This year I gave up competing with my spaniels at agility to concentrate on quilting, deciding that was more relaxing.....
.... more relaxing, that is until an element of competition was introduced this month with the LMQG challenge! We're to make a 12" mini quilt which expresses 'what modern quilting means to you'! Well, right up until yesterday it meant relaxation, escape, peace, happiness.
After yesterday, I might have to revise those adjectives! I've seen two of my co-quilter's entries so far, Kelly, who produced this rainbow-hued wonder (and that's not even it finished, it gets better!) and Charlotte, who completely blew me away with this fully-functioning beauty.
Right then, I thought, where the flippin' heck do I, as a fairly novice quilter, start to even begin to come up with anything remotely close....
Well, step 1 was looking through the modern quilting flickr groups. Step 2 was feeling more and more inadequate as each page passed!
So, stop that, Pennie! Thursday night ended with me reading a Jo Nesbo thriller for hours, trying to eradicate all thoughts of pretty, stunning, clever quilting.
I was determined I was going to design my own unique quilt - having never done it before. (Those of you who are getting to know me will suspect I'm not one for making my life easy!)
Out came the notebook and Bic, and two quick sketches were produced. The first one was to be words and the second was to be a visual representation of those words. I even toyed with the idea of making both and using one as the back....
Anyway, off I went to Hobbycraft, bought a pencil and sketchbook and drew out the winning design to 12" size. Measured, drew, rubbed out, re-drew, tore up, started again, finally, 'that's it', I thought. And off I went.
A multitude of methods were tried - applique was favourite to start with, but I knew really I needed to foundation piece it. I'd done FPP before but following a pattern. This time I had to make the pattern myself. And oh boy, did that cause some ructions - each time I tried the next piece, it was either upside down, back to front or just not cut right. I couldn't work it out... Then eureka! I realised I had the template I was sewing onto back to front. (I did say 'novice' didn't I?!)
That sorted, it got a lot easier. Even so, having started the whole process at about 11am yesterday, it was 11pm by the time the main block was put together, and I was finishing off the bits I did decide to applique (another thing I've never done before!). I laid it out on the table and went to bed.
And tossed, and turned, and fidgeted, and huffed and puffed.....
And this morning when I woke up I knew instantly it was wrong. It's too simple, too basic, too twee. It's a pretty mini-quilt for my wall, and I'm proud of it for what it represents to me - my first design, my first mini-quilt of it's style, my first applique, etc, but it's just not up to the mark. It would be like good primary school paintings exhibiting in the Tate gallery!
So, inspiration has struck again this morning, and I'm off now to try and put that idea into practice and hope it's a better result! Let's just say that relaxation is no longer the theme!