Research has shown that learning/doing something new is one of the techniques to keep the brain active, which is critical at any age. We need to practice skills to improve; whether it be appliqué, embellishing, or using a smart phone.
A challenge can be personal, such as, “I will complete one UFO this month.” Working with a friend, we can challenge each other to complete and enter a Quilt in the fair this year. In small groups, we decide to make squares on a tight timeline to create a comfort quilt for a friend in need. Meeting challenges is a natural process for most of us.
In the last few years, I have become aware of national challenges that extend beyond our borders and accustomed formats. In this broader quilting world, what factors constitute a challenge? Parameters are established and shared with potential participants.
Parameters include some of the following:
• Theme (water, flight, shades of gray)
• Colors incorporated (randomly selected or assigned)
• Including a specific fabric (think Hoffman challenge)
• Size limitations (miniature, wall hanging, bed quilt)
• Tell a story (of a vacation, family tree, special friendships)
• Make a wearable (purse, vest, jacket)
• Create a 3D piece (doll, sculpture, mobile)
AND Most Important……………………..the TIMELINE!
The most demanding part of a challenge is to commit to meeting a deadline and following the parameters! The most rewarding feeling comes from completing a task and being part of an accomplished group! Just as quilters from Seward, Homer, and the Central Peninsula, who each completed a 12x12 Challenge for the Alaska Fiber Festival Challenge.
Visit a 12 X 12 Challenge Quilt Exhibit
The 2014 Alaska Fiber Festival hosted a challenge to create twelve small 12” X 12” bound mini-quilts in specifically assigned colors in either a traditional or contemporary style. Eight groups from throughout Alaska completed the challenge. These sets are now traveling to different venues to be enjoyed by the public and intriguing quilters.
For the month of July all eight sets will be on display in the back gallery of the Kenai Fine Arts Center located on Cook Avenue in Kenai. The Center is open Wednesday - Saturday from noon to 5:00 pm.
The set from Seward quilters is done in the traditional mode using blue, purple, and gold. The Central Peninsula quilters did a contemporary format with assigned colors of orange, sage, and charcoal gray. The Homer quilters used black, white and red combinations that are also very contemporary.
This exhibit would be a wonderful excuse for a road trip. Take in a stop at the Kenai Visitors and Cultural Center, other local sites and eateries, as well as, supporting the fabric shops.