My first thought was, "No problem. Just make another brand new quilt. It will be a fun challenge. Just crank it out." I had about 10 days or so until the deadline, so theoretically, that was plenty of time. (Though Thanksgiving and a quick trip to NYC were included in that time frame.) I began puttering and pulling out fabric and making quick sketches.
(This was before the deadline for this particular show was extended another 10 days. In fact, the deadline is still 7 days away. You can enter too!)
Then I remembered the 12x12 quilt I created for BrownBlueSage challenge in the ColorPlay series. It had always been one of my favorites of the whole 12x12 collection. In fact, I had discussed it with my critique group in March of 2011 and we talked about the challenges of working small versus working large. We agreed it would be an interesting challenge to take that same 12x12 quilt and enlarge it using the same basic colors, composition and techniques. Aha!
Here is the original 12x12 quilt.
Spring Suggestion, 12x12
Within a couple of hours and a trip to the fabric shop, I had most of the pieces laid out and ready to fuse to the batting. That was super productive and I was feeling excited about it. But, did I really want to take the time and energy to finish it within the time frame?
Luckily, I had a critique group meeting the very next day. I brought a bunch of quilts to ask for their opinions and insight. I also brought the in-progress blue/brown/sage piece.
Here is one quilt I brought. It was 28" high and I asked the group if I should consider slicing off the binding at the top and adding another strip which could probably be integrated with the rest of the quilt with paint and stitching.
Grow Abundant, 28x39
They said no. Too risky. It might not work. Plus, I had other pieces that I could enter.
I also brought this piece which I had not planned to enter, but it fits the size requirements. It's not one of my favorite pieces of work which is why it wasn't originally on my list of quilts to enter.
Fence and Flourish, 48x36
They thought I should enter it. They didn't see the same issues with it that I see. They liked some elements more than I disliked some elements. (We did agree that it wasn't the strongest of the bunch, but could certainly fill out the entry.)
I also brought this piece, another I hadn't planned to enter but fits the size requirements.
Framing Flourish, 36x31
They all really liked this piece. Most of them hadn't seen it before. It's about three years old. They didn't think it fit as well with the other three pieces I had planned to enter.
They liked the beginnings of the blue/brown/sage piece and suggested I try to finish it as my fourth piece. But... if I couldn't finish the blue/brown/sage piece, I should enter Framing Floruish as my fourth piece.
It was so helpful to lay all the quilts out and talk through them with a thoughtful group of artists. I'm not sure I would have come to the same conclusion if I worked through it on my own.
Tomorrow I'll share more about the blue/brown/sage quilt.
Do you have a group of artist friends who can help you think through details like this? What other helpful advice have they offered?