Saturday, August 13, 2011

Improvisational Quilt

I've been thinking about Ricky Tims' All That Jazz: Improvisational Quilt call for entries. Deadline is September 30th and the quilts will be displayed at the Road to California Quilt Show January 19-22, 2012. Quilts will be juried but not judged.

The other day I made a background out of used Shout Color Catcher sheets fused to a piece of stabilizer. I made it long and narrow for the simple reason that 2 across and 10 down seemed to look nice, it fit the challenge specs and I figured it'd be easier to quilt.

I really like the texture of the color catcher sheets. Because of their dull colors, though, I was thinking bright colors would be needed to keep it interesting. I toyed with the idea of a long and narrow stained glass piece. Then I was looking at a book of American Indian motifs and I was thinking about a long and narrow design that echoed some of those pieces. Neither was totally convincing me.

Keeping with the recycled material idea, I was thinking about how to use used tea bags when I came up with the idea of fashioning them into a rope and having flowers blooming out of it. I glued a bunch together and twisted them, but think I'll have to braid it to make is stable enough. Of course, now I can't find my container of cleaned open tea bags. It'll show up.

Then I started wondering about quilting it. Came up with some ideas from the class I took at MMQS but I didn't think an all over pattern was what I wanted. Then I clicked on the free show that TQS is showing this weekend with Jean Wells and noticed how she'd done a really cool background on one of her quilts - sort of leaves and grasses and flowers. I think I can do that if I draw it out on the background first. I'm not confident enough to just let the machine take it away, although I'm sure there will be some unintentional improv.

So I'm letting it sit for a day while I decide if it's what I really want and then there's also the thought running through my head that this isn't a unique idea, although the way I make it will be unique. I hate to think I'm poaching on someone else's idea . . .

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