Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Letting out my inner animal!

Yesterday when my entry to the Quilting Arts Magazine's reader challenge, Let out Your Inner Animal, wasn't selected I was disappointed. Then I reminded myself there were probably over a hundred entries and only 20 were selected. That helped some. Then this morning I read a digest from the Quilt Art list and looked at several other entries that were not selected and realized the 20 that were selected must be amazing if the ones I looked at weren't!

I had intended to make a bear as my inner animal, have him sit beside a stream and maybe Alaskan mountains in the background. When I gathered materials and started putting things together the stream morphed into the ocean. Then the motif from a piece of blue paisley I have been saving popped out and I saw an awesome Nymph! I thought water nymph! But they are fresh water creatures. I looked up Nymph and recalled it is also a stage in some insects development, like a dragonfly. I speculated that like a developing dragonfly I am still developing, growing, changing, both as an individual and as an artist. That set the stage! I added small elements cut from a great water fabric with waves to depict the surf. Another paisley became the tide pool bordered by a rocky outcropping.

I fused the different elements to the green paisley as a foundation. Backed it with freezer paper and free motion quilted the elements. Working on the surf I decided to use a variegated thread and attempt thread painting. I was pleased with this, my first real attempt at thread painting! Once the freezer paper was removed I layered with batting & backing, did a few additional machine quilted lines, then embellished the Nymphs with seed beads and added a few 'rocks' to the beach.

I decided to enter this challenge for sure only the weekend before it was due, so I spent the evenings focused on its completion. I learned I can push myself to create and actually have a result I am pleased with in a very short time frame. The 8.5 X 11 inch format probably helped!
I will be listing this little quiltlet in my Etsy shop. I have not listed anything new for awhile, I anticipate this as the beginning of my next wave of creativity! Working small is interesting!
I have been piecing the 2 challenges due in the next 2 weeks. I am working on the design possibilities for the Quilt art 15 year challenge as well... it is good to be busy!

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