Sunday, December 9, 2012

"Letters" challenge deadline approaches

A week from tomorrow is our annual holiday potluck/meeting.  We're having it at Deb's again because it was so much fun last year (and she didn't mind hosting again this year!).  We'll each show our finished pieces for the current "Letters" challenge and much of it will be a surprise.   Interestingly, it seems that there's been much less previewing of our work in progress this time than there was with past challenges.

Soon after the "Letters" theme was suggested as our next challenge, I had the idea of secret writing.  I was also playing around with some encaustic wax projects and wanted to incorporate that  into this challenge

Here is the encaustic bit that I'll add to my "Letters" piece:
Layers of writing on watercolor paper, dipped into encaustic wax.
Previously, we've shared our challenge quilts throughout their construction.  Some members were simply excited to show what they'd done so far, while others sought specific design feedback (Do the colors flow?  Does the quilt have enough contrast?  Does it keep the viewer's eye moving through the piece?)  One of the beautiful things about our group is the willingness of members to share their knowledge and their generosity in offering valuable suggestions in a completely noncompetitive manner. We've created a very supportive environment where members feel safe enough to show work that may they feel less than confident about.  Unfailingly, someone will speak up about the elements of that design that do work, and others chime in with thoughtful ideas and suggestions, sharing even their favorite tips and tricks.  Such encouragement is like a shot of confidence for the recipient.

So it seems that we're all growing more confident and have less need to get feedback while our challenge pieces are in progress.  I'm excited about that.  I've often thought it would be more exciting if our challenge deadlines were actually unveilings where we'd see each others' quilts for the first time.

That being said, I realize I'd have even less reasons for posting on this blog if I didn't show my work in progress (or my design dilemmas, and of course there have been plenty this time, as always). 
A section I've pieced, including rust-dyed silk (left), deconstructed
screenprinting (blue spirals),  and a Thermofax screenprint (lower middle in blue).

Hand-dyed silk; 3 needlefelted pieces incorporating hand-dyed cheesecloth,
rust-dyed silk, wool and silk rovings.
Still much to do to get this finished by next week.  The ideas continue to flow, so I'll keep working on it until it feels like enough!

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