Monday, September 27, 2010

If at first you don't succeed...

I'm trying.... AGAIN!

I'm about to enter the 4th quarter contest for "All People Quilt". I had a lot of fun with the last challenge, did much better than I thought I would, and decided to give it another go!

The challenge this time was to create a pillow with a appliqued flower on the front, edge trim and little rosettes in the center.

At least I think that's the challenge. For a creativity contest, the pattern this time seemed a bit constrained. I'm still pretty new to the whole contest world, so decided to throw caution to the wind and use a little creative liberty. Also, win or lose the contest, this pillow is mine, and I wanted to create something that I'll actually use. But that leads me to another issue that I have with this project... Ever since we got our pup, throw pillows have become pretty scarce in our house.
Add 2 boys to the mix, and... well, you get the picture. I'm not sure I'll even be able to use this pillow in our home decor, but it was a lot of fun to make!

My flower is the "fleur de lis". It's probably the most ubiquitous symbol of Louisiana, and after Hurricane Katrina, it has become a prominent symbol of hope. I used the Mardi Gras colors of gold, green and purple. I had some of the coin trim laying around that I got from Wal-mart when they closed their local fabric department last winter (75% off). It reminds me of the doubloons they throw from the Mardi Gras parades. It was a bear to sew on. I ended up using a "reverse blanket stitch" from my machine to sew it without breaking too many needles on the beads above the coins. The math involved with the diamond pattern also stumped me! Anyone know how wide of a fabric strip to cut to get a certain diagonal length 30 / 60 degree diamond? I'll figure it out one day. In the end, I just winged it, and it turned out fine.

Originally I was going to applique a black boarder completely around the gold fleur de lis, ala "Saints" Football team, but after looking at some "3-dimensional quilt patterns, and talking to my 12 year old son, came up with the idea of a shadow effect instead. Who knew my 12 year old son would be such a creative quilting genius! He has zero interest in sewing, but has been my biggest fan when it comes to this contest. What an amazing thing it is when the kid I've encouraged and rooted for all these years suddenly starts doing the same for me!

One last thing I learned, concerns shopping for fat quarters. I originally was going to use this green fabric, I bought at a quilt show in Walla Walla, Wa (love saying that!). It's about an hour away from where I live. When I got home and opened it up with the others, I was horrified to see that it was 2 different colors. I guess I'll be checking this more carefully in the future. Luckily the local quilt store had a green batik that I could substitute.

Wish me luck!!!


Beth said...

Great Pillow and hope you win the challenge. With kids and dogs... never let them do as puppies what you don't want them to do at full growth!!!


Becky said...

OMG! Too late! Why didn't they teach me that before I left the hospital LOL!!! Thanks for the well wishes!!