Saturday, May 5, 2018

MQX Dotty Challenge

Time is flying at its usual break neck speed-- thank goodness Spring has finally decided to make an appearance! 

It seems like just yesterday when I was trying to finish quilting "Dot Almighty" in between winter storm power outages... and then this happened!

It's hard to believe the Dotty challenge is behind us now-- I started it more than a year ago when it was first announced. I was so pleased to get fourth place— the winner was from Australia, second and third were from Germany— these quilt shows are getting to be as international as the Olympics!... so my fourth place win makes me top U.S. dot! :-)

(Quilts are listed clockwise, from top left-- my apologies for cropped photos, but it was hard to back up enough to get everything in!
Second Place, "Marble Track," Claudia Scheja; 
First Place, "Sunshine," Katherine Jones; 
Third Place, "Bubble Ballet," Birgit, Schueller; 
Fourth Place, "Dot Almighty," Yours Truly.

It it always very humbling to see some of the other entries so well crafted and so very clever as well-- twenty-eight of them, in all. I have to believe the margin of winning is very slim-- so if you don't get ribbons at show, don't give up-- you may be just a point away!

"Dotville," Suzy Webster; 
"Poltergeist," Kimberly Werth; 
"A Polka Dot Zebra," Laura Di Cera; 
"Fassett Faucet," Nancy Sullivan.

"La Belle Dame Pointillee," Darlene Orschek;
"Glam Dotz," Debra Woods; 
"Once in a Blue Moon," Debbi Borg; 
"Dots 'n Dashes on My Wall," Barbara Campbell. 

"Bubblicious Throughout," Claudia Taeubert; 
"Spin Cycle," Amy Peterson;
"Into the Dotted Future," Lynne Hartman,
"Lotsa Dots," Karen Abrahamovich.

"I Spotted a UFO-- Oh, My Eyes! Leta Wellman; 

"I See a Quilt in Your Future," Penni Barger; 
"Round, Square, Dots, or NOT," Angie Callbeck; 
"Colorful Circles," Elizabeth Wilson.

"Dotty Windows," Mary Bolton; 
"Out of Darkness Into Light," Vicki Watkins; 
Fifth Place, "Merry Mischief Makers," Nikki Hill; 
"Ambivalence," Debbi Treusch.

"Just Add Salt," Katherine Dossman; 
"DotCom," Diane Dixon;  
"Dots 'n Dashes," Leslie McSorley; 
"Caroling Kids," Gayle Pully.

The MQX Dotty Challenge was to use polka dot fabric... I really didn't have much and as I am not such a fan, didn't want to buy much, either! So I stitched up the snowball border to make dots, and bought a very little "grunge dot" fabric-- grunge makes everything better, in my mind. My "Dot Almighty" is caffeine, so the biggest dot is a cup of coffee... then the quilting told a "pretend" history of coffee in what I wanted to be the kookiest, craziest quilting I have ever done. Here are the Egyptians in a coffee worship scene...

And here's a present day scene of a rooster crowing on the farm, ready for breakfast and that all important cup... (note the dot quilt drying on a line)

And then in the future, the aliens are landing, not to conquer us, but just a stop over for a cuppa joe.

This is the steam coming out of the large cup of coffee... (note the tiny astronaut on the moon, left side--the show had a space quilt theme going as well)

 And some border fill work, with circle shaped items...

Here is the back so you can see it all.  Only a greenhorn would quilt white on a dark background, but the judges must have appreciated the chutzpah!

So that's it! It's one for the ages now... I am really pleased to have gone pretty far out of my box... My DH LOVES this piece, wants to hang it up, (wait, what?!!) and thinks it's a new artistic direction I should move in. 

What I most remember is struggling to finish at the eleventh hour-- the quilting seemed too light, so I had to go in and color with Derwent pencils to bring the quilting out a bit. I'm afraid the whole experience left me frazzled and stressed by the end.... and has sucked out my creative spirit a bit. So I made a decision... no more entering quilt shows until the quilt is completely finished, BOUND, and labeled. I had hopes of entering Fall Paducah again, with my bouquet piece, but the deadline just passed, and it's a kind of a relief... I can just work away at it, without the pressure, and more importantly, without making decisions based on what I think judges would like. As gratifying as it is to have a ribbon wall, the quilt show circuit can be a very grueling taskmaster. 

So, you will see "Dot Almighty" and all of its companions shown here at the MQX WEST show in Springfield, Illinois mid-September (they are doing the challenge again)... but you won't see me. I am heading back to my sewing room to start anew... yes, I think my mojo is finally back!



  1. Thanks for sharing the story and pictures. Awesome job!!!

  2. The detail is amazing. Congratulations on a fantastic quilt. Looking forward to seeing what you come up with next.

  3. I'm awed by your quilt, Dot Almighty! I think it's fantastic! I love the Egyptians worshiping coffee, the dotty quilt on the laundry line, the little astronaut on the moon, as well as all the rest of the great detail you quilted into what was already a beautifully pieced quilt! Thanks for the inspiration!