Thursday, July 31, 2014

WICKED Challenge

I wasn't planning to post this until Saturday, but with all the pictures Cherrywood has been posting I'm overly excited -- the Wicked Challenges look AMAZING!!!  So far there are like 100 entries - wow!  The deadline is tomorrow, so I bet that number will go up with a bunch of overnight express deliveries.  Go check out their facebook page, seriously!  This was way too much fun!

I started this post way back in June when I finished my challenge.  I did tweak it in July, but only for the better, those typos really stink (I make a lot of them, the brain works way faster than the fingers type). You probably don't realize how hard it has been for me to not share -- it was extremely difficult, I am an over-sharer!

So, you'll remember here and here when I was working on my Wicked Cherrywood Challenge - there were a couple of other posts as well, but no need to share them all (the others were just quick updates).  You'll see on the left are the rules and regulations for the challenge - fun!  Oh, and if you still haven't checked out Cherrywood Fabrics, you really should -- the fabrics are amazing. Super soft, fantastic colors, and they quilt like butter. And not like a cold, frozen stick of butter, like one that's been sitting on the counter softening for hours... super smooth!

This post will be full of pictures -- I like sharing pictures, must be the visual aspect, the eye candy, so much better than all these words, although this post is full of both.  Haha, who am I kidding, I like sharing period.  Yes, definitely an over-sharer.  We'll start here -- the challenge fabrics.  Aren't they just lovely?  I knew immediately I wanted to do this challenge -- maybe because I love green, or maybe because the subject matter was perfect, but either way the fabrics are amazing!

Just look at this one -- this green is by far my favorite! I wish the camera could capture the beauty of the fabric -- it's close, but you really have to see it in person to truly appreciate it. And the hand... OMG!  Yep, I have fallen head over heels for Cherrywood fabrics.

As I mentioned in my previous posts, unfortunately, I have not seen Wicked the Musical.  But I sure want to see it now! I have read reviews of the musical, read blog posts, read reviews of the book (which I'll end up reading soon), viewed photographs, talked to people -- pretty much over researched it!  And what I decided was I wanted an amazing Elphaba -- like big hair wild-wicked style.  So I started drawing and doodling, and erasing, and drawing some more.  I also knew that I wanted to incorporate the Clock of the Time Dragon, which as we know isn't even a clock!  And of course, flying monkeys...

So after all that research, here's what I came up with:

Now to turn my drawing into a quilt!  I took all the greens and cut them in various widths, and sewed them together in random fashion:

In my original drawing I have the bottom right corner stripes going diagonal.  In real life I didn't like it so much, so I made half vertical and the other half horizontal.  I then started on the pieces -- Elphaba's face was done using turned edge applique foundation.

Let me tell you... that clock was a difficult little bugger!  Lots of little tiny pieces to snip away.  I decided to use raw-edge fusible applique here -- much easier than trying to turn all those tiny edges. My impatience usually beats out my OCD...

And then on to building her hair.  Each curl was numbered and done turned edge applique foundation:

After I was finished, I realized it still needed a few more curls.  Planning doesn't always cover everything!

And then some bubbles... just because I thought they looked cool!  As well as the fact that Elphaba states she doesn't come and go by bubble...

These are also turned edge applique foundation:

And then came time to attach all those applique pieces.  I used a high-loft batting as my stabilizer.  This way, I would trim away the excess and have done some trapunto prep in the process.  I love using that two birds one stone method!

Now, don't forget about those flying monkeys.  I wanted to incorporate them into the quilting.  So I drew three of them on the background.

And here she is, loaded on the Gammill and ready to be quilted!

First, outlining all the applique pieces -- very important!

And here's where it all went bad.  Not really, as hindsight is 20/20, but it was at this point that the self-doubt, hate, dislike, disgust, etc. kicked in...

I outlined the monkeys and wording (oh forgot to tell you about that) with a very dense stipple (like I always do), and I just didn't like it.  The thread is showing as gold, but it is actually an avocado green which blends well with all three greens.  But all that didn't matter.  I was at that dreaded hate part of the project.

Yep, I pretty much hated my project.  No worries... this happens to me on every project that I make. Well, not every one, but the ones that truly turn out amazing always seem to have this self-doubt phase. I'm learning it is an important step in finishing - at least for me.

Here is the completed quilting -

Nope, still not happy, but it is finished.  So now I soak it in some warm water to soften all my foundations.  I then block it and hope I like it more in the morning.

Well, sleep does amazing things for me.  I had an epiphany while I was snoozing.  Why not outline the monkeys and the wording in black?  It would pop more and that might just solve my issues of dislike...

Yep!  That was exactly what it needed -- see, sleep is good, happiness has returned!

Now to trim this beauty down.  The challenge requirement is 20"x20" - oh no, that poor flying monkey is going to lose part of his wing!  Oh well, guess it just has to be.  I wouldn't want to be disqualified over that little wing tip!

And then comes the binding... yes, by hand!

Oh look - scraps!  Why not make a matching sleeve?

And you all know me and my labels -- this is a simple one, but still fun!

Here she is -- Elphie!  I am so thrilled with this.  I know I hated it for one awful evening, but now I truly LOVE it.  And a big thanks to my quilty genius for all the texting and reassuring that I was indeed crazy.

And the back, you know, because the back view is always my favorite -- it shows just the stitches -- awesomeness!

I can not wait to see all the entries -- they are going to be amazing. The exhibit will be displayed at the Gershwin Theater (home of WICKED) on Broadway in NYC through November 3, 2014.  This is all part of the big 11th Anniversary Celebration of Wicked - so if you're there, go check it out!!  Take pics, share and tag on Facebook... you know what to do!

As if all that wasn't enough, the top 24 will travel around with Cherrywood for an entire year -- more awesomeness!  So watch for all the entries on the Cherrywood website -- I can't wait!


  1. I love it, Karen! Too cool!

  2. It is fabulous. Well done.

  3. This is phenomenal! This quilt should go as a traveling piece with the play.

  4. That is totaly awesome!!! Love how you think and process your designs.

  5. Soooo awesome, Karen!!!! I'm excited!!! I can't wait to see how things turn out!!!

  6. Wow!! Just "plain" fabulous!!