P is for Puzzle…

The first of 6 bi-monthly quilt challenges is finished! Today other participants will also begin the great unveiling of their works of art.

The challenge from Three Creative Studios:

The word “PUZZLE”. No other requirement, other than not posting the completed quilt until at least today.

I decided that I would participate because I require deadlines to get things happening. And stretching is always good for the soul.

At approximately the same time, another quilt group (QuiltArt) I am a member of began discussing two topics, which eventually merged into another challenge. Topic one started in early January and was about your ‘word’ of the year. A lot of artists on the site had come up with the idea of a word that might pull their year into focus. It could have even been focus! Or create, or freedom, or finish. There were so many words, and so many interesting and unique reasons for them. Someone (inevitably) suggested that this word become a challenge quilt.

Someone mentioned that this was the 15th year of this online group. Eventually the powers that be decided a challenge for the Quinceanera of QuiltArt would be a 15” x 15” square quilt, hopefully utilizing some of the knowledge we had gained during our time there, and possibly, if we wanted to, incorporating our word of the year.

Well, I am all about killing two birds with one stone. So, here is my quilt, “P is for Puzzle,” which coincidentally was created 15” x 15”  so it can be for both challenges.

My idea was that I wanted to use my word of the year was a crossword puzzle. (Words, you know. And puzzles. See how easy?)

Anyway, devoted readers of this blog (all 3 of you) may recall my word this year is BALANCE.

Many pages of graph paper later I discovered it was almost impossible to have the word BALANCE become the center word in a 15 x 15 letter crossword. At least it was if I wanted the other words in the puzzle to have any connection to quilting, art, or me.  And finally, that seemed kind of OK. After all, my favorite quote of all time is– “Life is what happens to you while you are busy making other plans.” (John Lennon, Beautiful Boy, 1980)

Life is a balancing act; no matter how much you strive to to lean one way or the other, in order to center yourself, some part of your life may become out of balance. But still you manage to carry all of the parts of you, and some parts tilt to one side for a while, and others get pushed off in directions you wouldn’t have chosen or expected.

I had originally wanted (visualized, really) striped fabrics, but I have put the restriction on myself that nothing may be purchased solely for this series of challenges. None of my fabrics spoke to me. They didn’t do what I envisioned.

After letting go of the stripe idea, two fabrics immediately found their way into my newly opened eyes. They incorporated my favorite color palette, they balance roughly across the color wheel as complementary, they offer both rest and movement.

p is for puzzle p is the puzzlebalance passion

Quick tips on the construction. After finding the fabrics, I cut two 8×8 squares of each and made a large 4 patch. Then I painted with a wash of Dynaflow, Pebeo and Golden acrylics to get a slightly more cohesive color.

I quilted a simple grid pattern, 15 one inch squares, I then dug through my ample scrapbooking, rubberstamping, art and jewelry supplies to find enough letters to spell out my words. Timmy drilled holes in Scrabble tiles for three of the words. They are my words for the two challenges and my word of the year.

I made a stencil from freezer paper for my large P (for Puzzle, Purple, and my name, Patricia!) and used Dynaflow and Golden Interference paint to color. I played around with some of the decorative stitching to create something of an Illuminated P. Random unused squares have been painted or had glitter applied.

I am happy with the way it turned out, and anxious to see what the next challenge will be!

In other quilting/photo news, I chose this photo for the latest challenge on Dgrin… the fabrics I used for the quilt above just happened to be sitting on the ironing board and I spotted the light….the challenge was SILHOUETTES…2010_FEB iRon-16 copybw

(Looking for some 27-thing encouragement?? Hey, guys, the Olympics are still on. Find something to do that you can take to the couch!!! Mending those clothes that you didn’t fling but needed buttons maybe??)

27-Things will be back next week, just in time for Spring Cleaning!!!!!!

5 thoughts on “P is for Puzzle…

  1. I do believe you have nailed both challenges. Very good job. I really like what you set out to do, revised and did. (I’m still doing) I also like your blog. Ishall return to consider flinging but I need to get back to my word, focus. Again, luv it!


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