Saturday, September 30, 2017

A challenge is a good thing!

Over the years, I've participated in a number of quilt challenges.  I've never won and I'm OK with that. I know why I don't win - I don't take the time that's necessary to create a winning piece. That doesn't mean it's not worth it to do the challenges. I learn so much from them as it's always a great place to try a new technique or style.

So, there is the Cherrywood Challenge.  This is the third challenge that they've done. The first year, they had a bundle of their hand-dyed fabric in greens (3 FQ) and a black (1 FQ). The theme was Wicked. I first became aware of this challenge when I saw some of the quilts displayed at their booth in Houston. Here's a link to the Wicked challenge on the Cherrywood website.

The next year, the theme was The Lion King and the hand-dyed fabrics were golds (3 FQ) and a black (1 FQ). I saw this show in Houston last year and I was blown away. It was the MOST SPECTACULAR show of quilts that I've ever seen.  I was blown away!!!!   I've put the link above so you can check out some of the quilts.

All the quilts are 20" by 20".  You can order a book of the top quilts. There are posters, etc.

The theme last year was Van Gogh and the fabrics were blues (3 FQ) and a black (1 FQ). I should say that it's not cheap to get involved in this challenge.  The bundle of four FQs is $45 US.  But I had purchased The Lion King bundle (did nothing with it) and so I bought the Van Gogh bundle. I had spoken to the owner of the company at one show and she had indicated that there were 303 entries in The Lion King.

I figured why not make a challenge piece? And I could use The Lion  King Bundle with the Van Gogh bundle.

Yep - so there I am, a few days BEFORE the August 1st deadline, madly working on the piece. I knew there wasn't enough time to make a winning design, but I wanted to make something and I wanted the experience. What did I learn?   I didn't have nearly enough fabric and you can only use Cherrywood.  Turns out a quilt shop near Shelly sells Cherrywood and she was able to get me a few extra pieces so that helped but it still wasn't enough. The idea came to me while I was quilting on the long arm one day.  A wee bit of research and I was good.

What did I create???   Here's my piece.  I portrayed a quote by Vincent Van Gogh and I tried to use his style of painting (in a VERY simplistic style).  My problem was I did NOT have nearly enough fabric to make the pieces tiny like actual brush strokes.  That is the "live and learn" part!

Challenge piece for the Cherrywood Van Gogh competition


I used the snippets technique and this piece is stiff!!!  Then I threw it on the long arm and had a lot of fun with a colored thread on the back.  Oh - I want to do more of that!

Detail of the quilting

Now there is a LOT of good news to this story.  By the way, I should say that they received 465 entries this year!   They will be showcasing the quilts at Houston next month and because they had so many entries, they have a created a second show both of which will travel to different locations around the world.

SO -- you MUST MUST MUST mark on your calendars the dates of Nov 30 - Dec 2 because one of the shows will be on display at The Cotton Harvest in Seaforth, Ontario.   This is the PREMIER show - at least it's the one that will be in Houston so it has the top winners.   It will be so worth going there.  I'll see the show in Houston so I won't need to go.  HOWEVER, there's going to be a challenge for 2018 - the theme hasn't been announced yet. I did notice that you could buy 1/2 yard cuts (instead of the FQs) which is an excellent idea in the event you are thinking of entering this challenge.  I think I may be taking a trip to Seaforth just to get MORE Cherrywood so when I do work on the 2018 piece, I'll have LOTS of fabric to work with. The new challenge will be introduced on November 1 (in Houston).  I wonder if the Seaforth store will be selling kits????  If they are NOT, they should.  Shelly - it's your job to find out!

I see the second show will be at Grand Rapids, Michigan at the AQS show  (August 22 - 25, 2018).  Might be worth a drive to that one. Ah - road trip buddies?  Are you in?   And of course, I'll get the book as I did with the last two challenges.

The moral of the story is - don't be afraid to enter a challenge even if you know you won't win. Did you notice the difference in the level of detail in the winning pieces and mine?  Pretty different, but I learned so much from making my piece and it made (and makes) me happy so it was a success to me. However two things going forward - allow some time way in advance of the deadline to work out the details of the design, style, and technique. Then if you're missing fabric - get loads of it!   Like I said, I couldn't use anything but Cherrywood and no place close to me!

On that note, I'm out of here.

Have a great day!!!!


1 comment:

  1. Just spoke with Trina- Yes, she will have the 2018 challenge kits! She will also have the books from all 3 challenges. She will be totally stocked up on Cherrywood- they are so luscious!!. Check out her facebook page everyone!!! The Cotton Harvest Quilt Shop. She has postcard adverts arriving this week- Elaine do you want any for your guilds?