Tuesday, February 17, 2009

The Raven Challenge

QuiltArt, an online art quilt group to which I belong, has unveiled the results of its “Raven Challenge,” designed to honor the 200th anniversary of Edgar Allen Poe’s birthday. They are very cool! Check them out; you won’t believe the diversity of styles, materials and techniques.

Many of the artists have donated their cards to the Alzheimer’s Art Quilt Initiative or to Fiberart For A Cause’s Collage Mania (which raises money for the American Cancer Society).

Virginia Spiegel is the woman behind Collage Mania, which will be held May 6-7. Hundreds of fiber artworks will be available for a minimum $40 donation, and Virginia aims to raise $20,000 in those three days. She’s already raised more than $165,000. WOW!

The Alzheimer’s Art Quilt Initiative has raised $273,000 for Alzheimer’s research. Ami Simms, a fiber artist whose mother suffers from the Alzheimer’s started this initiative. “I think it is possible to make a difference, one quilt at a time,” she says.

Two women are behind the Raven Challenge: Lynda Thompson, online curator; and Linda T. Minton, group Collage Mania coordinator.

The Raven Challenge is named for “The Raven,” one of Poe’s most famous poems, with the well-known line, “Quoth the raven, ‘Nevermore.’”

Working with Aurifil thread

I finished the dark blue threadwork on “Lepidoptera” today and started working on the other colors. I am waiting on my shipment of varigated Aurifil thread, but I did have one spool of their Cotton Mako 28 in a varigated pink. It is a bit heavier than what I ordered, but I am so eager to dig in that I decided to use it on some of the pink areas.

This is the first time I’ve used Aurifil thread for machine quilting. The first thing I noticed is how beautifully shiny it is. I almost thought it was polyester, and checked the spool twice. Yep, it’s cotton!

The varigation is very nice on this thread, going from a very pale, almost white pink, to dark pink. In the photo below, you can see how shiny the Aurifil thread is in comparison to the blue thread, which is a Mettler solid blue.

I have heard that Aurifil thread is very strong, and that it leaves very little lint in (and on) your machine. I have not used it enough to know if this is true for me … but I have a long way to go on this quilt. I’ll watch for this, and post about it later. So far, so good!