McCall’s Design Star Finals – The creative process begins

So, where do I begin, well I have to start where the McCall’s Design Star contest started – we come full circle. I must re-invent my original entry.

The rules are:

• must re-invent the project that you submitted for finalist selection. (Not the Challenge 1
quilt; your very first quilt entry.)

• must be INSPIRED by your original project, NOT re-do the project in different fabrics.

• must be at least 24˝ square. It may be larger. It may also be another shape than square
(e.g. rectangular, hexagonal, circular, etc.) as long as total surface is at least 576 square
inches (24” x 24” or larger).

• must have been started no earlier than November 29, 2010

• may be pieced, appliquéd, or mixed techniques (others can work on your quilt, including
sewing, quilting, and/or binding, but you must be the sole designer)

• should be quilted and bound

• Should convey who you are as a designer

• Must be in at McCall’s (Golden, CO) by 5pm on January 4, 2011

Over the next several weeks I will be sharing with you the process and progress on the quilt.  Here begins my journey – my thoughts and musings for the Final Challenge!

Some people have said to me – that this challenge is hard or rough – actually in some ways I am a bit relieved at the parameters that they gave us. It really has helped frame and limit what I might do – so thus helping me focus on a potential design. I admit, that as the voting was happening for Challenge # 2 I was thinking what I might do, if I made it to the finals, and was given a choice of what I could do. Needless to say I had a zillion different ideas that surfaced.  Should I try and create a new block, create 2 new blocks that put together would form a new design, make something more traditional, create a  sampler quilt, make something artsy, allow room for machine quilting, add embellishments or applique, square, rectangular, bed size, wall quilt, use a different color way than I normally might work with ……. (the list goes on!)

Needless to say the night I received the news that I would be a finalist I was very excited and also very confused about “what will I do” – yes – friends gave many helpful ideas (well, mostly helpful!) Also that night I tossed and turned quite a bit. When I got up yesterday morning I had a lot of ideas running through my head from my subconscious, semi-conscious nigh-time design session. I grabbed a cup of coffee, some pen and paper, and just started writing EVERYTHING down. Anything that popped into my head – no matter how insane or mundane – it went down on the page. I did something similar with Challenge # 2 and it came in quite handy when I “hit the wall” and didn’t know where to turn. The paper also included doodles about possible formats for the quilt – some of these were ideas that had been running through my head during the voting when I was thinking “what if…” Unfortunately (or maybe fortunately) I had two choir rehearsals to accompany yesterday so it didn’t leave much room to put pencil to paper and design. It did give me some time to look through some of my quilt books to see if I could spur on my imagination – I looked at everything not just log cabin books.  As I rode the bus to New Jersey I let everything sputter, and perk, and let ideas collide with each other in my head (no nuclear meltdown – at least yet!) I added more things to the list, added more doodles.

What does today bring? I have to finish a customer quilt (the Handi Quilter is loaded and ready to go!) – while I am doing that – my brain will be at work refining what I might do. Later today I will pull out some graph paper and doodle a bit more and then move to Electric Quilt 7 and start formatting a few different layouts for the quilt. These will just be very general – (will it be square, rectangular, borders, etc). Tomorrow I am going shopping for fabric. I have an idea of what I might use – I am leaning towards something a little different – it will not be the bright – primary colors of my Challenge 1 & 2 entries. This time of year brings out the folksy, homespun part of me! Will I have a final design before I buy the fabric – most likely no – I will make a rough estimate and buy extra – and if the fabric doesn’t work for the design I finally do come up with – c’est dommage – my stash will have grown – can that be bad (well maybe if you saw home much room I don’t have!)

Stop back again for periodic posts – I will try and post something every Wednesday – but there might be some posts in-between – just do a search in the topic listing for “McCalls Design Star” to make sure you don’t miss any posts!


2 thoughts on “McCall’s Design Star Finals – The creative process begins

  1. So what have you done so far?
    How is the sewing coming along…….
    you do hear that clock ticking right???
    do you wash your fabric first John?
    I use to but don't any more.

    Happy sewing…..I hope you can hear me cheering you on.


  2. Thanks for the behind the scenes look at the contest. I for one know that whatever you come up with will be great and I'll be voting for you and spreading the word daily.


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