Aotearoa Quilters runs a colour challenge every year or so, and this time around the theme colour was aqua. They also changed up the size (usually a 12" x 12" square) this time they chose a 12" x 16" rectangle in a portrait orientation. I confess to enjoying the rectangular shape more than the square, it's easier to work with design-wise. But I know squares fit together beautifully on an exhibition wall, so it's swings and roundabouts.
And I was delighted to win a merit prize! Those are the good emails to open. The unexpected ones that tell you you've won something (and not $7.3 billion from a nice man in Nigeria!)
All the entered quilts will be on show at the Taupo Quiltmakers exhibition called Pearls and Water. This is on at the Great Lake Centre, Taupo, October 2nd till October 4th and would be well worth a visit.
When you think of aqua, what colour do you think of? Greeny-blue? Bluey-green? Teal? Kingfisher? Here's a screenshot of when I search for images of aqua colour - what a variation!
So I did a colour pull of all my 'aqua-ish' fabrics to get more of an idea of what I had, and to see if anything sparked my ideas button.
As you may know if you've been reading my blog for any length of time, birds feature heavily in my quilts. I have been working with birds in flight recently so I decided to downsize the shapes I'd been working with and play with them on the surface of a piece of aqua hand-dyed fabric I found.
They fell into place so nicely, with such a great sense of movement, that the design didn't take long to finalise at all. The colours of each bird travels from dark teal to lightest sea foam, with a dark purple for some visual interest.
I know this is an absolutely terrible photo, but it gives you an idea of how I sometimes plan quilting lines. This is a photo of the quilt top, placed in a page protector and then drawn on with a dry erase marker.
I finished the quilt with a facing as I felt a binding would constrain the birds and you would lose the sense of them flying off into the distance. I named the quilt "Let Your Spirit Fly Free" in dedication to the first Covid-19 victim in New Zealand, who passed away around the time I was making the quilt.
I quilted it using my trusty domestic BERNINA Aurora 440 as the quilt was nice and small and this machine gives me great control over my free motion quilting. The threads are tied and buried.
All the quilts will be for sale for $150, and I'd be pleased if it went to a new home. But I'd also be secretly pleased if it came back home after touring New Zealand, as it's one I'm really pleased with and it reminds me of the strange and difficult, but weirdly beautiful time that NZ's Covid-19 lockdown was for me.