Call for Entries – Digital Alchemy – Juried Exhibition @ International Quilt Market Houston

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My Warhol hot lichen, on sale at Spoonflower, where I go by wordnerd411

Jane Dunnewold is the creative force behind this first ever exploration of how quilters are using digitally printed fabrics from print on demand companies such as Spoonflower.  Of course Spoonflower is the leading company in this groundbreaking field, and they are co-sponsoring the exhibition.  It will premiere at the 2015 International Quilt Market and Festival in Houston this fall.

Jane has put a link to the pdf of the call for entry here.

Details of size, etc. are all on the pdf.  Worth calling out:

Quilts must be made from at least 50% digitally printed fabric.  It is not a requirement that fabric be designed by the quiltmaker, but the designer must be credited.

The other pertinent rule is no online/social media sharing of work in progress until acceptance and rejection notices have been delivered.

Submissions open March 1 to April 5.

Spoonflower turns orders around fast so even if there’s nothing lurking in your stash of too beautiful to cut, you’ve got time to design and order your own fabric — trust me on this, it’s not hard — or just go shopping for other designers’ fabrics.

Since this is for a quilt show (as opposed to bed quilts) you don’t have to confine yourself to cotton.  Spoonflower can print designs onto silk, jersey and now even Minky (think pushing the envelope with soft fuzzy baby blankets in non traditional colours and designs).  Of course quilts have to be quilted and quilting on Minky might be a bit challenging, but interesting.

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Quilt design

Finally figured out how to save my masterpieces made in Threadbias and be able to post them!

Here goes nothing!

ds824This has been a huge learning experience and for that I’m grateful.  One thing is that on the Quilt Design A Day Facebook page all the images post as squares in the albums so it’s preferable to design them that shape for the best impression.  In the stream they show in their full glory though.

Quite pleased with this one, I was aiming for using one shape with variations and to have a sense of weight at the bottom and airiness at the top.

What lies behind …

Here’s how the back of The Emperor turned out.  It started life as a royal blue background with white hibiscus.

What’s your approach to backing?  I like to have something worth looking at on the back myself.  And as many of my pieces don’t have borders, it’s a great place to show off the big florals and the splashy colourful prints that begged me to take them home, then sat around in the stash for eons.

I saw one recently with veggie prints on the top and donut fabric on the back, thus covering all the food groups!

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Avant garde baby quilt

IMG_0647Rustled this up over a couple of days when I needed a baby quilt quickly for an artistic mom.  Okay, it took more than a couple of days to piece together all the little bits of fabric, but I do that anyway, to preserve small scraps, to play with colour and value, to test the stitching on the machine, you get the picture.

The original plan, which still exists, is to make a bed quilt for myself.  But I keep getting sidetracked and making cushion covers, tote bags, and quilty gifts for artistic people who I think will appreciate this style (which is not everyone!)

The blocks are about 25 inches square and I make a point of putting similar fabric on the outside of different blocks so they can pieced into larger works without the edges of each block being glaringly obvious.  This one is about 40 inches square I think.  Of course it wasn’t actually measured, but most baby quilts are about that size, so that the backing can be done without piecing.  The back of this isn’t pieced so that makes me feel my guesstimate is more or less accurate.

Baby quilt FINALLY FINISHED!

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Here’s a close up showing the quilting on this one, which is technically the best quilting I feel I’ve done, just meandering lines in a grid, using Valdani Withered Blue on top and their Brick (I think it is) in the bobbin.

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And to the right, the whole quilt.

What was fun with this was that I didn’t buy any fabric, just found stuff in my existing stash that played together nicely.

Following Joan Ford’s advice in Cut the Scraps! was a big help as all the squares were cut to five inches.  The paisley and the pale blue feathers were yardage which I cut, the others were from scraps I’d already cut down.  It was fast and fun to pore through the clamshell I keep them in and pull out the dark blue, red, peacock feathers and the deep red paisley and then just sit and sew.

The Missouri Star Quilt Company YouTube tutorial on disappearing nine-patch 

was a terrific quick  primer that saved me from making any design mistakes.  You put the focus fabrics in the four corners of the nine-patch, the middle fabric will be sliced into four little squares, and the fabrics in the middle of each outside appear like sashing, which is why I stuck to the blue feathers so there would be some consistency to the design.

When the quilt was started, no one knew whether the baby would be a boy or a girl.  Here in British Columbia you can only find out by paying extra for a special test.  Anyway the not knowing meant I needed to choose colours that were not gender specific, which I think I achieved.  In the end it was a boy, but this would also be suitable for a girl too.

Mandala Musings

This is “Enuff on my plate,” created for the Mavericks Mandala challenge that we did after Nancy Green presented a workshop on mandalas and how to interpret them. It was one of the first pieces I exhibited, in 2007.

Although it’s 25″ square, it’s really a journal quilt because my whole family is in it. Perhaps the class I’m about to take at http://www.quiltuniversity.com will enable me to make works on a smaller scale.

Yesterday I was reading Katie Pasquini’s 1983 book Mandala for contemporary quilt designs and other mediums. What struck me was how she created beautiful vibrant pieces, yet individually many of those fabrics would be the ones left over after a quilt guild garage sale! Not “uglies” per se, just boring calicoes.

Today we have so many amazing fabrics in glorious colours that were unthought of even 25 years ago. Yet the curious thing is that many art quilters make very little use of commercial fabrics. Curious, isn’t it?

PROGRESS REPORT: Did 27 hours of work last week.