Sunday, July 08, 2007

Challenge Met?






I've met the Hoffman challenge of making a quilt with the challenge fabric, but I've once again failed to meet the challenge of making one that I like, that somehow expresses me and my tastes. Why is that? Other people can. I find it difficult to think backwards from the fabric to the design, and although the challenge fabric is intended to be very versatile, to me it usually suggests one avenue only, not necessarily one that I like. This fabric looked rather retro to me, even feed sack-like with its busy floral, so I went with a very traditional design, the kind that my mother would like. Hence the name "If Grandma Made a Hoffman". It was extremely difficult for me, because I don't like balanced, symmetrical designs, and I don't like a limited number of fabrics. The fewer fabrics, the harder the choice, because each one becomes so important. In this case, I changed the light color around the baskets three times, and I made the aqua triangle squares before I decided that they were too bright, and ripped them apart to use the back of the fabric. I'm glad I did. I'd REALLY hate this thing if I'd had to look at that garish color for so long!

The pattern is Grape Basket, and when I was trying to think of a way to set it, I happened to see an article in Quiltmaker about another traditional block called Grand Right and Left, and got the idea of putting the basket block inside the Right and Left Block. The border block is called Scrap Basket, and I liked the way it seemed to add some movement, but the design was still very static until I had the lucky inspiration of the curved edge. I'd never done that before, but it wasn't actually very difficult at all. To break up the flatness of the too-solid fabrics, I used a higher loft batting than I usually do, and quilted heavily. That did help; it has lots of texture, and the close quilting adds to the traditional look.

So I'm sending it on its way this week. Whatever happens I don't think I'll enter this challenge again; too much time making something I don't really like when it's done.

15 comments:

Allison Ann Aller said...

"If we could only see our quilts as others see them...."
This quilt is spectacular! You have showcased the Hoffman fabric brilliantly...the flowers just seem to glow under a magnifying glass surrounded by the old-fashioned structure of your traditional quilt.
And of course, your craftsmanship supports it all totally.

This quilt is a worthy contender for first prize, I am certain! You and Rian and Debra...in a three-way tie!

Vicki W said...

I think it's a beautiful quilt. You have complimented the chalenge fabric so well. It may not reflect your personal taste but it's going to appeal to a lot of other people!

Debra Spincic said...

Here, give me the stick so I can beat you up!

Absolutely gorgeous! a very inspired layout and wonderfully executed--I love the corner treatment and the wavy outside border is fabulous. And, I am always gaga over basket blocks.

I do understand your dilemma--part of me loves the traditional work and wants to do it and the other part of me says, "Hey, wait!" But, I really think you have gone past (way past) the ordinary with this piece. It's a favorite!

Mine is going in the mail tomorrow. Wish us all luck, eh?

Deb H said...

It is a beautiful, & amazing piece of work. Maybe you just need a little time away from it to see how wonderful it really is.

jenclair said...

I love it, too! Especially the scalloped edge. I can understand having a problem using the challenge fabrics, though, as I never really like them.

Yet you've created a wonderful quilt with them and with such a terrific tongue-in-cheek title!

Rian said...

Argggh! I feel yer pain and know it well. But I don't see this quilt the same way you do, because I think it's fabulous! So there! I agree with the others who have pointed out the lovely layout, and I think the wavy edge really makes it sing! Best of luck to you!

diva of quilts said...

It's wonderful!!! I always love a good basket quilt. And the scalloped border is exquisite!

I know what you mean about having trouble with the challenge fabric. For some reason I really wished it could be the exact same pattern and colors, only in a much larger scale.

Deb H said...

I love your new picture!

The Calico Cat said...

I think you made a silk purse out of a sow's ear... I never enter either, because I have the same problems... (I liked one that i made several years ago - the year before the cherries, but I did not enter it for more than one reason.)

Sow's ear = I hated that fabric. (still do - the scale and the colors bug me)
Silk Purse = I like what you did, especially the border... Yes, it is traditional and symmetrical but it is also DONE!

Done really is better than perfect.

The Calico Cat said...

Nice new face photo too. :o)

Yvonne said...

Why does this 'you' irritates you so much? She did a wonderful job, and didn't take the easy road, and finished it. She gets you certainly a lot of compliments. Enjoy her talents, they are yours. But somewhere in the process she seems to take over. You beat her with the pattern and the borders. Togeher you did a wonderful job.
I like to start with a special fabric, but this one still is on a pile of possible fabrics to go with it. Finding out where in the process you would like to be more adventurous is the start of change. Sometimes it helps to start again on a very small one with fabrics you never tought of to use with it.

Samantha said...

I think it looks fabulous- and the name is perfect!

Granny Fran said...

This is such a beautiful quilt. the setting for the blocks makes it quite sophisticated, which a traditional basket block pattern like this isn't by itself. And the scalloped border softens all the straight lines and angles. It really catches the eye.
I like your new photo, also.

Beth said...

I think it's awesome!

Deb Geyer said...

I think it is lovely! I like how you put the basket in the right/left block- very creative!