Monday, October 29, 2012

the making of Flying High

Well, the Scraps to Treasure challenge for 2012 has officially come to an end, so I'm free to post about my entry, Flying High.   As you recall, everyone was given the same sets of 6" squares, and we were allowed to add a certain number of squares and fat quarters from our stash, with the challenge to create a quilt.

It all started last winter as I was trying to come up with ideas for the 2012 challenge.  I thought about a few options, and this one evolved from thinking about things that fly.  Flags, birds, planes...those were the obvious.  I wanted to take a bit of a whimsical turn, and came up with flying turtles, getting a chance to look down on their surroundings.  I thought, even if they could only be 12" off the ground, it would be high for them.  :)    Here's the first sketch.
Its important to have an idea in mind because when you send in your initial squares for the exchange, you're allowed extra of that fabric to use.  Knowing I'm looking at sky, even without a totally firm idea in mind, I went with three blues.  We were only required to send 2 squares for each, but by sending in an extra square, I gained an extra bit of blue to use.  I took a couple of pics of my fabrics, but they didn't come out the best.  Instead, here are the fabrics each of us started out with, and I'll try to put an arrow on mine...though it's rather obvious when you look at the final quilt.  :)

So I received my squares somewhere around the end of April.  Plenty of time to finalize my thoughts, put it together, and be totally at ease in the process.  Yeah well, that is unless you procrastinate like I did.  By mid-August I had about decided to forget about it, my muse wasn't speaking to me about quilting.  Then Labor Day weekend rolled around and I decided to jump on it and see what I could do. I gathered together my sketches, laid out the squares, and just started pulling them together and sewing.  First were the turtles and their parachutes.  One turtle or two?  Same size or different?  High or low?  Greens worked well for the landscape the turtles were flying over, with a couple of teal blues thrown in for a lake.  Browns and tans across the bottom gave an interpretation of the road of life.  Not always smooth, a few bumpy spots and unexpected pot holes.  I also decided some mountains might be a nice touch, so I pieced them together.  Going with the Flying High title, some flying geese were an obvious choice, and the pinwheels were fun. 

Since we were able to add a designated number of extra squares from our own stash (only 1 6" square of any given print), I pulled out an eagle and fussy cut him for the corner.  As it was coming together, I thought it still needed something.  My bathroom rug caught my eye, and in an aha moment, the idea for a row of houses came together.

A square of dragonflies made its way into the bottom left corner.  Those dragonflies eventually were used for the backing and binding.

Of course there was a bit of frog stitching going on (rip it, rip it), but by the end of the weekend the top was pretty well stitched together, and by the next weekend I had it sandwiched and ready to quilt.

Flying High didn't come out in the top ten this year, there was some pretty strong competition.  Yes, I admit I'm a tad disappointed, but in the end its all about enjoying the process and being happy with the result.  So in that regard, yes, it's a winner.  :)

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