Please join me in welcoming Kim Lapacek as today’s guest blogger as she shares with us her Project Quilting FUN!
What is Project QUILTING?
I am a HUGE HUGE HUGE fan of Project Runway. I don’t have cable so I always wait patiently for each season to come out on Netflix and then my family knows not to bother me as I watch episode after episode. After watching my first few episodes, I wanted to learn how to make clothes. I know how to sew – so why can’t I make clothes?
After thinking about it for a bit, I decided I really don’t have time for a new ‘project’ right now so I thought more about the show. What do I really like about it? Is it the fashion? Sure, that’s neat but I’m not really a fashion girl. Is it the people? Of course – I absolutely love Heidi and Tim Gunn. But I think my answer is – it’s the challenge. These people are give a task, a few dollars and little time to complete it and they make the most amazing things! I want to do that! I want a challenge – with guidelines for budget, time, and end result.
So how can I make this work for my needs – Project QUILTING of course!
Here’s how Project Quilting worked: my mother-in-law, Diane, a talented quilter and teacher herself, posted a ‘challenge’ every-other Sunday at Noon. Anyone and everyone that wanted to participate had just one week to complete the challenge and post their pictures to a Flickr site, tell their story of how they decided to solve the challenge. Once the challenges were complete you could either win public choice – the public actually voted for their favorite) or the Judges’ choice – a group of judges critiqued and scored the entries each week. Each winner one a prize from one of my fantastic sponsors – just an added bonus!
Also, I have to make the disclaimer that I had NO IDEA as to what the challenge would be. I am giving my MIL permission to post to my blog so that I can participate since I absolutely LOVE challenges!
What Project QUILTING did for me.
I have been a seller on Etsy for about 2 1/2 years now. I had been finding myself in the rut of "What can I make that will sell." Something I should know by now is that it’s nearly impossible to know what will sell. Something you think is adorable, cute and just the perfect thing won’t sell ever and then something you make and feel like ripping apart will sell the next day. Project QUILTING pulled me out of this rut. Because of Project QUILTING I feel that I can now call myself an artist. I always shied away from that word when referring to myself in the past but some of the pieces that I have created because of or as a result of Project QUILTING have made me feel that I can say that sentence: I am an artist. What’s even better, now that I’ve come to that realization I have started to actually sell pieces of art – because it’s different, it’s unique, and those that understand what goes into my pieces appreciate them. Who would have thought that by going away from the ‘norm’ I would actually accomplish my goals in the first place?
Once the season finished up (a couple of weeks ago) I sat down and thought about which challenge during the season (and 2 pre-season challenges) was my favorite. It was a tough decision to make. I learned different things from each challenge and each was fun in it’s own right. The Shoofly Challenge was fun because it was fresh and new and brought me back to piecing. The Apple Blossom Challenge because I had been wanting to appliqué something similar but it just never made it to my immediate list, same with the log cabin challenge – I had wanted to try that block but hadn’t gotten to it, and the Stars Over America – I kept meaning to converge some commercial’s with hand-dyes but again…never made the list.
I have to settle on my favorite was the Rectangle Challenge. The piece that I created in this challenge was completely organic – it created itself and it told me how it should be. I started to fuse and quilt rectangles down and all of a sudden it said, "I should be a kite." When I thought it was done, it yelled at me – "No I’m not! I still need something and you have some rectangles left to use." And of course, it was right – it needed some fun swirls and a sun burst. It also created a challenge for me that lead me to discover just how much I like to paint my own fabric to use in various projects. I also had a lot of fun weaving the ribbons and fibers for the kite’s tail…I love that I can twist and turn it however I please since I did it over wire.
Then I turned that same thing around and asked myself which was my least favorite challenge – this was easy to answer: The Road Trip Challenge. I had such a hard time coming up with a doable idea for this challenge. I had a lot of great ideas that I would be able to complete to my liking given a month…but not in a week. Then I started something I didn’t love and had to start something different. I do love the bag I came up with – it works fabulously and the laminated maps have actually held up through a couple of rainstorms and spilled water bottles.
In the end, I just have to say that I had great fun with Project QUILTING. I loved to see what my mind came up with in such a short period of time and what I could actually accomplish in that time frame with real life still happening around me. It was also fantastic to see what other’s came up with given the exact same rules and guidelines. The talent, creativity and ingenuity shown in this last 20 weeks were amazing and awe inspiring.
P.S. I plan on starting up Season 2 sometime in January of 2011. Sign up for my newsletter (top left corner of my site) to get in on the Season 2 fun.