Monday, January 31, 2011

Spring Returns--Debra--Grand Finale

Spring Returns
32 x 36 inches
Monoprinted fabrics, vintage fabrics, commercial decorator fabrics, lace, fabric transfer printing and embroquilting

While participating in this challenge, I had the freedom to explore some techniques I had wanted to try with the embroidery machine.  The monthly deadlines forced me to stop my normal studiowork and play a little with some ideas.  I think it is valuable to have some experimental time and I'll miss this opportunity.  I plan to continue on my own. 

During the course of the challenge, I wanted to see how abstractly I could make the embroidery machine work.  By it's nature, it's a very structured machine using preformatted designs.  Learning how to take those designs apart and apply them to these pieces has been valuable for me to learn.  One of the concepts I worked with was "embroquilting", a term coined by Rian to describe using the embroidery machine to quilt through 3 layers like a quilting machine would do.  This piece has very successful embroquilting that helps reinforce the piece's spring theme--water droplets or puddles.

My other design idea for these pieces was to maintain a connection to my traditional quilting values but see how I could abstract it to some degree.  Again, this piece worked well for me.  I had the traditional grid of a quilt but was able to embellish it with the liveliness of scraps that spelled spring.  It shows an abandon I don't normally allow in my more controlled pieces (and that on a good day I wish I would explore more).  I remember feeling quite a rush when this piece was done; thinking of the "new direction" I could go with my quiltwork.

Overall, I enjoyed the challenge very much.  It had its moments of frustration and confusion, its challenges with pictures and with people but it was a year of self-discovery that I am happy I took.  Thanks for making and continuing the commitment with me.  Best wishes for more discoveries along the quilting pathway.


  1. I agree with you on this one. It is one of my favorites that you have done.

    I also want to thank you & Libby for all the great work you did on this blog. It has been a real experience and from what each of us has posted, we have all learned so much from it.

  2. It was interesting to see your interpretations for each challenge ... to see you stretch and experiment.

    Thanks to you and Libby for conceiving this challenge and inviting me to participate.

  3. I loved watching what you did with fabric oh-so-different from what's in my stash! And the way you stretched yourself with that embroidery machine. (Look out, longarmers!)

    Thanks for all your hard work over the year with the challenge. It has been fun, and a real learning experience. I'm looking forward to this next year.

  4. though I could not stay to the end I did learn a great deal from this. The work done by everyone was amazing! I learned something from each and everyone of you. I love your birds - and how wonderful the ways you have used them in these quilts!

  5. I'd love to see this in person to see the wonderful circle embroquilting. I'm so glad you and Libby organized this, and so glad you asked me to join. It was a memorable, valuable experience.

  6. I think anything you do that pushes the limits of your own mental boundaries is good. Feeling like you are growing and stretching and experimenting is just as good as feeling comfortable with what you already know. So, hats off to the embro quilting!

  7. I think we know when we've found "it" and I certainly think you did in this piece. I am inspired by your ability and skill in combining disparate fabrics into a harmonious piece.

    Looking forward to your further adventures with "embroquilting".

    Thanks for hosting this challenge and all your work in keeping us on track!

  8. I Just want to thank you & Libby for all the great work you did on this blog.
    Music & Movies


Thanks for stopping by and commenting!