Today is the day each of the members of the Latitude Quilt group reveal their 15" x 15" creations from our first group challenge theme: Carnival.
When the Carnival theme was announced, I immediately thought of the local town fairs that pop up across the country in warm weather. I turned to my journal and filled a page with different images and ideas: cotton candy, laughter, tickets for rides, roller coasters, sticky fingers. It was clear that my biggest challenge was going to be settling on one idea. At one point I did consider doing some sort of image collage to help represent the colorful and chaotic nature of these town fairs, but that didn't seem the right path for this piece. Instead, I pared down my thoughts and created this: Ferris Wheels and Goldfish (15" x 15").
I think I got my first ferris wheel ride at a hometown carnival. I do know that I got two of my pet goldfish by winning a carnival game. A platform was covered in little water-filled fish bowls, but a few had goldfish in them as well. If you were lucky enough to throw your ping pong ball into a bowl with a fish, you got to take the little fish home. And I did -- twice.
I'm pleased with the colors of my piece and the graphic quality of the design. I tried to use some of the lessons I learned in Lisa Call's Abstraction class to represent what I wanted, without realism. I also wanted to convey fun and joy, along with the shapes. Since I love circles, I'm happy that there was a way to incorporate so many of them, even though I didn't consciously set out to do so. The quilting was harder to do than I expected; I couldn't decide if I should keep it simple or go nuts. In the end, I kept the quilting to a minimum so as not to compete with the simple lines already in the composition. I also ripped out big decorative hand stitches and beading because they also seemed to interfere. Besides, I couldn't figure out how to "bling" the ping pong balls; the quilt looked really lopsided with an embellished ferris wheel on the left and plain Jane circles on the right.
Please head over to our group blog: www.LatitudeQuilts.blogspot.com to see what all the other members made for the challenge. I know you'll be glad you did.