June 22, 2008

Character Cuts

I'm old but I'm slow, don't mind me. It's only taken me 2 years to figure out how you all got those great personalized logo images on your blogs. This weekend I've added a row from one of my quilts to the background of KalamaQuilts. I love succeeding at a challenge, particularly a computer challenge. It's always so easy...after you've done it once.

The quilt I used is from May 1996 called Character Cuts (13 X 17.5 inches) and is the only quilt I've ever entered in a national competition. This was when paper-piecing was taking the craft by storm and I just loved doing it. Finally, a practical and painless way to do small blocks with intricate piecing.

The title Character Cuts comes from something most of you will recognize...the inability to take that first cut off a particularly precious fabric. Every time we go to our stash to pull fabrics for a project we lovingly fondle that particular group...but chose them? No way! Cut into my special fabrics???

This quilt is made up of my own hand dyed fabrics and my collection of Hoffman's with the gold prints. Those were the first on the market to have that ultra luxurious gilding and I bought a 1/2 or 1/4 yard of every one of them I ran across. And my hand dyes...well they were really neat but after I had dyed a bolt I realized I never use solids in my quilts, what was I going to do with it all? So Character Cuts was my 'let freedom ring' quilt and break that self-imposed taboo of cutting into off-limits fabric.

The contest was sponsored by Chitra Publications, now out of business but they published several quilt magazines like Miniature Quilts. I wrote up a explanation of the name, sent it off and imagine my surprise when it came back a non-winner. *g* I can't remember who the judges were, but they were all names we'd recognize and they said something to the effect that the quilt fabrics weren't cohesive. Well of course my hand-dyed muslin and elegant Hoffman's were not twins separated at birth, but didn't they read my back-story of the quilt and why those fabrics were together? Oh well, the exercise accomplished what I'd set out to do, break that 'I can't possibly cut into this fabric' mental block. And I love this little quilt, it hangs on the fireplace by my reading nook and makes me smile every day.

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