Tuesday, February 20, 2018

Challenge 4- Mellow Yellow

Bee You
This weeks' challenge was called "Mellow Yellow". The color yellow is often a difficult color for quilters because it often takes over. So many just avoid it but this week, we embrace it in all it's glory!
This piece is 8.5 x 11 inches. I am late to the party of hexagons but Bees are a seminal childhood memory for me. My dad had bee hives when I was a kid. We lived across the street from orange/ grapefruit groves and I'm sure Dad's bees benefited the grove owners and he was occasionally called to come get some  bees that had gone rogue. He would rob the bees once a year and it was amazing to snack on the combs after school. 
  Honey is sometimes viewed as a healthy alternatives to some allergies (local source) because of the pollen it might contain. I showed that using some of the floral print in some of the cells. I suffer from  seasonal allergies from something (maybe sycamore and sassafras) I encounter in the Ozarks that I didn't in Florida.
 Finally, I like the small bit of humor that the sayings "Bee amazing, Bee you, Bee Strong" adds to this small piece. They are all good things to remember. 
I cut the brown fabric as a lattice with the yellow fabric behind it. I slipped in individual flowered hexies in between. I made a larger hexie with the Bee print and fit it into the composition. I used a lot of my specialty stitches on this piece and used my machine's lettering to add the words. I rarely use these stitches so it was fun to do that. 
If you are interested in joining the fun, go to this site and play along!

Thursday, February 08, 2018

9.3 Challenge Quilt- week 3- Bold and Brave

21.5 x 19

Concept- I thought about being Brave and Bold. With the dreamers being in the news, it made me wonder about how brave a person would need to be to become an immigrant. To leave everything you know and go someplace vastly different. I would find that to be a very brave thing to do, something I was not brave enough when I was asked to do so once so long ago. 

  That lead me to think about my own family members who came to this country. I did focus on my earliest ancestor, John, who came in 1640.
 I was also informed that from 1782 until 1956, our National motto was "E Pluribus Unum" (from many, one) and not, "In God we Trust" which was created during the height of the "Red Scare" or the fight against Communism. I liked the earlier motto better. 
I am deeply moved by the song, "Living in the Promised land", which was written by David Lynn Jones and made famous by Willie Nelson. 

Give us your tired and weak and we will make them strong 
Bring us your foreign songs and we will sing along 
Leave us your broken dreams we'll give them to mend 
There's still a lot of love living in the promiseland

Living in the promiseland 
Our dreams are made of steel 
The prayer of every man is to know how freedom feels 
There is a winding road across the shifting sand 
And room for everyone living in the promiseland

Construction-  The colonial times really informed the visuals of this quilt. I wanted the words to be stenciled to look like the old broadsides of colonial times. It took me a entire day to make the stencils and it took me 3 times to make something I liked visually. I went back and forth between a stencil for the figure or making it from fabric. In the end, I chose the fabric. I also chose to cut the E pluribus Unum from fabric and had SUCH a hard time keeping it where it should be. The fusible didn't want to work for whatever reason and it was a battle the entire time finishing it. 
I read about colonial quilting and found that they tended to do a center medallion and then made rows around it. I chose to make a couple medallions and alternate it with the words. 
Between the style and colors I felt like I was really channeling the Bicentennial celebration from the 70's. 

Reaction- It's not at all a look I've ever done before. I like some things and not others (as always) as it's a learning process and I'm encouraged to try new things. I was surprised by the choice of fabrics making such a difference to the feel of the piece.  This was by far the biggest struggle I've had making a piece for this challenge.