I belong to a small group of quilters known as the Fyber Gypsies (made up of members of the Rocky Mountain Creative Quilters guild) and this spring we set ourselves a challenge: we picked two crayons from a paper bag and one word from a bunch of slips. The goal was to make a quilt using those colors and to look to the word for further inspiration.
I got pink and black crayons, colors I rarely use, and my word was “embellish”.
As with most quilts, my initial ideas were very different from the final product. At first, I though of making animals that were either pink or black and then adding an embellishment-worthy accessory in the opposite color, such as a pink pig in a black top hat or a penguin in a tutu. The animals would be cute, simplified shapes, and the overall effect would be whimsical. I would make four separate blocks, each with a different animal on it.
Once I started sketching, the plan changed completely. I found some Adélie penguin pictures (a very cute, round penguin species) and made some drawings, thinking that I would like to try using the piecing techniques I learned from Ruth McDowell in a class I took with her over 10 years ago. But I had to enlarge my penguin to about one foot tall so that the smallest pattern pieces wouldn’t be too hard to work with, and I needed the finished quilt to be a manageable size if I was going to meet the deadline we’d set for ourselves. So I went from four animals to one.
My pattern has turned the original drawing into straight lines, but you should be able to tell that the drawing I came up with was rather realistic. My tutu idea no longer worked, so I decided to use pink fabrics for the white I would need for the penguin and the snow/ice behind him in order to meet the color requirements of the challenge. I auditioned fabrics and started putting the quilt together.
Once the entire quilt was completed, including the quilting and the binding, I added beads for an eye and then decorated the pink frame with beads in order to include a little more embellishment. Here’s the finished piece: