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Wednesday, March 16, 2016

It's never too late for some Pi (and my thoughts on Project Quilting)

Before presenting you the latest piece for the Project Quilting challenge, let me start by saying that I enjoyed these PQ challenges but I am also a little disappointed by the overall experience. If you want to know why you have to read below :)

So let's start with my entry for the last Challenge of Project Quilting

"Strings of Pi"
(inspired by the work of Martin Krzywinski)
size: 20'' x 20''

(Project 6: 2016 Finish-Along, from the list in this post)

For this challenge we had to include one monkey wrench block and one flying geese block.
As usual I decided to make this challenge more personal and I decided to honor Pi as 3/14 was Pi day. I was planning to release it that day, but it took me longer than planned to make... oh well, it's never too late to celebrate Pi!! :)

So I built the entire piece as a monkey wrench in black with white accents, I wrote the first 220 digits of Pi on the white sections and I put a rainbow colored circle of geese in the center.
Inside of this circle is where the fun started!!! :)
I wrote the same 220 digits with thread lines connecting 10 sections (representing the digits from 0 to 9). So I started on the section for the 3 (underlined) and then I stitched an arch to go to the section of the 1, then a second arch to go to the section for the 4 and so on until I stitched all the written digits!
I used a fun Aurifil variegated 50 wt thread, and that creates a beautiful movement!
I will take better pictures of this piece when I have time, but for now this will have to do! :)


And now some reflections...
These are just my personal thoughts, and I am sharing them with the hope of finding what you, my dearest reader, think about it! Sharing is very important to me and I really like to hear what others think!

So Project Quilting is a series of challenges that are meant to be inspirational and fun!  After they release the theme of the challenge, we have just a week to make a finished project (from inception to finishing). Every week that we enter a piece for the challenge we are entered into a hat to win one of the amazing prizes from sponsors.

In addition to the theme chosen by them, I decided to add an extra "theme" for myself: the piece should be inspired by a "traditional" art piece (painting, drawing, etc) AND I cannot buy new fabric for these projects.

After 6 challenges this is my collection!

Quilted art pieces inspired by the work of 
Kandinsky, Matisse, Ancient Egypt, 
Walt Disney, Dali and Krzywinski

Now... let me split my thoughts in Good and Sad :)

The Good:
  • Having one single week and one specific theme may seem intimidating and stressful, but it's actually very liberating because it made me much more focused and I completed several projects, which is always a great boost for my creativity
  • Sponsors and prizes are great! I won more than one random prize! So goodies are always a good incentive
  • Having small projects and no particular rules to make them allowed me to try things I never tried before! And I fell in love with several of them (if you want links for tutorials on these techniques, just comment below... I saved them somewhere and I can find them for you)!
    • facing instead of binding (for art pieces): done in my Dali inspired piece (looooove this)
    • binding with same color as last border: done in Matisse inspired piece (don't like this look)
    • binding by folding under: done on my Kandinsky inspired piece (this is ok, but it's cumbersome and not too clean)
    • envelope turn: done on my Egyptian inspired piece (this is ok, but not my favorite)
    • elmer's glue as basting glue: done on my Pi piece, just on the back (loooove this)
    • use facing as hanging sleeve: done on my Dali inspired piece (looove this)
    • regular hanging sleeve: done on my Matisse inspired piece (it's ok, now I know how to do it)
    • squares pointing down and not on the corners (loooove this, as it takes 2 hand stitches and it accommodates rods longer or shorter than the actual piece)
    • raw edge applique: done on several pieces (really like, because I can use any shape)
    • thread painting: done on my Disney inspired piece (challenging but fun for small pieces)

The Sad:
  • my pieces received consistently very very few votes... several times way less than pieces done by the hostesses and marked as "DO NOT VOTE FOR THIS" :) It's not that I think my pieces are wonderful, but in early challenges we had the chance to vote for six or seven projects... and some of them looked good but way less elaborate than mine... however I felt that people didn't really got my piece nor they were interested in reading their story... which brings me to the next point
  • even if I was not expecting  to win viewer’s choice, I was expecting to make new connections with people! I was expecting people to comment and interact with me, read the story of the piece, the inspiration, etc. Instead I very very rarely got any comment... not even by the people hosting the event. While I understand that life is busy for everyone, I posted both on my blog, on their FlickR group and in their FB group... these platforms allow for very quick comments, so not receiving those, and not getting click though their own linky made me very sad.

Reflecting on the sad and the good, I can conclude that probably the community around this event is just not "my tribe". I think it's very important to realize that everybody have their own aesthetic and no one can like everything or please everyone. So the disappointing may just be of me trying to fit in a collective where I am not meant to fit... nothing bad here, just life!

Do I regret to have participated this year? Absolutely NOT!
Did I learned a lot from the experience? YES!!
Will I participate next year? I don't know... I will evaluate this next year!

Two quotes that summarize this experience:
  1. You miss 100% of the shots you don't take (Wayne Gretzky)
  2. If you judge a fish by its ability to climb a tree, it will live its whole life believing that it is stupid (Albert Einstein)

Edited To Add: I received many comments on this post (THANKS) however many of them are from no-reply bloggers :( if I don't have a direct way to reply to your comment (your email) I will reply here on the blog, but you may not read it if you don't come back :( so if you want to make sure I interact with you, leave me a way to get in touch by writing your email address!! I appreciate everyone's comment! 


  1. It sounds to me like you experienced far more good than sad from this experience. It does take a bit of traveling to find your tribe.

    I love your quilts - so artistic and different!

    Here's to experimenting, stretching our creative boundaries, and finding the right tribe!

    1. Thanks Susan! Yes, I had a lot of fun with the challenge overall, so I guess I can call it a success! Thanks for taking the time to comment!

  2. Hi
    I appreciated your comments..I have been participating ..not sure I will bother completing week six..not my cup of tea ,even though it is a challenge .
    Loved your Dali quilt..I liked all your quilts,very original.
    I try to create for what pleases me,I needed to get unstuck so the timing was perfect.This was my first time participating in a group along..Not sure I,ll repeat the experience as I prefer my own agenda.
    Better to march to your own tune!Keep on creating and find fabric happiness!

    1. Thanks Christina! Yes, sometimes these group activities may make you feel limited as you are "forced" to follow common rules! My thought is always to twist the rules to add a personal spin, but keep the overall project close enough to the group so I can enjoy some cheering and community feedback.
      Thanks for taking the time to share your experience!

    2. I,ll continue to pop over to your blog and see what you are up to!

    3. Thanks a lot! I have always a ton of different projects and I always appreciate feedback from my readers, so thanks for following!!

  3. Pi day is one of my favorite days of the year :) I love that you incorporated it into your piece. The thread art in the middle is fabulous as well. Thanks for joining in on the PQ fun :)

  4. Hi Alida,

    Love all the pieces you made.
    Sadly, for all the reasons you mentioned in your post, I have withdrawn from several groups. Especially after one group labeled me (some horrible things).
    Personally, I love all the things you do.
    Good for you, in learning new techniques.

    Big hugs
    Vanda (

  5. I can't find the page with participants for this, just the schedule... your pieces are lovely!

  6. Love your idea for this week's challenge! Last week was my first time participating. I like how the short time span keeps me from procrastinating. Sorry you've had some downsides, if it helps, I'm sure my votes were from the constant nagging I did to my friends and family :) I really like your Egyptian quilt!!

    1. Thanks!! I am sure that if you got a lot of votes is because you made an amazing piece!! :) it also helps to nag on friends and family I guess ;) for me it was not about the voting, but about the comments and connection: that's the most important and satisfying thing for me!!
      Thanks for taking the time to share your experience!!

  7. This was my first time joining Project Quilting as well. I enjoyed the challenge of trying to create within the time interval and yet still having the ability to make my own choices. I tried to comment on as many projects as possible but there are after all only so many hours in the day. I know each and every person loves to have feedback for their work. Sorry you felt slighted in that area. i think you used this opportunity to really expand your own skills by taking the added challenge of basing your work on an artist and incorporating new skills. I think that is wonderful. I am frequently trying new skills as well, that is what makes it fun for me. Sometimes it works and sometimes not so much. I love your latest project, pi day is always a fun theme and your string art is awesome. Thanks for sharing.

    1. Thanks for the kind words and for taking the time to share your experience! I agree that we have only so many hours in the day! I didn't comment on many projects myself because I really received very few answers from the ones I left. I always leave my email address (you didn't have yours, so I reply to you here :) ) so that personal connections could be made if desired. But I had a fun experience and learned a lot, so that's a great achievement for this project! Thanks again for stopping by!!

  8. Your quilts are all really good. I especially like seeing the inspiration and then the piece. I would say you nailed them all! To bad about the interaction. When I join challenges about half of the reason is to interact with others to see what they do and to hear comments about what I did. At least you challenged yourself and it sounds like you enjoyed the process. I've never heard of this challenge. I've also been in challenges that I think people are all about winning more than making the art. I think some ask their friends and relatives to go vote for them. Oh well, if that's what they have to do, then that's what they have to do :-/

  9. What a fabulous design...especially the stitching at the very center. I enjoyed reading about your design process and the intentions behind each decision. It really is a fabulous design. I am just in awe at all the clever takes on each week's challenge theme! Thanks for sharing.

    1. Thanks for the nice comment Mel! I enjoy coming up with challenges on challenges :) and I enjoy myself seeing what others come up with! Thanks for stopping by!

  10. That pi project is just wonderful! Love your other pieces, too.

  11. All of your designs have been so creative! Glad you joined in!

  12. Your entries have all been beautiful and well done. Your designs are well thought out and inspirational.

    It's hard to see from a simple picture in a small box which entries are best. I being guilty too, didn't always open each and every blog and realize the thought process, work, effort and time that went into each and every piece. Many projects obviously were much more detailed, more complex and the artist spent much more time on them.

    That being said, I understand your thoughts on PQ. I'm a fairly new quilter. I knew I would never win the Voters Choice, although some of my projects really even surprised me how well they turned out!I joined this group to try to force me out of my box. I tried new skills, got to figure out how to design, and make MY design go from paper to fabric, often with lots of difficulty! The group members have many levels of experience. That is what made this interesting for me. I strive to get to your level and to others in this group! Thanks for being part of it and sharing your artistry with us newbies!

    1. Thanks for your kind comment Irene! Unfortunately you are a no-reply blogger (like many of the people in this thread... it's weird :)) so I am not able to answer to you directly. I really appreciate the time you took to look into my piece and read the story and my reflections. I am a newbie myself, so I am happy that I could share some of my experiences with you! I am happy you tried new things yourself, and it is so fun to learn on these small projects! Keep up with the creativity and quilting fun!

    2. Thanks for letting me know about the no-reply setting! I was unaware. It must have been the default setting. I've changed it now that I know!

    3. I am not sure if you did apply the changes before this comment... but just to let you know, unfortunately you are still in the no-reply blogger dark zone :) You can get in touch with me via email, if you want... I have few links to tutorials that may help you solve the issue. My email is tweloq (at) gmail (dot) com!

  13. Finding your "tribe" in a creative community is pretty important so your feelings are completely valid and understandable. This is why I'm not involved in any local guilds. I've met with them but none of them seem to be in line with my creative goals. At least locally. Love love love your Dali inspired piece. It's incredibly beautiful. Loved reading your Sad/Good thoughts as both are super important. Thanks so much for sharing them all. :)

  14. That's a pretty neat quilt! My husband is a math teacher, so I also really appreciate the Pi reference! :) Thank you for participating in the FAL, on behalf of the 2016 global FAL hosts.


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