no-longer-a-WIP Wednesday

Finally, a WIP is complete! And just in the nick of time.

This is the Spring Fling quilt, which I made for the quilt show this weekend at the Shepherd Maple Syrup Festival. Last year I picked up one of the little kits they had which included instructions/rules and an 8×8″ square of fabric to be incorporated into the quilt. The challenge theme is spring fling, which I used as the name of this quilt.

Spring Fling quilt

I decided that this would be another Blythe-inspired quilt (I’m hoping to make a series of these) and that I would use themes of feminism and nature as well.

Spring Fling quilt

I crowned the figure with a wreath of butterflies. This is inspired by this painting, as well as by the fact that butterflies are symbols of spring and renewal.

Spring Fling quilt

The center of focus is the robin’s next the figure is holding in front of her on a tray. This is meant to echo advertising images from the middle of the 20th century: a woman serving, dressed in a traditionally feminine dress with apron, offering a tangible object as an item of value. All the quilting lines on the main body background radiate out from this nest. The idea of the egg-containing nest being the most valued item is also a statement on our society’s insistence that a woman’s value is directly tied to her ability/desire to have children.

Spring Fling quilt

I also added butterflies as a 3D element. They are emerging, flying as if from the figure, and they are adhered by their bodies only (this may not translate well in these photos), so the wings are free and stand out from the main body of the quilt.

This quilt, as well as my larger Figure and Flock quilt, will be on display at the Shepherd Maple Syrup Festival – Festival of Quilts show this Saturday, with, presumably, a lot of other great quilts. Check it totally out!

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back to the fling

Last year at the Shepherd Maple Syrup Festival quilt show, they offered attendees an opportunity to participate in a contest at this year’s show. Entries in the 2015 Spring Fling, as it’s called, are required to utilize the square of fabric they handed out in 2014, fit the Spring Fling theme in some way, be started after 4/24/2014 and complete by 4/24/2015, be 60-100″ in perimeter, and be able to be hung on the wall easily. To me, this sounded like the perfect opportunity for an art quilt!

I imagine that most of the entries will quite different from the quilt I’m making, but I’m okay with that. They’ll be giving prizes for best use of color, best workmanship in piecing/applique, and best portrayal of the Spring Fling 2015 theme. I’m not particularly hot for a prize, just for the opportunity to participate in a public venue.

I’m still partway through making my current (larger) quilt WIP, but it’s getting to the point where it’s really big and difficult to spread out in the limited space we have, so it’s on a break right now. This project, though, is small and more manageable and I’ve been feeling itchy to be sewing again.

Sewing again! WIP: Regeneration art quilt

Unsurprisingly, my rough plan for this quilt came together pretty quickly, involves a Blythe-esque figure on a natural background, and has references to classical artwork and feminism. My theme/title for the quilt is Regeneration, since that is a major theme of the spring season in life as well as in art. I did my usual quick-and-dirty photo editing to make myself a general outline to follow, though of course as always I am changing the plan as I go.

Sewing again! WIP: Regeneration art quilt

For some sections, I trace the outline to make myself pattern pieces and for others I just free-hand cut things out. I’m getting increasingly comfortable with free-handing things the more I do it.

Sewing again! WIP: Regeneration art quilt

You can see that I changed from the original arms-up pose to having the figure holding a tray. My thought process was this: eggs are an ancient symbol of spring, so I’d like to include them somehow. However, making an egg clearly an egg and not a rock or something else similar is tricky, so maybe I could go about it a different way. This led me to thinking about deviled eggs and that led me to think of vintage recipe cards with lurid illustrations of things like deviled eggs, which led me to decide to have the figure holding a tray of deviled eggs (and possibly other things).

Sewing again! WIP: Regeneration art quilt

I got this far over the weekend! Not bad for five or six hours of planning and working.

Sewing again! WIP: Regeneration art quilt

The figure will be wearing a crown of butterflies, inspired by this painting. I was originally thinking a floral crown or wreath, because that’s another classical symbol of spring, but then I saw this painting and the butterfly idea grabbed me. Hopefully next weekend I’ll have some time to work on the crown, the eggs, and some further elements I haven’t added in yet.

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