The third challenge for season 12 of Project QUILTING was Virtual Vacation. I’ll be honesty – I had no idea what I was going to do. For the first three days I couldn’t think of one thing!
Then – I had the idea to make the quilt kit Trish gave to me one year – a kit for a map of the United States. I found it, pulled it out and looked it over. Then I figured out the final size … 33″ x 56″ … that seemed a bit too big for me to finish and quilt on my own. I probably could do it but I don’t like putting too much stress on myself for these challenges as there is quite a bit of behind the scenes work to do during challenge week. Anyway – I scrapped that. I started thinking again and my dream vacation is on a beach or pool either swimming or reading a book. That triggered my mind to remember a sew along I saw on instagram this year that I thought was awesome but I didn’t have the time to partake in – the #shoalsewalong with Nicholas Ball of Quilts of the Attic. I knew that’s what I was going to do!
Before I knew it I had 11 fun improv fish. I did this in about 2 hours. I definitely had to put time limits on how long I could spend on each step because I could have easily spent HOURS making these but that would have led to a quilt way too big for me to finish on my own!
I started to build on these fish and create the background and then I decided to sleep on it and see what the next day would bring.
Shark! Yup – I dreamt in the night that this quilt needed a shark. To make the fins of the fish you make an improv triangle and I knew I could use those improv triangles to create the teeth of the shark!
My quilt “Shark!” now has 13 finish swimming happily into their planned vacation only for the Covid Shark to open his jaw and ruin that plan for them. Yes – it’s morbid-ish – but boy – it was really, really fun to make!
This morning I ventured out in -9 degree weather (I waited for it to warm up from -17 degrees to go out) to take these photos of this finished quilt.
The goats were really curious as to what I was making but one thing I’ve discovered in this snow is that they make a path and they stay on that path! They rarely make new paths unless they really have to so I was able to hang this quilt without fears of the goats eating it.
I quilted with wavy straight lines and then wavy lines to mimic the water. I’ll admit – I had better/different quilting plans but my Bernina was not having it and I fought with her the whole time. I’m just relieved that I got it done.
I added a little flange of red between the teeth and the shark just to help folks see what was actually happening. When I created this piece it was definitely not square and I decided to leave the not perfectly square edge.
Dimensions: approx. 43″ x 22″
Pieced & Quilted by Kim Lapacek
I forgot how much I love the freedom of improv. I used orphan blocks for the fish and teeth. This piece just kept making itself and even thought the concept is a bit morbid the silliness the improv piecing helps create a fun, whimsical piece. And this quilt right here – something I might not have made time for or been inspired to create ever – is why I have created the Project QUILTING challenges and community.