Not too long ago, there was a notice on the Quiltart message board that the Fast Friday Fabric Challenge group on Yahoo was accepting new members. The FFFC is a group of art quilters. On the last Friday of the month, a guest "host" issues a challenge using a theme and/or design challenge.
Since I sometimes have a problem finishing things and I wanted to explore some of the wonderful items I have purchased but never used, I signed up.
The first challenge was issued while I was traveling to Montana. When I got there, I pulled up the challenge and started thinking about what I was going to do. I was at a little bit of a disadvantage because I didn't know what the challenge was going to be before I left and I had to pack a box of materials and items with which to make the piece as the areas for art quilters to purchase items in Cut Bank, Montana are a little limited.
Cut Bank has a wonderful quilt shop which is small and caters to a traditional crowd. They also have a small Ben Franklin's store which has some flat fold fabrics and some craft items.
The challenge was "Outer Space" and was hosted by Cherie Brown. The topic was great! But....I didn't bring any Angelina....and I didn't want to do what everyone else might be doing. So, even though people almost immediately started posting items, I refused to look at them. I was afraid that the work of other's might influence what I was doing.
When we were driving home to my mom's house at 10:00 pm, I looked up and saw the Big Dipper. I tried to think about when the last time I looked at the Big Dipper was. I also thought about how I have a hard time understanding how the ancients decided what the constellations would be. How did you decide which star went where? Why is it so many cultures have similar names and stories about the same stars?
I looked among the things I brought and I had a length of shiny clear ribbon which I purchased at my local nursery's florist shop. It was the end of the spool and whatever was on the spool was sold for a total of twenty-five cents. But, I didn't know what it was made out of and I didn't know exactly how I was going to use it. I had a hunk of blue print which sort of looked like a hand-dyed piece of fabric. I also had a 1/4 yard piece of black organza which had holographic sparkles and crystals on it.
I decided to make a drawing of the Great Bear (Ursa major) and fuse it onto the background fabric...if I could. I quilted the background around the bear, then put the sparkle organza over the top. I then went to the Ben Franklin store and bought the aurora borealis crystal beads. I would have liked to have used hot-fix crystals, but they didn't have them and I didn't have a tool to adhere them anyway.
I trimmed it in black gimp as I wanted to put a narrow frame on it. I don't know as if I really like it. It's more of a concept piece than anything else. It measures a 15" wide by 9 1/2" high. It's OK...the color is more blue than this shot came out (I don't really know where the yellow tones came from unless it was the afternoon sun through the window).
I look at it and I still can't figure out how in heaven's name anyone could have seen a bear in this group of stars... I guess I'll have to wait until the auroras will gather themselves around the star clusters in the shape of what they are supposed to be.
In the meantime, I'm working on two other concepts I have in response to this challenge. So many ideas, so little time! The best part? I finished this ON TIME! Yahoo!