Wednesday, June 17, 2009

To compete or not to compete

I enjoy challenges - in this particular case I mean the quilt challenges that are set by magazines, organisations, etc. I love thinking about a topic and finding a way to make something that is in character for me while working with the theme.

Some challenges are by their very nature beyond my abilities - geographically, by skill level, by deadline. I haven't been particularly successful with those that I have entered so far, yet I keep trying. So the appearance of the Patchwork Guild's new quarterly magazine, with three challenges for its coming 25th anniversary, interested me greatly. At first I thought about the possibility of making a planned project work for the theme of "25", but then I realized that I couldn't possibly finish that big project on time for the deadline. I will therefore work on it as planned for next year, when the triannual juried exhibition is open for entries.

Then I thought about the possibilities of making something on the theme of "25". I googled the number, finding out interesting and potentially usable ideas like the 25th birthday of Tetris (that would make a fun geometrical quilt!) and the fact that Pachisi comes from the Hindi word for 25 - I could envision a Pachisi quilt. A couple of other connections occurred to me late in the evening, and I went to sleep wondering which one would fascinate me enough to get made.

I woke up knowing exactly what I was to do - nothing! Making a quilt on a theme that has nothing to do with me would only bind up much time and energy that I could more profitably use for making one of the projects I've planned for a long time.

I did find another competition for which I will make something - a quilt shop in south Germany is celebrating its 15th anniversary with an exhibition. The quilts are to be 15 by 15 cm - that's only 6 square inches. I can do that in a relatively short time, and I thought of an idea that connects with me. My daughter lives in that city in southern Germany, and the idea has to do with her childhood drawings and with a museum in that city. Besides, it's something that will be lots of fun for me, just the kind of fussy miniature that I love to do, and playful as well.

So to answer my title question - both.

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

I've spent much time in the past months getting things settled in our new home, so there hasn't been as much time for sewing as I'd like to have. I'm also working on a completely different project which involves a lot of time and concentration. However, I managed to make time for one wall hanging; it's for a challenge and will hopefully be included in the exhibition called "Black and white meet colors". Fortunately, an idea I already had for a long time was suitable, and I adapted it. Let me introduce "Singin' in the Rain":

I worked with triangles set together to form hexagons on a previous project, and I like the way those look like umbrellas. I combined those with various cloudlike fabrics, another with lots of rain, and a dark pattern that looks like cobblestone pavement. Additionally, I used a fabric with musical notes to make the singing visible, then combined it with a quilted rainbow.

It is machine sewed and hand-quilted, with the addition of shiny little tubular beads to give the rain a bit more glamour.

The black and white musical border finishes it off; for the reverse side I used a colorful print with sunshade umbrellas. I don't suppose it will be noticed by most people, but I know it's there, so it's worth the effort.