8 is great – project quilting season 8

Project quilting season 8 is here. The first challenge is ‘8 is great’. And I’ve done it! This post will be linked to the challenge blog post and entered into the competition.

It has been a challenge indeed with only a week to complete it. We were told on Sunday what the title was and the criteria and then we have to submit it by tomorrow i.e Sunday January 8th by noon CDT. The only criteria really is: it ‘must meet at least one of these requirements:

  1. Include patchwork.
  2. Include appliqué.
  3. Have 3 layers stitched together by hand or machine.’

Project quilting season 8 - 8 is great

It’s all about the process

I sat down at my first opportunity, which was Tuesday. I switched off the radio. Turned the volume off on my phone and my laptop and sat away from them at a table in the studio, with a notes page of my planner open and a pencil at the ready. I took a breath. Closed my eyes. Bent my head down to focus on thinking about what I could do. I looked up and right in my view was the window, with five shrubs sitting there saying “here we are, here we are, we’re it! Look above us, there are trees – 3 of them will give you the 8 that you need”. At this point, you may run for the hills as I’m making out that shrubs spoke to me but obviously that’s just me making a light story but it was almost as if they were saying that. There was my topic. There were my 8. That’s it. Now roll with it.

Project quilting season 8 - 8 is great

Roll with it

And I did just that by drawing how I thought ‘it’ could look. I had no idea how I’d do any of this but you have to start with the inspiration and just see where it takes you. On hindsight, I realise that I was pushing myself way too hard and expecting far too much from myself, as I’ve never entered a challenge before and I am definitely not artistically talented at all. A challenge which only gives a week is definitely just that. Life doesn’t stop just for you to do it. You have to fit it in amongst your normal daily life. It pushes your confidence and creativity to the max and boy, is that refreshing and scary all at the same time.

Design decisions

I don’t have time to go into all the details and decisions which were involved in making this piece and neither do you I suspect. There were many though, as hopefully the photos do reveal some of the attention I gave this process. From using various coloured threads, to adjusting embroidery designs (the tree design I used is from Emlibrary.com ) to using various die-cutting machines.

The 8 is shown in a few ways:

  •  5 hedges plus 3 trees – nature
  • 8 sided shaped project
  • 8  techniques – hand sewing, free-motion quilting, applique, machine embroidery, die-cutting, patchwork, decorative stitching, fabric pen marking.

I decided upon making a wall hanging, as I knew that I needed to take the Christmas tree wall hanging down by yesterday; twelfth night. It is 36 inches tall.

I’m now shattered. As I was downloading the photos for this post, I even thought I had made it with only 6 sides and even posted on Facebook about how annoyed I was with myself for doing that. I’m clearly totally shattered and should be resting but I can’t let it go now. I have to link it up and know that it’s all done before I can rest tonight.

I know you will see errors and some are quite obvious but I am left tired, yes, but also quite proud of myself for doing such a thing which is WAY out of my comfort zone. I am trying to live by my motto – create to express not impress. I commented to a lady today in our machine embroidery session, that I have to impress myself though. Maureen’s reply was fabulous – ” no Diane, you have to please yourself, not impress”. She’s precious and that helped me feel good about this, despite it’s flaws. What matters is, I did it. I faced the challenge and my fears and revelled in it.

Now to rest!

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