I recently received news that my art quilt “Kiss” was selected as a finalist in the 2018 Prince Cherrywood Fabric Challenge. Needless to say, I was thrilled, and honored to have been selected. 388 quilts were entered and only 165 quilts were selected.
A little background about Cherrywood Fabrics and the yearly fabric challenge. Each year Cherrywood Fabrics selects a contest theme using a limited palette of colors and Cherrywood fabrics for quilters to make a small art quilt representing the theme. Themes from past years include Wicked (greens and black), The Lion King (yellows and ambers) and Van Gogh (all blue naturally).
Here a few pics of the Van Gogh Exhibit I recently saw while teaching at AQS Quilt Week in Paducah – wow!
You can view the quilts from past contests here at the CherryWood Fabrics website. The quilts selected are then placed in a traveling exhibit and tour the major quilt shows in each city for many years.
This year’s theme was the artist/musician, Prince and the color was of course, purple. The challenge was to take inspiration from Prince’s music, style, movies, and create a unique quilt using a limited color palette of purples and black using only Cherrywood Fabrics. The quilts had to measure exactly 20″ x 20″ and “read” purple allover.
I chose to use Prince’s song “Kiss” as my inspiration. I have long been a fan of Prince and his music since the early 80’s, and the song “Kiss” is certainly one of my favorites – but Tom Jones’ (yup – you heard me – Tom Jones from “What’s Up Pussycat” fame) cover version is just as fabulous.
Sir Tom still performs “Kiss” today while touring Europe and the States. Here’s a sneak peek video of Sir Tom in action – so fabulous for a guy in his late 70’s – enjoy!
Anyway – I had my theme – kissing lips….or a kiss goodnight….or hugs and kisses….or a kiss goodbye? I knew whichever way I went, the kissing lips would need to be super sexy, luscious and seductive – all traits that Prince oozed through his voice, lyrics and movements. I went back and forth about whether to use Prince’s iconic symbol floating in the background, or stitching in purple rain streaks paying tribute to another of Prince’s top 10 songs. But after viewing the Andy Warhol exhibit at the Palm Springs Modern Art Museum over Memorial Day, it hit me – keep it simple – make one humongous pair of super sexy, luscious, seductive kissing lips ala Andy Warhol pop art.
Once I had the design, I set to work on construction of the quilt. I had the outer edges of the pair of kissing lips but needed to incorporate the lighter purple fabric in order to abide by the contest rules so I added highlights to the lips.
I traced the shapes on to fusible web. I used the 2 lighter shades of Cherrywood Prince purple for the lips and the black and darkest purple for the background. I made an uneven 4-patch background and using my trusty Bernina 750QE and all purple Aurifil thread (#2582 my favorite) – I first machine quilted the background in an erratic zigzag (I was channeling Princely guitar vibrations while I did this….). Then the lips were fused on – I satin stitched around those luscious lips! Each section took me about 45-60 minutes as I needed to be careful and exact while satin stitching around the shapes. And since the lips were fused directly onto the already quilted background – I did not need any stabilizer while satin stitching. Finally – A huge kiss to honor Prince!
This was a fun project! And again I am so honored to have been chosen to be in the traveling exhibit. The Prince Cherrywood Exhibit will debut at AQS Quilt Week in Virginia Beach, VA in October, a quick stop at the Houston Quilt Market in November and then it’s off to Road to California Quilter’s Conference, where I’ll be teaching several classes in January 2019.
If you’re traveling to quilts shows, please keep a look out for the Prince Cherrywood Exhibit or other Cherrywood Exhibits in the future – they are a must see and all of the art quilts no matter what the theme are just wonderful! Here’s a link to the Cherrywood schedule for all exhibits.
Until you next colour fix~