Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Harvest Challenge Block

Last May, Evening Star Designs announced a Harvest Challenge contest. Carolyn put together a remarkable kit of harvest fabrics, trims and beads. The purchase of this kit was the entry fee to the contest. The original deadline was October 6, and my piece (a pillow, or cushion) was completed for that date --- BARELY! LOL. When I found out that the contest deadline was extended to November 6, I breathed a sigh of relief. I was able to work some minor changes and additions, with creative input from a special friend.

Anyway, I've waited for a week now, and I'm dying to know the results. However, I had an epiphany this morning and decided I don't mind not knowing..... no matter how my piece does, I'm very happy with it. It was one of the most rewarding projects I've ever worked on.

I started it before my DH got really sick in September, and worked on it in the ER, his hospital room, when he got home and was asleep, while in the waiting room at the doctor's office, and when he was home, recovered and in fine form enough to tease me that I should add some "bluetonium" to it (his terms for blue plastic beads, ggggggggggg) !!

This is the completed pillow, which measures 15 x 15".

One of my very favorite features was this large motif that I fussy-cut from the black print fabric that was provided. The motif was not whole, so I placed it along the left side where it would line up with the edge of the pillow. Once it was appliqued on, I began beading it. Each leaf is outlined in gold seed and then black hex beads. There are spots beaded here and there on the interior of the design as well. I also added the requisite spider web (with no inhabitant!) in that area.

The spider web is connected to vines that sort of "grow" out of the leafy green fabric. This fabric was one that I added to the mix and is a favorite of mine for autumn blocks (I used it in my November 2002 block that was in the Quilting Arts 2002 calendar). I used silk ribbon to embroider more leaves and sort of carry the pattern over the lower seam line.

This central area contains a mass of flowers in different shapes and colors. The yellow crocheted one is a vintage motif cut from a doiley. The red "dahlia" I explained about in an earlier post here. Other flowers are ribbon roses, folded flowers, yo-yos. Leaves are various ribbon and SRE treatments, as well as more beaded leaf motifs from the provided print fabric.

This is a close-up of the lower right quadrant. The fibers and beads and ribbon were required elements. The lace and buttons on it are vintage from my collection. I don't know if you can see, but I did make some stumpwork "berries" to embellish another piece of that gorgeous black print fabric.

Finally, here is the lower left quadrant. I blogged about the squirrel and wheat in the link above, and the felted pumpkin here. I learned several new things in working on this pillow, which I guess is always part of the fun and challenge. Hope you enjoy it!


  1. Your pillow is outstanding. I certainly think it deserves to win. Good luck! Love the spider web and squirrel.

  2. Beautiful work in warm autumn colors! It should be a winner :)

  3. What a treat this was to see this morning! There are many wonderful elements but the wheat is a fave! I also like the pumpkin, the squirrel AND his nuts, and I like that the spider web is attached to some Fall branches. I spent a great deal of time touring your piece. I love your work!

  4. Cathy, This is a stunner and I sure hope you win with this!! You've put every technique under the sun into this piece and it goes so well together. I just keep looking and looking and seeing more each time I enlarge it. Good luck on first place

  5. I love everything in you pillow! It is wonderful!

  6. Cathy,your pillow is scrumptious...and looks stunning. The eye keeps moving to discover new beauties all the way around the cushion. The spiderweb is super lovely too. Thanks for sharing it

  7. I love your pillow Cathy! The colors and embellishments are wonderful!

  8. Absolutely fabulous! Not only "eye candy" but inspirational eye candy! Thanks!

  9. Your CQ pillow is out of this world gorgeous. I love all the beautiful beading, stitching, stumpwork. I especially love the spider silk ribbon flower. The felted pumpkin is just to neat. Lovely lovely pillow Cathy, great work. Hugs Judy

  10. Cathy...
    Yhese pillows are awesome,

  11. Such a beautiful pillow Cathy! You should win first place.

  12. Your pillow is a winner no matter what the results of the contest are! Just outstanding! I'll be waiting to hear that the judges agree with us here!


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