Sunday, July 3, 2016

Cherrywood's Lion King Challenge Part 3: The Finish

Time to Pull It All Together
I had my black and white mandala design ready and it was now time to fill in the color, pattern and texture!  Easy peasy, right?!?

Surprisingly, this is where I had my most designing doubts!  When auditioning different cherrywood fabrics, I really liked how challenge bundle golds popped against the brilliant blues, and decided to add some a pop of teal and raspberry.

With my accent colors finalized, the actual mandala construction went surprisingly quick, thanks to raw edge fusible applique!  I did have to be careful about the construction order and using the available fat quarter yardage mindfully, but otherwise, I enjoyed watching my mandala grow and bloom!    
Mandala Magic
Before fusing it all down and committing to the final design, I started to worry whether 60% or more of my quilt used the official Lion King challenge bundle of golds and black fabric.  Given the organic shapes, it was difficult to calculate surface area.  After showing it to several of my quilting friends, someone suggested I contact the organizers to get their take.  Karla Overland had a fast response and said it was a bit close and suggested I swap out the white zebra prints for a gold.  I greatly appreciated her feedback but was sad to lose my lovely zebra print.  So I compromised and swapped out half of the zebra hearts with the black solid, which I then free motion quilted some zebra strips on for the reverse image.  One of the swapped out zebra print hearts found a new home on my quilt label, which was a great match to the fun zebra print used as the quilt back!
I Love My Zebra Stripes!
I love my quilt title:  Circle of Life.  It seemed the perfect fit for the challenge theme, as well as my mandala design!  

I had a lot of fun using Aurifil 50 weight threads to add quilted texture and special details throughout my quilt.  I discovered a few new border designs that I plan on using in future quilts as they were both beautiful, as well as lots of fun to stitch.
Quilting Details
More Quilting Details
Here is my Artist Summary submitted with my application:
"Circle of Life" celebrates African life, art and nature. Hand-drawn abstracted animal prints depict armored crocodile scales, zebra stripes, leopard rosettes, bongo antelope stripes and a geometric giraffe coat. The free-motion quilted accents were inspired by African weaving and textile prints, including five Adinkra symbols: Adinkrahene (chief/king-three centered concentric circles) for greatness/leadership/royalty, Akoma (heart) for love/patience/tolerance, Kukuromtie (thumb/spiral in yellow petals) for cooperation, Awurade Baatanfo (God the Mother scrollwork along base of hearts) for nurturing spirit and Owo Foro Adobe (snake climbing a raffia tree along outer teal accent border) for doing the impossible/persistence/diligence.
Circle of Life, Finishes 20" x 20"
And now the hardest part:  waiting for the notifications going out via email on 7/8!  This year, they will be selecting 120 finalists to join the travelling exhibit.  Given the wild success of their Wicked challenge, I knew the bar would be raised this time around.  Based on the little sneak peaks that I've seen posted on the Cherrywood Facebook page and elsewhere on the web, the judges will have their work cut out for them!  This will certainly be a spectacular exhibit!!

10 comments:

  1. Great interpretation! Your design and quilting are fabulous! Good luck!

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    1. Thanks Paige! This may have been a first for me in that I had all the quilting planned out before the fabric/colors were finalized!! And now I wait...

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    1. Thanks Hilary--it was a really fun piece to design and create. I am so glad you enjoy!

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  3. That's wonderful! Thanks for showing the steps you took.

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    1. You are welcome Seacoast Quilter...as you can see, I love the process as much as the end result! I am glad you enjoyed seeing the steps too!

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  4. Love the way this turned out. Thanks for sharing all the steps. I never would have imagined this as the completed project. It's really delightful.

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    1. Thanks Linda--It's always exciting to see what is possible in these quilt challenges. They always stretch me to try new designs/techniques!!

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  5. Oh, Mel! You never fail to amaze and inspire me! Your work is just wonderful.

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    1. Oh thanks Joni...I am so glad you were inspired by this piece. That makes my day!!

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