Challenge Quilt: Pink-guin

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 paper pattern for Pink-guin

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.

Fabrics selected and ironed onto my pattern pieces, and construction has begun.
About halfway through the construction
Quilt top is finished (just needs a border)

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:

Pink-guin, an art quilt by Kit Dunsmore
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Kit Dunsmore

Kit Dunsmore has believed in the magic underlying the muggle world since she was a child searching for the Shetland pony pooka she was sure was hiding in her back yard. She learned early on that books were magic doors into other worlds, and that she could revisit a beloved character or place by opening the right book. As she grew, she decided she wanted to make magic with words, too. Today Kit writes about things she loves: poodles and dragons, witches and artists, quirky underdogs and loyal friends. Whether her setting is 6th-century England, the imaginary Twelve Kingdoms, or an art-obsessed version of modern America, magic always finds its way into her story. She enjoys turning fairy tales inside out and watching characters sacrifice everything to reach their goal, but she also believes in happy endings. When she isn't writing, Kit experiences magic by making things with her hands. Over the years, she's made quilts, fabric sculptures, collages, sweaters, and blank books. Her newest interest is learning how to spin her own yarn, a skill guaranteed to strengthen one of her many delusions: that she is a self-sufficient pioneer woman. She also thinks she is a hobbit, a witch, an artist, and a good cook. Living in the foothills of Colorado, Kit enjoys the giant skies and prairie landscapes which suit her need for wide open spaces. In addition to hiking through glorious scenery with her husband or imagining herself living in the Middle Ages, Kit works as a pillow for her miniature poodle and polishes the next small piece of her handmade life.

4 thoughts on “Challenge Quilt: Pink-guin”

    1. Thanks, Cleo. I was really pleased, although I already see things I would do differently if I were making it now. Things to remember for the next one…

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