Wednesday, December 28, 2016

Desire to Inspire - The December Challenge by Victoria Steel

Here is an account from Victoria Steel, our December Challenger, of what the month has been like immersed in the Desire to Inspire Challenge! 

December's Challenge: "Clean Living" 

It has been a crazy - but fun - month.

I found the Henry Glass “Desire to Inspire” post via a link from a pattern designer I had been following.

The variety of Challengers and their projects was amazing, and I kept thinking “what would I have done as the Challenger?” - but I didn’t put my hat into the ring.

When the December “Clean Living” Challenge was released, I could no longer resist (I have a fondness for mid-century modern and “Jetson-style” atomic design). I gave myself a pep talk and sent an email to Henry Glass with some photos of works-in-progress. Over the weekend I played with ideas and kept a hopeful eye on my inbox. On Monday, within minutes of the invite, I ecstatically accepted - and settled into a month-long state of nervous excitement (occasionally bordering on mild panic).

Co-workers, friends, and family were all tireless cheerleaders and I set up a Facebook page to provide them updates - and keep me accountable. One of the most useful things about challenges is that it gives you boundaries. Like many creatives, I find that the possibilities - the “playing” with colors, and fabrics, and design, can be endless - and often not conducive to actually completing anything (even if it is somewhat meditative and just plain fun - I often joke that I don’t finish anything unless there is a baby or a wedding on the way). This challenge had a bundle of beautifully-coordinated fabrics (Henry Glass kindly included extra cream for the background) and a deadline.

December may not be the easiest (or wisest) month for accepting a challenge, but luckily, I was not traveling over the holidays and was done with my shopping (I usually gift audiobooks or online classes). An intense few weeks of designing, sewing prototypes, re-designing and getting feedback (and cheering on) followed.

Christmas Day was cold, snowy and very windy (pretty average for a Wyoming winter) - perfect for a sewing day. By the evening I was the satisfied architect of a finished “Clocks and Pots” quilt top, inspired by the spiky clocks and enamelware of the period.

Here is a picture of the quilt with hour and minute hands that will be added after quilting. (And no, my kitchen counters are never really this uncluttered.)

This week my top will be off to Rambling Rose Quilt Shop for longarm quilting and I will be catching up on chores and laundry. When it returns and the weather settles (perhaps by June) I will take a better picture outdoors.

I still have some fabrics left over and I am thinking about making a table runner with just the stock pots and maybe some smaller spice canister blocks (I’m already playing with a design).

I did promise some fabrics to a friend as “payment” for her modeling the fabric bundle opening (she’s envisioning a 50’s style apron with ruffles). Pictures of her theatrics can be found here.

I want to thank Henry Glass so much for the opportunity, the wonderful fabrics, and the chance to stretch my skills and expand my quilt designing experiences. If you have been considering this - do it - you won’t regret a wild, joyful minute of it.

Also this month I launched this website which shows some of my mid-century modern inspiration.

Victoria Steel


Anonymous said...

Hi Victoria, I think you did a wonderful job on this quilt. I especially love the pots at the bottom. Keep up the good work, because you are an outstanding quilter.
God Bless

Victoria said...

Thank you so much - I still cannot believe that I got it all done.

Sandra said...

The quilt is gorgeous, Victoria and suits the fabrics perfectly. Well done!