10" x 14"
The February challenge for the After Dinner Journal Page is "Mexican Fiesta." Upon hearing this, I immediately began to salivate: grilled foods wrapped in freshly made tortillas topped with salsa and avocados, smell of mesquite smoke hovering in the air, ripe, juicy tropical fruits, all accompanied by live musicians playing their hearts out. Then, I looked out the window. KZZZZZAAARRRZZZzzzkkkk (that is the sound made by a needle dragging across a record)!
A few more inches of fresh snow came down today. It's warmer, but hardly fiesta weather. So I cleaned up the drool. I thought of a beautiful dancing señorita with her swirling skirt and colorful, embroidered blouse. But I couldn't do justice to that in the two hours that the challenge allows.
Then I remembered that The Amazing Melody Johnson (who blogs here) did a piece called "Matchstick Moons" (which is here) that I really liked. So I decided to purloin her technique and make it my own.
First I gathered up a bunch of my favorite hand-dyes. I find myself really craving bright colors like these by this time of the winter.
Then I cut out some simple shapes from freezer paper and ironed them to the turquoise fabric.
Then -- this is the fun part -- I cut matchstick sized pieces on the bias from the fusible-backed hand-dyes and scattered them around the freezer paper shapes. I pressed and steam-set the whole thing (I had a blast getting it from my cutting mat across the room to my ironing board without losing any of the little pieces -- that was an exercise in creativity all by itself).
I removed the freezer paper shapes and the hat looked a little boring, so I added some little bits of red to jazz it up.
I layered it with black batting and some stabilizer on the back. It's a bit bigger than the 8 1/2 x 11 inch size the challenge requires, but I plan to cut it up and turn it into Artist Trading Cards (ATCs) to trade at Festival in Chicago this spring. Hopefully the quilt police won't come and arrest me first. I think that the black batting will look good peeping out from behind the colorful threads I'm going to zig zag over the edges.