Stretching Art Progress

The Stretching Art challenge was posted long ago:  This year’s theme–Dream Big; Requirements–Size 18 x 36 and try some new technique.

So I started to think on dreams. I’ll admit to censoring out options that I couldn’t imagine a design or technique for or ones that I could imagine but didn’t want to do. I prefer abstract to representational, and that seemed hard, given this theme.

About the time I was exploring ideas, I was also reading of drought and forest fires, so dreaming of water seemed a good thing. Out came the graph paper..


Grid = 1 square x inch

I doodled more than two, but kept only these. Early thoughts were flowing rivers and drops containing trees, fish, and something else. Oversized drops to convey abundance. The right sketch got me into shapes going off the edge. And the plan moved on.


The new technique would be inserting those drop shapes rather than appliquéing them. And I did.


The upper left drop was inserted whole, but I have since trimmed it and will trim a bit more. I had added 2-3 inches on each side so that after quilting I could trim to size. My estimates on how much measurement will be lost to quilting are never accurate.The biggest trim will be at the right and bottom.

I tried sewing the first drop by starting at one side of the point, then starting again in the other direction. It was okay but not great. Better was starting at the side of the shape, holding the clipped background on top and stopping, but not removing the piece from under the needle, to turn. Yes, there was stay stitching first. I tried the first one without pinning, just like I do circles, matching registration points. The second one I pinned very closely around the point. If I ever do this again, I will pin. There will never be a tutorial for this, because there is no way I could interrupt sewing to do photos.

So on to the quilting.


You may notice lines near the point. Yes, it was for reinforcement as well as design. I’d sketched a possible design (too lightly to photograph), but this is what has emerged as I worked. The unquilted background is waiting for me to decide how many more “pebbles” and where among the lines. Then on to quilting the drops.

The Stretching Art project is an annual event, unjuried.  You can join the Yahoo Group, if you are interested in considering it for next year.

ETA link to Stretching Art website.


Filed under design, quilting

10 responses to “Stretching Art Progress

  1. I’m curious, by inserting the drop do you mean reverse applique? I like your idea to go simple and bold.

  2. Very cool! I remember your awesome piece with curves at Sisters Outdoor Quilt show last year (and listening to people drool over it) 🙂

  3. It’s looking great! love how you’ve quilted it. Wish I could see it in person (along with mine!).

  4. You always impress me with how you challenge yourself to create something, even when you have no idea how to go about it. The quilting on that piece is quite lovely, and really complements the droplet shapes.

  5. dezertsuz

    So interesting to see yours after seeing some of Moira’s. You both have water themes. I liked the idea of things inside the drops which are fed by drops of water. Do they show them all online later? I’d love to see the whole bunch.

  6. I look forward to seeing this challenge show in Lancaster, PA in March. Looks great. I joined the challenge group to learn about the next one. Thanks for the follow on my new blog!

  7. Peggi Yacovissi

    Nice job, Claire. Mine will go in the mail tomorrow, a more frivolous dream than yours, for sure. It’s a big chocolate ice cream sundae. Hope to get to see the collection in Philadelphia in September.

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