the miniature houses was a pile of about 20 scrappy postage stamp blocks - each one comprised of 25 1.5" cut squares and stitched together in alternating rows. It was my attempt to use up every square inch of scrap material instead of tossing it out or saving it in yet another container for further use. We all know how full drawers (and then rooms) can become when trying to sort and save every little thing without reason.

[chuckle, snort] I almost typed that with a straight face. :^p

Here's something different, anyway. A little bit of pastel piecing to put you in the right frame of mind for Easter and spring.

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

The Michigan Fine Arts Competition is a shame

Sad but true.

The BBAC has decided that quilts are just that....quilts. 'There's no merit for including them in art shows or competitions because they're quilts.'

"You have quilt shows to enter quilts into. This is an art show and competition. It's that simple."

So, rather than explain in their prospectus that certain fiber arts are not to be allowed entry into their juried show (i.e: quilts), they happily (blindly) allow you to submit your entry with payment and then reject the entry without an explanation.

Pardon the rudeness, but the MFAC (and I am not meaning "MI Fine" here) is a miscarriage of artistic expression and a sham of a competition. Narrow minded and bereft of soul and content.

I know this sounds like sour grapes, but I am disappointed and I needed to vent. Thanks for listening.

At least, that's the conversation in my head, at the moment.