Thursday, September 29, 2011

Find Your Own Voice Challenge


I just finished my quilt for the MQG challenge ~ YAY!!!!  My fingers are sore because I whipped out the binding this afternoon.  Usually I like to take my time with those, but I wanted to be done on time.

So here is what I entered... plus a few more pictures :)

The challenge to "find your own voice" was difficult to start.  I began by making all sorts of block patterns... but stopped realizing that the first thing about me is that I'm not so rigid.  Then I started looking through my stash and found everything was too new, too clean or too crisp to truly represent me.   I was stumped for a while... but eventually I decided to just start sewing.

I cut into an old skirt I was saving (you know... for the fabric) to test a sewn in circle technique I've recently learned from friends at the PMQG.  I liked it so much I decided  to use it in the quilt.  Then I started going through more old clothes that I've been saving just for the fabric... and the idea hit me to use them in the quilt.   I divided them by the years I wore them to make into 8 blocks.  Each group of fabric represents a span of 5 years and the clothing I wore at that time.  Most fabrics are repurposed clothing, and the rest are newer scraps that emulate the age.  I'm not quite 45 yet, so the ninth block is mostly white... awaiting it's own color.

I had no plan when I made the first block ~ I just put fabric together till I liked it, then I tried to recreate the block.  I chose to use a solid bone color as my "background"  to highlight all the different fabrics.  My first re-creation was a mess because I didn't write it all down the first time... but I plugged through and figured it out and the rest of the blocks went more smoothly.  Once I had all my blocks put together I pretty much knew it was definitely going to be MY quilt ~ who else would like something so random?  My first thought went to my favorite childhood character, Pippi Longstocking, who lived in a house in which this quilt would fit right in... Villa Villa Kula.  So that is the name of my new quilt!

With Pippi in mind, I free-motion quilted my quilt.  It's a bit random like the quilt top... and definitely not perfect (just like me).  I had fun using different patterns in the quilting.  Some stitches radiate from the circle centers to denote growth, some are blocky to denote a good foundation, and some just arrows directing the flow through the years.  I added daisies around the edges for fun... and now I love it.

Last, but not least... I added some text into each block:

born a Earth Monkey
wanted to be Holly Hobby
sweet sixteen
street schooled
punk rock mama
coastal caravan gypsy
name change for love
living life creatively
forward to the future

This last bit really made it sing to me, and that's the voice I want to hear.

Villa Villa Kula Quilt
Finished September 29, 2011
63"x84"

6 comments:

Kmac said...

LOVE the quilting. Especially the sort of half-circles, but maybe it's because it reminds me of cake decorations.

The design sort of reminds me of a calendar, which seems appropriate somehow with all the words.

anotheryarn said...

I so looking forward to seeing this in person, you are bringing it for the next show n tell right?

RamonaX / Gail said...

Oh yeah ~ you betchya! See you at the next meeting :)

Jessica said...

your quilting is amazing! What a great, meaningful quilt.

sew on and sew on, Cherri said...

Simply, utterly wonderful!

Bearpawquilter said...

I am reading through your posts from oldest to newest but I had to stop and comment on this one. What a wonderful, thoughtful process for you. I especially like your ninth block all in whites, waiting for it's own color. Your method of jumping in and just sewing without too much energy spent on being perfect can be a lesson to a lot of us who do that. Your posts over time have shown your growth as a quilter while still keeping it your own personal journey. Bless you.