I was inspired by Cathy Wiggins and Machine Quilter's Exposition's new category New Traditions in Textiles. Here's the category explanation:
New Traditions in Textiles:
The Cathy Wiggins Award
In this category, fiber artists
are not limited to creating
with traditional woven
fabrics and are permitted to stretch the
boundaries of what constitutes “fiber” and
“textile”. Artists may use (but are not limited
to) cheesecloth, vinyl, leather, paper,
felted fibers, Mylar, Tyvek and many other
materials that may behave like textiles in
given circumstances. Unlike other
categories, entries in this category may be
framed or presented in non-traditional
forms and need not fit the traditional definition
of a quilt. All entries MUST contain
machine quilting in some part of their construction.
Minimum 72 perimeter inches
and maximum 400 perimeter inches.
Okay, so that sounds like a challenge. The vinyl jumped out to me when I read the details. So I headed to my local fabric store and came home with some wonderful shiny blue vinyl.
My other inspiration was Tish in Wonderland's wonderful Zentangle quilt. I watched her pictures of it come in across Instagram (@websterquilt).
Now that I had my fabric (Vinyl), needles (leather), and inspiration, I set to work. Since I couldn't figure out a way to mark the front of the fabric (it's slippery!), I marker the back of the quilt with interconnected circles. I then stitched on these circles and the circles appeared on the front. This was no easy task as the vinyl did not want to slide on the machine and in my infinite wisdom I'd done a test and decided that two layers of Hobbs wool batting would be the perfect choice. The sandwich was VERY thick.
It was also a challenge to pin because every hole you have in the vinyl is there permanently. I pinned using regular straight pins from the back. I put them on the circle lines themselves so the holes would hide. I didn't use very many pins, but since I stitched out all the circles first the quilt was well basted.
Then I was able to turn the quilt over and start playing with the circle designs. I'm happy to report that the green backing fabric I used slid easily over the machine bed.
I decided that all the largest circles needed feathers and the background areas would be pebbles. Other than that I set no specific rules as I worked. I did try to use different kinds of fillers, straight lines and curves, next to each other so there would be contrast. When I got stuck my son would give me a suggestion like, "use triangles mom." I'm really happy with the overall results.
I wanted to use something non-traditional for the binding as well. I chose a very light weight denim and it looks great against the edge of the quilt.
Here are some closeups of the quilt.
In the picture above there is a baseball quilted in. Once I'd stitched it I asked my son if he could find the baseball. He told me that should be the name of the quilt. I agreed.
Off to MQX Springfield it will go in the fall!
I hope you get to quilt today!