Monday, 12 March 2012

IMQG March 2012 Challenge

You know, there are some people who give the impression of being rule-breakers? But on closer inspection, you find they have not really broken any? Skirted around it a bit maybe or maybe even bent it a wee bit, but break a rule? No ma'am. More often than not, its just a case of finding new and creative interpretations of stiff rules. Most often than not, these people will be Aquarians! Like me :-). We like rules. We also like chaos. But most of all, we like order in our chaos..method in our madness..rules in our explorations.

I digress.

The rules for the India Modern Quilt Guild's March 2012 Challenge :
1.Make anything out of ONLY 2 Fat Quarters, one solid, one print. (Of course you can use threads!)
2.Fasteners, buttons, buckles, if used, should be for purpose, not decoration.

Stiff, right? As a true-blue Aquarian, my first thought is...Boring!! Second thought...Need to stick to the rules and yet tweak them a bit. How? By choosing fabric that will go further and beyond the call of duty of being just plain old boring solid/printed! So, the solid fabric has to be also textured, and, the printed fabric, a riot of colours !! :-)

Now that I have the fabric, I'm wondering what to make. I run around the house, clutching my fabric and  randomly trying to cover things up...the telephone, the keyboard, the ugly showpiece, the mutilated chairback, the commode, the this, the that. And then I cover up the horrible plastic water dispenser in the kitchen.. and the March Challenge entry just swims before my eyes !

Those of you familiar with Chennai will know that though we have the great big ocean at our toetips, water is a scarce commodity. We use 3 kinds of water..1.Salt/hard water, which is the ground water and is used in the toilets..2.Good water, which we buy by the tanker and use for bathing and washing..3.Drinking water, which we buy in cans and use for cooking and drinking. And the cans are ugly! Perfect !!

The plain fabric is just a few inches short of wrapping the entire can, so I insert 4 strips of the printed fabric. The top has to be printed too. Its just half an hour's work and I am done and I am feeling let down. This was too simple :-(. Plus is not a quilted thingy.

Ask an Aquarian how to complicate life. 'With flowers' will be her reply. So I try out various flower shapes out of fabric. I experiment. (That sounds better than saying half the flowers turned out yuck and so I threw them away.) I decide to keep some. And the evil glint in the eye is back ! So I use buttons thru the middles to keep the flowers in place. Thats what buttons do, right? Keep things in place? See, no rule breaking !!

I wish I had complicated the hell out of this, but I decide to KISS.. Keep It Simple, Stupid.

So here's my entry for the IMQG March 2012 Challenge - Aquarius, the water bearer :-)

Somebody pleeease tell me it does NOT look like a water-can condom!


Friday, 9 March 2012

The Leibster Blog Award

Look what I got ! Lookeee!! *Happy dance*

The Leibster Blog Award !! How cool is that ?!! :-) I am super excited 'coz its an award given by a fellow blogger, a peer and whoever said that peer-review is the most sought-after appreciation in intelligent circles sure knew what he/she was talking about ! :-)

This award was given to me my blog by the very talented Annemieke who blogs at Quilts of chicken and more.. (Yep, thats auto-translated!). Thank you Annemieke, you made my day! Many hugs!!

Leibster means 'Dear' or 'Beloved' or 'Favourite'. I like all three variations :-).

The rules : (Of course, there are rules. Whats an award without rules, eh?)
1. First off, its for up and coming blogs with less than 200 followers.
2. You gotta thank and link back to the person who gave it to you.
3. You copy-paste the award and blog about it.
4. You pass it on to 5 other deserving blogs and leave a comment letting them know and hope the love keeps going on round.

So, here are my 5 picks for the Leibster Blog Award :
- Elvira at Chez Vies. High on the cuteness factor :-)
- Newbie Jen at Closet Quilter. A wonderful quilter who still insists on calling herself a newbie :-)
- Helen at Archie the wonder dog. Whats better than quilts and adorable dog-antics all rolled up and served in one shot? :-)
- Josie at Handmade by Knottygal. Her work is so refreshing :-).
- Kit at Kit Lang Fiber Art. Her art quilts and thought process are both very fascinating :-).

So, go ahead people, spread the love. I shall, in the meantime, resume my happy dance ! :-)

Saturday, 3 March 2012

IMQG Feb 2012 Challenge

Like I was saying in my previous post, this was my entry for the Feb 2012 Challenge of the IMQG:

Here's how you recreate an old memory from a picture..

Step 1 : Choose pic. Audition fabric from stash.

Step 2: Snip the fabric up into small squares. No need to measure or rotary cut. Its a great exercise for venting out pent up anger :-). Referring to pic, draw a few basic shapes to help with the placement of the li'l square(ish) fabrics on the base fabric sandwich. Use basting spray to help keep them in place. (Bad idea, actually, but thats what I did). Start with the background colours and areas.

Step 3: Machine quilt, following the natural lines of the landscape.I quilted curves and squiggly lines for the  mountain slopes and ridges, and pebbles for rocks.

Step 4: Add the assorted green squares for the shrubs, again using the pic for reference.

Step 5: Try quilting the shrubs. By now your machine will decide to give up, sputter and die (remember I told you the basting spray was not too smart an idea?). So you make peace with whatever life throws at you and hand quilt with seed stitches (which is just a fancy name for randomly running your needle in and out!).

Step 6: Cut out the branch shapes from non-fraying fabric and stick/fuse them onto the quilted background coz you want the tree silhouette to be slightly raised and impart the scenery some depth.

Step 7: Since you have no hopes of duplicating the beauty of real orchids, you stitch on some pretty crystals instead.

Step 8: Add borders with the stich and flip method. (Strip piecing?) Cut the top border 2 " wider so that the back doubles up as a hanging sleeve.

Step 9: Step back and admire your finished piece !

Step 10 : Wish you had put a hanging sleeve on the side too, so you could change the orientation every once in a while. Or whenever bored. Looks like a surreal tree/landscape this way.

Step 11: Shoot pics to upload your entry for the challenge and then realise you've missed the deadline by a few measly hours !!

LOL. And that, my dear lovelies, is how we make a mini quilt.

Thursday, 1 March 2012

It was a dark & stormy night

It was a dark and stormy night. And we reached the lonely forest guest house in the middle of nowhere. It was dark, meaning pitch dark..that colour of black being something that cityfolks like us never knew existed. There were jungle sounds cutting thru pure silence. And we shivered. We were tired, we were hungry, we were scared. We were also with no food. The old man at the guesthouse had no idea we were expected. He had no provisions and the nearest habitation was a bumpy and dusty 45 minute drive away. The children ate leftover bread with melted chocolate while the driver offered to go get us provisions and then cook us a simple meal. For the record, none of us bravehearts offered to venture out and accompany the man! For the record, it was the most delicious meal of our lives!

The next morning we were presented with nature in all her glory. Pristine and jaw-droppingly beautiful. The jungle was every shade of green, and atop the tree trunks were these most fragile looking dew-petalled orchids. Strange ones too. It was an awesome holiday!

Whats all this gotta do with quilting? Well, The India Modern Quilt Guild has monthly challenges and the February Challenge asked of us to make a mini quilt depicting a memorable holiday. Woohoo! No prizes for guessing what I made ! Ta-da...!!

Its late and am off to bed. Shall come back tomorrow and talk about the quilt.

Sweet dreams/Have a nice day, depending on which side of the globe you are !

Btw my January entry for the IMQG challenge was voted winner. Nice!