Monday, May 08, 2006

Goals for Week of May 8th

For once I have nothing to carry over from last week, but on the other hand, I couldn't think what I wanted to do this week when time allows. The mind-wandering went something like this: Oh, I suppose I can bind the Easter quilt (see previous post) or perhaps take a day to get the paints out again and add some elements to the sunprinted fabric I was less than pleased with. Maybe I should just catch up on notes, or put stuff away, wash a stack of fabric...because I feel at loose ends and not at all like working at something creative. On my way to the computer this morning, I took a quick glance at the studio calendar and suddenly remembered I should be working on blocks for the annual Peggy Beals Block Contest.

I found this contest through an ad in a quilting magazine, back when I first came to Wisconsin and started looking for places to send my quilts. The idea of making a single block ( or two or three) instead of an entire quilt was very appealing, and if you were willing, your block(s) would go into either a raffle quilt (of the winning blocks) or quilts that would be given to Ronald McDonald house. This was in conjunction with the Marshfield Fair in Marshfield MA and organized by Peggy Beals. I came to find out that Peggy pretty much ran the contest by herself with some years receiving as many as 75 entries. Yet she always added a personal note when notifying of winning blocks or responding to requests for entry information. She was always so encouraging. After Peggy died, helpers rallied to see that the contest continued and renamed the contest in her honor. I'm guessing I've entered several blocks every year for over 10 years now and for the last seven, one of my entries has made it into the raffle quilt. Making blocks for this contest is a tradition I enjoy; it allows me to experiment with different patterns and fabrics (a few guidelines leave room for lots of interpretation) while contributing to a worthy cause and can even reward me with a cash prize. Win, win, win!

This year the designated theme is "fans" with no color suggestion (some years they pre-determine the sashing color). Fans are not my favorite, and I pretty much got them out of my system on this quilt made in 1998. If it looks familiar, it may be because it recently showed up in the Readers' Quilt Show section of Quilters Newsletter Magazine November 2005 issue. Amazing how long they hold on to photos before publishing! This picture is not the best but you can see a larger version by clicking on it. Every block in this original design is some variation of a fan block.

So in spite of my feelings about fan blocks, I refuse to let Peggy down. I'll peruse likely candidates in my EQ5 program and no doubt have fabric strewn everywhere before week's end. "Easter" & painting may take a backseat after all this week but we shall see.

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