Once a month–the last Friday of every month, a challenge is issued and the participants have exactly one week to imagine, design, and execute a finished piece.
I haven’t always been able to participate but decided to try harder this year.
February’s challenge involved interpreting spring using complementary colors. I’m not sure my piece meets this criteria except for the spring green grass in the front. I used pre-fused pieces and Sulky cottons along with some hand-dyed cotton thread. It is mounted on a piece of black plaid from the give-away pile at the local quilt guild. I’m not sure what I’ll do with it–maybe put it on a notebook.
Although I’ve been a member of a monthly challenge group from the first year, I seem to start each new challenge year with enthusiasm but begin to lag after about four or five challenges. Maybe this year will be different.
Each year I add several additional ‘requirements’ to the monthly challenge. This year, I decided to try needle-felting the entire project on scraps of hand-woven fabric I bought at Festival several years ago. I quickly discovered that the fabric was not wool as I thought but acrylic and not exactly thrilled to be felted—actually I could say very resistant. So I might rethink my requirements.
This month’s challenge was to illustrate Chiaroscuro, a play of light against dark with a directional light source. I don’t think my piece is entirely successful but for a first attempt at figurative work in felting, I’m pleased.
I start with a photograph. I have a large file of photographs—all mine—on my laptop organized by categories. I’m not adept at Photoshop to do the manipulation of the photo on my laptop and so I take it to the local copy store and enlarge it and the line drawing.
Next I try out fabrics. My original thought was to execute the piece in fabric and thread, then to needle-felt the majority and add bits of fabric and finally I decided to use just the roving.
It isn’t the best piece I’ve ever done but it will do as an experiment. I will rethink my thoughts about needle-felting the next month’s challenge using those hand-woven scraps though.
Three years ago a spin-off group from QuiltArt list formed largely in response to Project Runway. The premise was to challenge ourselves to complete a project within a limited length of time according to the parameters proposed by a leader each month. Although I haven’t kept up with all the challenges, this year I’m determined to make a better effort. The use of my needlefelting machine is an additional twist.
This year we have committed to working in a series and to study color and design principles. This month the challenge was to work in monochrome and to display perspective.
My series is based on photographs I took in Mexico of Topes. Topes are traffic devices that might be a row of metal humps in the road, ridges, or a ditch—a physical device to encourage the driver to slow down while driving through the little villages.
Tuesday I’ll post an experimental piece–felting on paper towel. It will be a give away.
This is my finished piece for the first challenge of the year. Fast Friday started as an off-shoot of the Quilt-Art list several years ago. The premise is for a challenge to be offered, and each member is to complete a piece within a one week time frame. This piece is not necessarily intended to be elegant or carefully and painfully executed, but more of a sketch but with fabric.
The challenge this month was to use line as a design element and complementary colors. In addition, all the pieces this year are to be part of a series. Other members have chosen some interesting topics such as phases of the moon, ports of call, trees, and so forth. I chose ‘TOPES’ pronounced ‘toe pays’. If you have ever driven in rural Mexico, you will have seen the signs warning ‘Topes’. These are either small bumps or troughs or both but act as physical encumbrances to fast driving through small villages. While everyone else was taking pictures of the burros or sheep or children, I was taking photos of the topes.
In addition to the stipulations set forth by the challenge, I also wanted to use my needle felter and work strictly from my scrap-bags. The background is needle-felted wool on a cotton classic batting, wool yarn, appliquéd cottons, and stitching with a variegated blue rayon thread and orange trilobar. The backing is a pieced cotton, the edges are finished with a narrow zig-zag over black wool needlepoint yarn.
Completed size is 7 by 8 inches.