What am I up to now? A Challenge Entry.

I’ve been staying very busy teaching, coordinating updates to my website, planning and developing new educational content. However, I do manage to squeeze in creative time specific to my fiber art!

I don’t know about you, but I find Calls for Entry, Challenges and due dates help motivate me. I have always enjoyed Cherrywood Fabrics wonderful hand-dyed fabrics. Every year they have a Challenge. This year it is called “Graffiti”. So I took the plunge!

This is the first year that Cherrywood has limited the artist to use only their fabric kit for the top. With the fabric kit purchase you were automatically entered into the Challenge.  (Another great incentivizer!)

The Challenge: Use EIGHT COLORS to create a 20-inch square quilted art work. No other colors of fabric may be added. The only way to add more colors is with thread, some stringy bits you could purchase from them, paint, pencil, ink, beads, etc. This got my creative juices going!!

Cherrywood was very clear about the kind of Graffiti they would accept. The list of things they would not accept was very clear. They wanted street art, a design that shared the appreciation of the skill needed to create art with spray paint cans. Something with a fun and light-hearted expression.  

The finalists will be displayed in family-friendly environments. I always considered myself a winner when one of my designs was selected as a finalist! It was great to see all of them displayed when I went to a quilt show where they were highlighted.

So, what to create using the colors and the theme of Graffiti? I researched graffiti on the internet and thought about a light-hearted theme. Cats! So, the design was conceived.

I had a photo of our cat Tyger that I used as my inspiration. But all of our cats became part of the design as well. They have so much to teach us! I already had a name – Happy Cat!

I wanted the design to look like a painted wall. I used colored pencils to create my map of colors for the cat. The assembly was time-consuming but very inspiring. Then, on to the creation of other aspects of the design…

I created the background. The challenge was using only what fabric I had. It definitely got my brain thinking! I created the graffiti words and images for the wall using raw-edge appliqué pieces backed with iron-on fusible.

This piece was a labor of love, much like any fiber art piece we choose to make. Every step of the process a learning experience. Using my initial design as a start, making appropriate changes as I went. Waiting to commit until I had to. Allowing my creative voice to sing like a happy tune!

With all my components created, I moved on to assembly and stitching. 

I wanted the wall to have texture so I quilted it first. This way anything I fused on top would have that subtle texture behind it, like it was painted.

I started sewing to not only secure the fused pieces, but outline them in black, much like a graffiti artist would do. You can see how the stitching adds more definition.

Of course I added some pigment to help with the texture and design. Sometimes just a touch is all that is needed!

Then I sized the piece and added an artists facing so the piece would flow off the edges.

Here is my finished 20″ x 20″ Graffiti Challenge entry, Happy Cat. I made the deadline.  Now we wait to hear the jury judges final decisions. I hope that Happy Cat can be part of Cherrywood’s Graffiti display. May it touch lots of hearts! 

My next 8-wk GPC Challenge starts the week of May 16, 2022. Now is the time to think about attending!

Book a call with me and we can figure out if this Challenge is a fit for you. If it is not, then I would be happy to make some other recommendations for you. 

I would love to be a part of your creative journey! Want more confidence in your skills? Want to learn new techniques to enrich your creative voice? Want to overcome self-doubt or fear with using pigments to color on fabric? I can help. Click on the button below and let’s talk about where you want to go in terms of expressing yourself in your art quilts.

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