|Crystal City, measures 36" x 41"|
I finished this quilt last month in time to submit to QuiltCon, in the Michael Miller Cotton Couture challenge category. It's taken me a while to blog about it because I don't particularly like this quilt.
Plus, I had a plan already! A quilt I had designed at the Albuquerque Modern Quilt Guild meeting a month or so before. There was a program on free form design, and it was hands on with lots of paper and cutting. At least a couple of ladies said I should turn it into a quilt, so I felt encouraged by their excitement.
|Original quilt design.|
And then I saw that the quilt had to be primarily pastels. I tried to change my plan (I considered making the background out of the pastels somehow and the shapes would be the dark grey, but it would have looked like Easter vomit). I thought about it for over a month, got some more pastel fabrics to help support the new plan. But I hated the new plan. I inquired on instagram about quilts with a dark background color (I had seen several being made) being disqualified, but got no response.
|Straight line quilting done with my walking foot. Everything else was free motion.|
So I decided to just make it the way I originally wanted. The pastels are the primary focus, so I decided to just go with it. I enjoyed working on it, until it came to the pastels. Ugh, every time I just hated them. Severals times I mixed up the orange and pink or the blue and teal (I sew a lot in the evening with low light while we try to get the kids to sleep).
|A collage of my instagram process photos (@quiltsnfeathers)|
I liked the process of designing my own quilt and then working through different methods of turning it into reality. But I hate the pastels. It started with just disliking them, but the more I worked with them the more I disliked them (individually I like them okay, but grouped together they are just awful). And they are just terrible to photograph.
|Flying geese and quilting detail. I used two layers of batting so the pastels would pop--Warm and Natural and Quilter's Dream wool.|
But I finished it in time to submit to QuiltCon and felt fairly confident and hopeful. But it wasn't accepted (neither was my Flying North quilt) for the quilt show. At first I was disappointed, then angry, then frustrated. Crystal City and Flying North are two of (what I consider to be) my most modern quilts. For both I really stepped out of my comfort zone and tried something new in the name of the quilt being "modern".
|Quilt back, Cotton Couture in Charcoal.|
I was disappointed that Flying North wasn't accepted because I really like that quilt, and felt that it was one of my best in terms of showing. But I made it for my friend Afton, with her tastes in mind and the goal was for her to like it (which she does)
But with Crystal City, from the first instant of ordering the challenge fabric to...well still now, it was made to be shown at QuiltCon. It has no secondary purpose. I had hoped to sell it at QuiltCon so I wouldn't need to have it mailed home and have to do something with it.
|Back quilting detail|
So when it wasn't accepted into the show I felt so frustrated! I'd wasted so much time and money on making the quilt for the show and that was all just a waste. I'd made my most modern quilt and was still rejected.
I'm still frustrated that The Modern Quilt Guild didn't give any information into what type of modern quilts they were looking for, or how many they were going to accept (I've heard it was only 300 of the 1350 entered), or why they chose such a small number considering the incredible attention QuiltCon has gotten this year.
|Quilting detail. I used Aurifil #2600 in 50wt (it's a silvery grey)|
I do plan to enter both quilts in other shows. I know I'm not a modern quilter, and I know I'm not a traditional quilter. I just kind of float on the peripherals of both groups and kinda step my toes in once a while to test the waters. The modern waters are kinda bitter right now.
But you know what? I'm not excited about QuiltCon because of the show. I'm excited because I am getting to meet SO many of the awesome quilty friends and bloggers I've made! I'm also kinda looking forward to taking my first ever quilting class (one with Angela Walters and one with Anna Maria Horner).
|Label from TagsToGo on etsy.|
I'll leave you with a couple of quotes:
Dear Self, I promise never again to sign up for a fabric challenge I am not completely inspired by. I promise not to agree to use an advanced sewing pattern that I've never heard of before, know nothing about the pattern writer, or can find any additional resources for online. I promise not to try and make a style of quilt I'm not drawn to. I promise to try to be content, if not happy with the machine, fabric, thread, etc that I have now. And I'm sorry about all the headaches I've caused you recently by not doing all these things. XOXOX -Me (I posted to FB December 2nd, before the QuiltCon show choices were made)
"You have to measure your successes and your failures within, not by anything that I or anyone else might think." -Jean-Luc Picard (Star Trek The Next Generation, season 1, episode 18).