Friday, December 21, 2012

The challenge of challenges 6

Last year I was intrigued by another challenge: SAQA was sponsoring a theme show called Seasonal Palette.  For this show, you submitted a proposal, and if accepted, you would make a quilt to specific size requirements.  The proposal had to name which of the four seasons you wanted to depict, and what color palette you would use.

The instant I read about this challenge I wanted to respond, and I knew exactly what I wanted to make.

I had traveled to Antarctica earlier that year and came back with my head spinning with ice images.  I even wrote in my blog when I got home about how vacations often inspire big steps forward in an artist's work.  I wrote, "I'm going to contemplate ice and what aspect of it might be intriguing enough to work with."

Truth be told, I didn't contemplate it all that much in the months ahead as I got busy making other things.  But when the Seasonal Palette challenge came along, the ice quilt suddenly jumped from my remote to-do list onto my immediate to-do list.  And I knew what it was going to look like: it would be one of my Fault Lines series, in which fine pieced lines fracture the surface -- because that's what icebergs look like, all fractured and beat up.  The surface would be white and blue; the fine pieced lines would be black or gray prints to represent the glacial dirt that surprisingly marks even the whitest ice.

When my proposal was accepted for the show, the quilt practically made itself, because it had sprung fully formed from my existing work.

Big Ice, 32 x 78", 2012

My rule about challenges had produced its first success: I had made a quilt that was 100% comfortable within my existing series, and it took that series forward.


  1. Love this quilt! Surely one of my favorites.

  2. Big Ice is one of the best pieces in the show, IMHO, after the privilege of seeing them in person in Houston.

  3. I love this piece, Kathy. Makes me shiver just to look at it.

  4. I enjoyed seeing this quilt in progress. It's a masterful piece, Kathy.