Thursday, February 4, 2010

A February Challenge

Somewhere I read about a quilter who challenged herself to make a small quilt everyday during the month of February and ended up making a striking large quilt out of all those little ones.  Ah, I thought, February is approaching and maybe I could do a quilt with some sort of new technique every other day for a total of 14, a significant number for the Valentine month.  I decided to begin with an idea I had for the Fast Friday Fabric Challenge, my online source of inspiration and frustration.  So on Feb. 1 I began, and today I finished it--well, the facing has to be sewn down and some knots tied, but it's presentable enough to be photographed.  And today, you may notice, is Feb. 4.  Not an auspicious beginning for my fourteen quilts.  

But here is the quilt, measuring all of about thirteen inches square:

The challenge this month was to fracture the image in some way, to use three colors chosen from the three primary colors and three secondary colors, and to include something with wings.  I was going to skip the challenge and focus on other projects this month, but for a long time I had wanted to make a quilt that looked at the ground, field, whatever, through the wings of one of the many dragonflies that flit around my head as I walk with Terra around our pond.

When I read the challenge, the dragonfly image popped into my head but I was not sure how I would create the wings.  Then, as I was looking for some fabric one day, I noticed the pile of organzas from my most recent sortie to Joann's  and on top was the fanciest organza that was crying out to be made into dragonfly wings.  So I knew I had to give a try at this challenge.

I had chosen as my three colors red, green, and yellow, and fractured the background, the first time I had tried that technique.  But then I forgot about the color restriction as I was planning the background.   I felt I had to include some blue for the pond the dragonflies love so much and so a fourth color sneaked in.  I was debating how to attach the organza wings to the background when American Quilter arrived with Carol Taylor's articles about using transparencies.   She recommended satin stitching the edges and so I tried it, although I did not fuse them first, as she does.

I hand appliqued the body and stitched the tail with heavy thread on the machine.  I machine quilted most of it, but added some of the pearl cotton I have come to love.  I also faced it again, using the method I tried out on "Pause."

So I learned a lot on this little quilt that I named "Viewpoint."  And I think the organza worked well.  Now we'll see how many of the other thirteen quilts get done by the end of February.


Anya said...

Oh, Madalene...that's exquisite. Love the wings. If it only took you 4 days for this one, you could have another 6 done by the end of the month!

Madalene Axford Murphy said...

Thanks, Anya. Hmm. I wonder who will have more done: I with my little quilts or you with your DJ triangles.