Thursday, December 13, 2007

What Knot's Challenge

The What Knots quilt group meets monthly in Bellingham, Washington. The group was formed after a beginning quilting class, when the class was completed everyone decided to continue to meet and share their projects. Ten years later the group is still going strong with a few changes, when a member drops out an invitation is given to another quilter to keep the group at 12 members.

This fall we decided to do a group challenge, create a quilt inspired by the following picture. I am proud to show our results here.

I apologize for any quilts that aren't shown at their best, my photography skills still need some work. Each picture was reworked in Photoshop to cut out the background (which showed as gray even though they were all taken against my white design wall). I tried to make the edges as clean as possible, but some are a little ragged. I have asked each quilter to write an "artist statement" to include here and I'll be editing this page as I get updates. For now you will have my commentary and size approximation of the quilts. In no particular order other than how I got the pictures loaded:

Laurie: Approximate size 18" x 22" - "I am trying to think of what to say about my quilt...It was a challenge as I have never done a picture quilt before. I tried to piece it as much as possible, which is probably why it turned out to be the largest one there. I had originally planned on making 2 additional pieces to be added to the side as a 3-block quilt, but time got away from me, and it would have been twice as big! After piecing my house, it seemed too boring, so I added the flower pots. My pot of flowers also looked too bland, so I added the yoyos (my first time making them as well). The lamp post on the side was part of my original plan. It didn't turn out quite as I had imagined it. (Actually none of the quilt turned out like I thought it would!) I am still hand-quilting it, but the real reason to finish it is over (getting it done by our meeting day), and I don't really like how it is turning out. I had planned to give it to my daughter who went on the trip to Denmark with me (which is where I got the postcard), so I may do that yet. Maybe with a little more embellishment it will get better. And I am looking forward to trying this project again. Hopefully next time I will like the result better! "

Karen: 11" x 14" - "Originally I turned the picture vertical, I really liked the geometric shapes and was going to duplicate that as an abstract design. I did some hand embroidery on the purple rectangle for an accent, but I didn't like the way it turned out. After most of the quilting was done I decided to satin stitch the panel design on the door, and suddenly it was no longer an abstract, but a picture of a door so I added the button for the door knob."

Linda: Approximate size 12" x 18". Linda created 2 pieces as she wasn't happy with this, her first one. She incorporated the swirls of the lamp post and the different colors of the houses.

Linda: approximate size 14" square. This is Linda's second piece, her favorite but I really like the first one.

Yvonne: approximate size: 4" x 6". Yvonne put a lot of detail in this tiny, post card sized piece. "I like working with fusible pieces and decided I was going to make it as close to the postcard as possible. I did enlarge the photo 25% more, and tried to do a close match on the colors in the postcard. Overall I was pleased with my piece, but as I got closer to the end of the project I feel I started embellishing it too much. I lost some of it's stark characteristcs, so I may stop sooner on our next project."

Ann: Approximate size 6" x 8". Ann said she has been having a case of Quilter's block, so she sketched out the picture and duplicated it with felt. She calls this her "Grandma Moses" period, I think the results were very effective.

Pam: approximate size 12" x 14". Pam's was the most recognisable, because of her use of wool. She's got a lot of great textures including French Knots in the brown section. "I found the photo to be very quiet, except for the wonderful colors and shapes taking place in the buildings. I usually do a lot of art work in wool, when not quilting, and decided this was a great opportunity to use the embellishing machine, wool, cotton fabrics, and embroidery thread. The wool was a great way to contrast warmth with the coolness of the photo. I also had fun creating the "doorway", between the orange panels, with various roving fibers using the embellishing machine. The finished piece is backed with gray cotton fabric. "

Georgie: Approximate size 14" x 16". Georgie drafted out her pattern and pieced large portions of the houses before appliqueing them onto the background. Aren't the trees a lovely addition, I never even noticed them in the picture, but they are there.

Francie: approximate size 10" x 25". Francie does the most art quilts in our group and it shows in her interpretation of the scene. Isn't it dramatic!

Joan: approximate size 12" x 8". Joan felt the postcard was very lifeless, so she embellished her's with some geese and flowers. She used thread to create a wonderful texture to the roof.

Marian: approximate size 18" square. "In looking at the picture it occurred to me that the buildings in the picture were homes and since there were no people on the street, the people must be inside their homes. Each home would have a kitchen and a stove and a table with chairs and maybe a coffee pot on the stove and maybe someone would offer me hospitality and a cup of coffee if I were a neighbor there. Anyway, the cup of coffee sounded good and since I had a piece of fabric with a "coffee" motif, I went off in that direction. I used satin for the whipped cream and thin strips of tulle for the steam rising from the coffee. The checkerboard upper left hand corner was just some 1/1/2 inch squares of varying yellows and whites interspursed with the black which are the dominant colors of the challenge picture and I added the rick-rack simply because I had a bunch of yellow rick-rack in my stash and it contrasted well with the black fabric."

Vicki: approximate size 18" x 20". Can you see all the small squares on the diagonal that were pieced for this quilt? She then added some embroidery, which she has some misgiving about, but it does define some of the picture.

That's all, aren't they stunning. And the best part is that everyone wants to do another project.

If you would like to see a slide show of these quilts, go to my Flickr page.