Grabbag Challenge 2008

This year I again participated in the Grabbag Challenge issued to the QuiltArt online list, a discussion group for art quilters. It works like this: each participant puts together a bag of stuff that they think might make a nice quilt (fabric, trims, embellishments) and sends it off to the moderator. She then shuffles the bags and sends them back out to the participants. When we receive one, we don’t have any idea whose stuff we’ve gotten but we are charged with using at least 1/3 (a recognizable portion) of the contents to make a 20″x20″ piece. This finished piece gets sent back to the moderator by the deadline and is sent on to the original owner of the bag of stuff. Each of us makes one and gets one, though I have found it is prudent to have NO expectations for the bag of stuff sent off and to instead concentrate on stretching oneself with the contents of the bag received. The quilt one gets is simply a bonus.

So, faithful readers might remember a post a few weeks ago where I posted some studies as I was struggling with design ideas for my bag. If you need a refresher, you can see it here. I am allowed to post final photos now that finished quilts have been returned to their owners.

This is the bag I received. I cut into these fabrics a full two weeks before the deadline – I just couldn’t let go of some original ideas. Once I did, the work came together nicely. The quilt I made is called “Along the River Bank” and I think you can clearly see the relationship to one of the small pieces posted earlier. Here also are photos of the back, the label and the edging. This quilt was made for Steve Carr and he seemed to like it alot.

My artist statement: One piece of fabric in the grabbag reminded me of torn tissue paper collage and it inspired me to explore the idea of transparency. However, after numerous sketches and two small trial pieces made from fabric from my stash, I could not decide on a finished design. I sought some constructive criticism and decided to combine three of my ideas into the final quilt: the flowing strips in the border, the colored thread quilting to carry the flow through the solid center (inspired by the back of one of the trial pieces), and the “transparent” poplar trees.

The quilt I received was made by Sandy Sue Anderson of Amery, WI. I’ve posted pictures of the bag I sent and the finished quilt I received.

And here is her artist statement: I loved working with this fabric. To me, it was reading water and fish. I loved working with the embellishments – beads, yarn, and foil. Some of the embellishments on the quilt were mine but most were in the Grab Bag. [The title ] “Nothing Lasts Forever” refers to the mosaic squares falling off the main fish, and of course it seems to be a true statement. This was a lot of fun and is the third Grab Bag Challenge I have been involved in. Every quilt I have received has been a true work of art.

I really like how Sandy used the beads I sent and her fish are really fun, happily swimming amongst the reef.

All 57 of the quilts in the challenge can be seen on a CD for sale soon at Virginia Spiegel’s Fiberart for a Cure website to benefit the American Cancer Society. The CD is $10 and ALL the monies go to the ACS.


1 Response to “Grabbag Challenge 2008”

  1. 1 Stephanie July 2, 2008 at 4:00 pm

    I said it before, but I’ll say it again – simply wonderful! Did you know who it was for (that it was a guy) when you were making it? I forget! Are you pleased with your “bonus” quilt? It’s certainly interesting to see what different artists do with your “stuff”.
    Thanks again for a lovely visit last week (or was it the week before?). We’ve just arrived back in Nashville and it’s SO NICE TO BE FINALLY HOME!!!!! Ah, my own bed! Gary is already asleep!

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