This is the one I'm keeping for myself. I wanted to use some of what Paula had sent me so I started with a piece of one of the silks for the base. Then I played around and played around with the bits of embroidery and sequin work that was also in the package. That's one reason this card has been so long in coming. In the end I only used that little gold embroidered sun. I had the bone hand buttons in my stash, along with the heart sequin and the commercial applique wings (which I believe another friend of mine gave me some years ago). So this piece is about the things I've been given and how it makes my heart feel to both give and receive. (I seed beaded the background. It took me about an hour.)
I have my very first TIF card to put a back on and then the set will be complete. A couple of them did not get the Peltex interfacing so they're much more flimsy than the others. I feel pretty good about mastering this particular format (the postcard quilt). The edges are still problematic but I'm not willing to invest much more time and effort into perfecting them.
I will miss Sharon's monthly concept challenges; I found them very stimulating. The ideas were almost more fun to explore than to execute. I wonder what that says about me?
In searching for a way to challenge myself this year I considered a lot of options. For some reason, I could not come up with a set of challenges that would carry on in the same vein as the TIF challenges. Eventually I remembered this box:
It contains textiles I've collected over the last couple of decades. There are embroidered dish towels a neighbor made and used until the embroidery is about the only part of the towel that's still intact. There are small molas, some batik panels, other vintage embroideries... Things I was intrigued by and thought would be fun to incorporate into a quilt someday. (You may be able to see that I labeled the box "Inspiration Pieces.")
Then I was downtown one day and came across these boxes on a clearance table:
They are 14" square and about 3" deep. Perfect for 12" quilt blocks! Except there were only these two boxes and I have enough blocks of various sizes to fill a stack of boxes. I bought 'em anyway, figuring I'd find a way to put them to good use. I mean, you saw how dilapidated that cardboard box was! I finally decided to use the dotted box for my inspiration pieces and the striped box for my orphan blocks. They look so cheerful and inviting on my shelf. :- )
So one of my goals for 2009 is to actually use those inspiration textiles. But I'm not going to try to do one a month. I think that would be asking too much of myself. Instead I will try to work steadily on one piece at a time until it is complete, and let it be whatever it wants to be in terms of size and style. I still wanted a project I could complete once a month though - I like the sense of accomplishment that provides. So I have decided that I will make one preemie quilt per month. And in my ongoing quest to complete old projects, those black and white and pink friendship blocks will get set into a top once and for all. (Notice I didn't say anything about getting them made into an actual quilt?!)