Tuesday, August 1, 2017

Van Gogh Challenge

My Cherrywood Fabrics Van Gogh challenge is finished and submitted... now we wait.

I'll start with the finished pics and then tell about my process.  Let me introduce Orecchio

And two detail pics:

I almost didn't do this challenge.  I really wanted to and had every intention of starting but...
You all know how it is, right?  I'm not alone here.  So, rewind here, it was the end of June and I still hadn't even given it a thought (the deadline is August 1st).  Well... bam!  I threw my back out (if you follow my other blog you already know this part).  I was simply bending down to get a pot from the cabinet and with a tiny little pinch was unable to move.  Following the advice of all my peeps I did take several days of rest.  Well, unfortunately, I'm not very good at doing nothing so I pulled out the challenge fabrics and started.  I decided to go with a free-form applique allowing me to sit which, with the aid of a pillow, wasn't too awful.

Okay, a little back story - you might remember I've done both Cherrywood Challenges so far, Wicked and the Lion King.  With both of those projects, I had a definite plan.  I also challenged myself to only use the fabrics in the challenge kit.

So here comes free-form applique with nothing close to a plan other than a few squiggle lines on some fabric.

Adding and sometimes removing and re-adding pieces:

And applique...

And more applique...

Ooh, it's starting to look like something.  And... swedish fish, they're like jet fuel.

Oh look, more applique...

And why not cover all that needle turn applique with embroidery.

Well, it's wrinkly, but it's just about finished:

And here's where this challenge differs from the others.  I had to add yellow... had to!  So I broke my own challenge with myself on this one by not just using the challenge fabrics.  I know the rules allow this, it was just a thing I had with myself.

And why stop with embroidery, hey let's add some bead work too!

And that pesky blue circle that needed something - this worked!

Finally on the frame and ready for quilting!

Have I told you how much I LOVE my trapunto foot to getting into tiny little places surrounded by glass beads?  Oh, it's good for trapunto too...

So... you might be wondering about the name - Orecchio.  Those of you that speak Italian have figured it out already but, for everyone else... orecchio means ear.  I'll explain.

The entire time I was working on this project I never once thought it was anything other than a free form applique piece.  It wasn't until this photo that I saw the ear:

If you can't see it - here's a highlighted version - now you can't unsee it!

So... being that this is a Van Gogh challenge, and it just happens that Van Gogh chopped off his ear, I was a little freaked out at this point.  Then I realized that the universe just works in strangely cool ways and decided that it was more serendipitous than freaky and I totally love it!

So the last item was binding -- no no no.  I didn't have enough challenge fabric left, didn't have time to order another kit, so facing it is!  And if you're going to do a facing, you might as well make it fun!

Ironically, I started my challenge with a bad back, and from all the applique and embroidery over the month of July I've aggravated my carpal tunnel.  I went into this with a back ache and I've ended it with a wrist brace... life!

So that's my challenge story.  I can not wait to see all the entries - I am sure they are going to be outstanding!


  1. I ha never heard of you or your blog before this but now o am a huge fan! Amazing story and journey!!! Good luck and. . . I'll be following you. . . 😉