When I first heard the new colors all I could think of was fruit. Grapes at first, of course, then blackberries, which turn from bright red to burgundy to a deep, eggplant purple. I resisted and kept trying to think of another subject for those colors, but I kept coming back to some kind of fruit. Eventually I thought about chokecherries. I don't know if you live in a place where chokecherries grow. They seem to thrive in dry, hot conditions, usually along river or stream banks and if you were to pick one of the glossy deep purple berries and pop it into your mouth you'd be disappointed. They are not very sweet and have an almost bitter, astringent quality. But if you take them home and add sugar and cook them, they become the most delicious jelly, juice and the raw material for wonderful wine. They remind me of my childhood, picking them in the Idaho mountains near where we lived. When Ray and I were married, my Dad had spend several months making a good supply of chokecherry wine that we served with dinner after the wedding. I will never taste it again, I suppose, but can close my eyes and remember that rich, complex wine. The best my Dad ever made.
My little quilt, above, is the second chokecherry quilt I made for this challenge. I finished the first several days ago and was uncomfortable with it. I couldn't quite put my finger on why, except it just felt a little tight and fussy. Yesterday I got ready to photograph it and I decided I just hated it. It lacks the wildness and earthiness that are the essence of chokecherry. It is dainty and tidy and, well, boring. But I need to show it to you so you can appreciate how much more I like the new version.
We are twelve quilt artists who embarked on an art challenge together. We're from different places throughout the world and our artistic styles vary, but we share a love of art quilting and a desire to play, experiment, learn, and grow.
For four years (2007-2011), we each made a 12x12 inch quilted art piece on a designated theme or palette. See our Theme Series and our Colorplay series.
For the 2012 Series, we changed things a bit and made rectangular pieces, 20x12 inches with roughly 10 weeks between each challenge. As before, we had a designated theme for each challenge.
We shared our process, progress, and results on this blog. It remains a key record of our rich collaboration.