I've written about challenges before, but here's my January Fast Friday Fabric Challenge entry. Well...OK, I got it done Feb. 2, so I suppose it is February FFFC.
The challenge was to make a quilt using the fractured technique which Katie Pasquini Masopust originated. Here's an example of her work.
In addition, we were limited to using three colors selected from the six primary and secondary colors (red, yellow, blue, green orange, purple). AND we had to do something with wings...either natural or man-made. Whew!
The piece is made up of small pieces of fabric, divided into segments. Each segment is a different hue of the original... Katie has gone beyond this, but still utilizes several aspects of it in her quilting. She wrote a book called "Fractured Landscape Quilts". While I find her things interesting, fractured quilts are difficult to do well and I have shied away from them even though at one time I owned her book. Since then, she has gone to other things, including Ghost Layers and Color Washes, which I do like very much.
The above image is what I quickly worked out....and it verified for me that I don't like working in fractures. For one thing, I struggled with making the pieced background. I finally trapped the little bits under tulle and went on from there. My colors were the three primaries: red, blue and yellow.
The image I worked with was this shot I took of a Waco (rhymes with taco) aircraft at the Waco Fly-in in 2008. Wacos were used in WWII as training aircraft; they also manufactured huge gliders which were used through the Korean conflict.
Wacos were manufactured here in Troy. Having my wing-nut background, how could I not do an airplane? It did have its challenges however. My picture shows a Waco which has a dual, open cockpit which has been covered. Hmmmm. So I made up a pilot and the cockpit.
I really don't like the piece. I will hang it up in my husband's cubicle.
A number of people have been saying they are dropping out of challenges because they are wasting too much time on them and not developing their own work. I suppose this can be true, but I started doing challenges for a several reasons: I wanted to complete things...I am the Empress of UFOs; I wanted to stop over thinking things....and I think I'm getting a little better about that, just diving in; and I wanted to try different methods and techniques. By doing this it expands my horizons and lets me see if I want to incorporate elements of the technique or not.
I also have hit on something I've felt for a long time. In the quilt world, I think we sometimes place too much of an emphasis on FAST FAST FAST. Just think about all the books with titles of "Fast Rotary this", Quilt in a Day (yah...right! ); Quick projects to do in a weekend."
While there is a place for fast (think working quilts such as baby blankets) , sometimes I think we lose sight of the benefits of working slowly. For one thing, I have definitely decided that I prefer to do hand applique. At one point, my machine applique was quite good, but it still doesn't have the precision of hand applique...or rather hand-applique is more forgiving and allows you to get it perfect with ease. I also don't particularly like raw edge applique unless I want texture, and the jury is out with fusing with me.
Perhaps the reason we have gone over the to speedster side is that our art, and our craft, are so poorly valued. Take, for instance, the comment of one of my husbands relatives when I was working on a quilt as a graduation present. "Oh! You're so lucky, you can make your own things and save so much money!" Right. I pointed out that fabric runs about $10 per yard now, and that a quilt contains about 10 yards or more, not to mention the batting and the thread. Oh yes....and time....What about my time?
Or the comment made by one of the photographers we were talking to about doing my daughter's senior pictures. I said something about trading one of my art quilts for some of his work or something....his comment? "I don't need any blankets."
Given the common belief about quilting, maybe some of it is that we can't afford to invest anymore time in our pieces, if we did, we'd really be in the hole as far as trying to sell pieces...or even having the pieces appreciated.
I don't know...but I do know that slowing down and creating quality pieces in the style in which I like IS something I am going to do. After all, a Waco is much slower than a jet. ; )