Wednesday, March 5, 2014

The 2015 IQA Houston Raffle Quilt: Part 1


A while back, I was asked by the Board of the International Quilt Association to create the 2015 raffle quilt. To those who you who do not speak fluent Quilt, this is sort of like going to the Oscars and being presented with the Lifetime Achievement Award.

It goes like this; you are invited to create the raffle quilt, but first you are asked to submit your vision of the quilt/artist's statement/fabric swatches/etc. to the Board at it's annual meeting, which takes place between Fall Market and Fall Festival. The quilt must be an original design, it must be over a certain size, and it must have several particular elements incorporated into it's design. The Board reviews your submission, suggests any changes it thinks should be made, and issues it's approval. You then have one year to create the quilt and must have it ready for presentation to the Board at the following year's annual meeting. After that, it travels to all of the IQA shows during that year and is displayed all across the country with your name in big bold letters for everyone in the industry to see. At the following year's Festival, the winning raffle ticket is drawn and off the quilt goes to it's new home. (proceeds from the raffle go to fund the IQA's educational projects.)

Naturally, I panicked.

After picking myself up off the floor, I got busy designing and came up with something that I thought would work. The Board liked it and suggested no changes. Bruce and Diane Magidson at SewBatik, who are two of the nicest people in the entire world, offered to provide the gorgeous batik fabrics for the quilt. Bliss! I love their fabrics, so I'm stoked.

Before starting on the real deal, I decided to make some practice blocks to ensure that the pattern I'd created was accurate. That's the thing with drafting your own patterns; you never know if they're really going to work until you make them, so you ALWAYS make a practice piece or two. This way, you can work out the bugs on fake fabric and not screw up the real fabric.

You start by printing out your patterns and pin/tape/glue/MacGyver them together.


Then you write about a million notes to yourself, all of which will be meaningless within a day or two.


Then you start piecing the block segments and you realize that you will need to cut your pieces larger so that you have enough fabric to have actual seam allowances.


And you realize that you will need to alter your stitching/assembly order so that you don't have funky seam joins hanging out in front of the entire world.


Then you get on a roll and have a couple of segments that go together pretty well, so you start thinking that you're a rock star, even though the blocks look really weird in the practice fabrics. While you're piecing, you write about a million more notes to yourself, which will completely mystify you when you try to decode them later.


And then you realize that it took you forever just to piece this one block and you count how many blocks there will be in the finished quilt and there are 36 and that's when you start drinking.


No pressure here. Nope, no pressure at all.

16 comments:

  1. Congrats!!! Looks like you are off to a great start!

    ReplyDelete
  2. phew...geez, Kimmy, I thought you were making it for 2014. I'm relieved because I know I'd need until 2015 for all that paper piecing!

    ReplyDelete
  3. I love the start drinking part. Need any help? Let me know. I really mean with the quilt, not necessarily the drinking part, but, could do that too.

    ReplyDelete
  4. Wow!! It is going to be AMAZING!!

    ReplyDelete
  5. Margaret, technically it's the 2015 quilt but it has to be done by October 2014. Like I said; no pressure here. LOL!!

    ReplyDelete
  6. You can kick this one thru the uprights.....it's going to be awesome!

    ReplyDelete
  7. I can help with the drinking part, remember it will quilt out. Good luck, looks like a winner to me.

    ReplyDelete
  8. I'm sure that a little Bailey's will help that construction move right along.

    ReplyDelete
  9. Better you than me that's for sure!! I think I would have tossed the whole thing already...It's going to be a beauty!

    ReplyDelete
  10. It is sure looking marvelous regardless of the fabric. It's going to be gorgeous.

    ReplyDelete
  11. I just found your blog recently and already I am hooked. As I read this post, I actually snorted and choked on my coffee! Love your humor, love your work! So glad you will continue to keep me amused. And congrat’s on being chosen!

    ReplyDelete
  12. I guess you won't be doing much else for the coming months. Just don't forget to get yourself to MQX next month. I'm looking forward to taking one of your classes.

    ReplyDelete
  13. A block every three days.. and you will get "er done.

    ReplyDelete
  14. Oh goodness, what have I done? I was running short on time so I watched some of your Machine Quilting with Templates at high speed on Craftsy and now I read your blog in your super-fast chipmunk voice! If you work as fast as the voice in my head as I read your blog now, you'll have no problem at all!

    BTW, love the class and am trying to figure out which designs I can do with the rulers I use on my Janome and the Janome free motion ruler toe. (moving the quilt, not the machine)

    ReplyDelete
  15. I love the fabric! It's going to be stunning! I can't wait to see the finished product!

    ReplyDelete