As I was writing about challenges, I was also finishing one. This was a Grab Bag challenge hosted by Tomme Fent. The challenge required participants to chose a photograph to inspire their fabric choices. The challenge quilt had to use at least 1/3 of the Grab Bag contents and measure 20″ x 20.” I really liked the photo and fabrics I got, but that didn’t make the challenge any easier.
The fabrics were not quilting fabrics. They included nubby and smooth silk, organza, and a loosely woven muslin. I wrestled with how to use them. I wasn’t certain if I wanted my quilt to be realistic or just “inspired by” the photo. I thought about making a large Georgia O’Keefe styled lily pad. And I kept thinking about color blocking the silks with an organza overlay.
In the end, I went “inspired by” rather than realistic. This was partly due to the fact that the inspiration photo was from a magazine. I didn’t want to “copy” an image that didn’t belong to me or the bag’s owner. In addition, the fabrics were difficult to work with. Color blocking, fusing, and stitching stabilized them and made them workable. I used the inspiration photo as a “template” for where I put the colors. Rather than binding the quilt, I used facing so the color blocks would remain the focal point of the quilt.
I wasn’t sure I liked it when I finished – not an uncommon response after focusing on the detail work. I left it hanging and went back to it the following day. I was satisfied with it, but also saw 2 – 3 other ways I could have placed the colors. I was sorry I didn’t have more fabric and more time to make a different version.