When we asked Professional Category Challenge 2 Finalist Barbara Wilke what her reaction was when she first realized she would be required to design a quilt that incorporated the Challenge 2 fabric provided by Free Spirit, she replied:
“I have participated in fabric challenges in the past, so that was not a big surprise. The scale of the print, however, was a surprise. The amount of white field behind the design I found to be very limiting in possibilities. The colors and actual print on the fabric I thought very pleasing, but, oh, why so big?” She also added that she usually starts with the design, and then finds the fabrics that will work best.
“The first step in my design process with this fabric was to look at the work of Kaffe Fassett and Amy Butler because they are known for big, bold prints. Seeing how they handle their fabric lines I thought might give me a direction. This, by the way, was no help what-so-ever in what to do, only what not to do.
I have found this challenge to be much more challenging. The first round I had a concept pretty quickly, but I really had to stretch to come up with an idea that will work for this fabric. Having received the fabric prior to knowing if I would be a participant gave me time to ponder the possibilities. The fabric itself was not inspiration, except to become an apron or bag, so I looked all over for something that I thought would work. I had used a technique I saw on Fons and Porter ‘Love of Quilting’ for a Round Robin Challenge and realized that it could be the solution. It allows me to isolate small areas of the design, thus eliminating most of the all white field. Guess we will see how it works.
I have used the small iron from Clover as I was working with paper piecing on another project. It can be kept on for a long period of time without using a great deal of electricity. It is also much easier on my wrist which has carpel tunnel.
The needle threader, also from Clover, is a dream machine! I had one prior to receiving the one in the gift box. Now I have one in my studio and one with travel projects. Also, the large stack of Moda fabric was a gift to my Guild to use in a service project as a thank you for all of their support on my journey to the Design Star.
I was lucky enough to have the semi-annual York Quilters’ Guild Show during this round of voting. After finishing the quilt I was able to hang the piece in the show. This allowed me to meet and talk to many wonderful people. It was a very gratifying experience to have your work enjoyed and appreciated at that level.
It has truly been an honor to be involved in the contest. It has pushed me as an artist to think quickly and to take risks. However, the best thing has been all the people who have come forward to support my work. I have never felt more gratified as an artist. I thank all of those that have supported me and I will do my best to not let you down as we move forward on this journey.”
This update has been brought to you by Handi Quilter, one of our fine QDS™ 2012 sponsors.