Monday, July 8, 2013

Creativity Project Reveal

On Saturday, April 27, 2013, during It Takes My Child to Raze a Village court, I finally gifted my Creativity Project to the intended recipients, so now I can post everything!!!!

My Creativity Project

This is more or less the final design.
This was how I decided on colors,

Drying the fabric - have you ever heard of pre-shrunk?
Pre-washing the fabric - so the colors won't run!

Ironing Fabric - Did this FOREVER!!

Creating Collages On PicMonkey

Ready to cut!

Making sure that the collages are a good size and you can tell what is in the photos.
Had to reprint the B&W a few times, but didn't want to change my mind after printing on the fabric-paper.

Printing the collages onto fabric paper. This stuff is so Awesome!

Saturday, March 9, 2013
I went to a SCA event called It's All Fun & Games" because I knew about some secrets I wanted to witness! ;) I brought part of my quilt work with me - the embroidery for the main square. 
Baronessa Dulcinea and Baron Odo were at the event, and I didn't want to lie to their faces, so I played backgammon with Odo (he kicked my but really fast!) and excused myself to work on it, but I got distracted by a little Turnip and a Squish and didn't get any done until I got home.

The next several photos are process photos I am not going to bother captioning. Sorry, I don't remember which things happened in which order because my computer arranged them oddly. I think you, dear reader, are a smart person and quite capable of creating your own version of the following events. ;)



<---Pinned Forever, Stuck my fingers with a million pins.

Ironed longer than forever,
burned my hand once ---> 

(Not Pictured) Sliced my finger with the pinking blade.

The first row!!!
Only got the top done in time for class. Still had a paper to write (see below).
In between classes, I laid the whole thing out on the 2nd floor of the Science Building and Lint-rollered the heck out of it!  My friend, Kelsey, helped me neatly fold it.

I never did go to sleep that night, went to all my classes and actually had coffee before my presentation! Which went very well, and, I'm pretty sure blew my teacher out of the water. ;)
Here is my Reflection Paper 
(That I wrote at 3am the morning it was due!)

I broke up the paragraphs a little, which is different from my original paper, because I though it might read easier on my blog. I didn't change any grammar or spelling errors. Although I added a few things in colored font to explain what my Professor already knew, but you might not.
I was a Girl Scout for eleven years, a participant in both Odyssey of the Mind and Destination Imagination for several years, and I do medieval re-enactment, so, it was really hard for me to come up with something that is new to me.  I started asking friends and family members for suggestions, and the Top 3 Creative Endeavors that I have never done are: Blacksmithing (or welding), Glassblowing (also suggested was Glass Etching), and (my personal favorite) wearing a harness and throwing my paint-covered-body at a canvas.  All of those sounded fairly dangerous without expert help, which would break the rules of this assignment.

[Your Creation Cannot: 
  • Be something you have already created: You must have created this FOR this course, this semester.    
  • Have been created by following a “recipe” or simply follow directions.  Do not imitate. You must create it from scratch and without directions/expert assistance.   
  • Be alive or illegal   
  • Be a PowerPoint only OR Be a 2D poster-board]
I thought about doing an ad campaign for encouraging manners in elementary schools, but then I was talking to my sister about this assignment, she said, “well, you’ve already solved a social problem, you created It Takes My Child to Raze a Village.” And that got me thinking. . .

I have always been a “kid person,” children are drawn to me, and I to them.  When I first started doing medieval reenactment, about 11 years ago, I noticed a problem.   Children’s activities, if they were present at an event, were really lame. They mostly consisted of foam or felt crowns, some Dover coloring book pages, a few “fantasy” jigsaw puzzles, and either Disney’s Robin Hood or The Princess Bride playing in a classroom.  Saddened by that, I wanted to do more.  I had overheard people complaining that their children didn’t like coming to events and I wasn’t surprised.  I had a dream and It Takes My Child to Raze a Village (ITMCTRAV) was born.  Children’s activities within our medieval society have vastly improved.

Without, the Baron and Baroness of Northwoods, Odo and Dulcinea (a married couple, their real names are Steve and Melody), ITMCTRAV would never have happened.  Baroness Dulcinea is a special needs teacher in real life, and she immediately jumped on board with my idea for a Family-Focused event. 
As Baron and Baroness, they have supported my brainchild and nurtured its growth.  They have helped me with paperwork issues and in ironing out red tape.  They go above and beyond what is expected of them by fully engaging themselves in play.  (Some of my games are very silly!) They are great role models when it comes to taking a risk and engaging in play!

I hate to sew.  I have an unreasonable fear of the sewing machine and I am adamant that I suck at fiber arts.  They frustrate me. 

So, I decided to make a quilt to honor Odo and Dul.  I learned how to do some embroidery at a workshop in October, so I figured I could embroider a few things as well.

I defined my problem - make a quilt. 

Next in the creative process we discussed in class would be Preparation and/or Fact-finding.  I My first preparation step was to draw out a design.  I decided that squares would probably be a good idea, because it is easy to make a rectangle out of squares.  (My sister made a quilt for our sister’s wedding and remember her complaining about triangles - so I decided to avoid them.)  So, I started drawing out my quilt to plan my squares --figure out how many I needed, and what I would put in them.  My first design was overly complicated and involved skills I don’t even have (like couching - which is a medieval technique I’ve watched someone do, but never attempted myself.) I went through three basic designs before settling on the one I liked best, (although I have tweaked that a few times now as well. ) 15 squares, 2 plain white for signatures from other members of our society, six photo collages, 4 patterned fabric squares, and two containing the Barony’s coat of arms and our local group’s coat of arms.  I decided to edge each square in black like a picture frame.

My incubation stage started by digging through my mom’s fabric and not finding what I was envisioning in my head.  Lucky for me, JoAnn Fabrics was having a Coupon Commotion. So, I went to the store armed with 16 coupons for ½ off a regularly priced item, a 20% off your full purchase of quilting fabric and two 40% off coupons!  I decided to go with the pre-cut quilting squares to save myself time (and I’m really glad I did or I wouldn’t have had enough time!) And it was really easy to lay them out (using my coat draped across the shopping cart) and play with colors and patterns until I was happy with my selections!  In another part of the incubation stage, I created the photo collages for the 6 photo squares.  I spent about 9.5 hours using to create the 6 photo collages.  I was originally going to print them onto Iron-on Transfers, but, I remembered my mom’s friend talking about how she made a memory quilt of old photographs with the photos printed right on the fabric, so I found the mid-priced PhotoFabric at JoAnn Fabrics.  I followed the directions on the FabricPaper, and it worked amazingly!

The upper left hand square is a photo tribute to The Plague Game (a co-operative soft and floppy version of dodgeball typically played Kids vs Adults), one of Baron Odo’s most favorite activities.  The one next to it is a “Thank You” square, white and left blank for signature and note collections.  And the Upper Right is the Barony of Northwood’s coat of arms.  I created an applique using WonderUnder and then stitched around the pieces very carefully, the eyeball of the wolf was really hard (one stitch at a time.)   The next row (Lto R) is a photo collage of ITMCTRAV 2008 - the first year, a patterned square and a collage of ITMCTRAV 2009. The middle row is two patterned squares and the It Takes My Child to Raze a Village logo (events can’t have registered arms) which is on its traditional red. The pentultimate row chronilogically goes R to left, because I decided to have it mimic the Plague Game photo collage. On the right is a photo collage of  ITMCTRAV 2010, the middle is a patterned fabric and the left is the collage of ITMCTRAV 2012 (2011 didn’t take place due to scheduling conflicts).  The bottom left is the Weldlake (Livingston County) arms, another white signature square and the bottom left is Baron Odo and Baroness Dulcinea doing the Duckling Race (a relay race that involves quacking and arm flapping, the B&B traditionally set the time to beat, the family that runs it fastest wins rubber duckies!)  Each of the photo collages includes photos of the Baron and Baroness and some of their favorite photos from those events. (Thank goodness for facebook comments!) 

Making the quilt was most definitely a trial and error process, every single step of the way!  (And I have the injuries to prove it! Three needle/pin pokes, a pinking blade slice, and a hot iron burn are the sum of my injuries.)  I have ripped out the seams, sewn things together, ripped out the same seams and sewn it back together again!  I cut fabric too wide (not as much of a problem) and too narrow (Ahh! Horrible and had to piece things together and “make it work.”)  It took me three tries (ripping out the seams and starting over) to make the Weldlake arms’ background! (I’ve drawn it before, but never made it out of fabric, that was really hard! THE hardest part was figuring out how to do the blue point that touches the yellow and white!)  I never knew there was so much math involved in sewing! Not just measuring, but calculating too!  And sometimes, my math was wrong, very wrong (120-60 is not 80!) And once, my math was correct when I didn’t think it was (18x2+15=51!)
Illumination came when I finally finished the last four inches of the border!  I have made the decision not to assemble the entire quilt until late April, after people have had a chance to sign the signature squares –I am afraid the markers will bleed through to the other side!
I believe that I cannot yet comment on Verification or Execution because those will come when I present it in class and when I give the quilt to Baron Odo and Baroness Dulcinea.
I have learned that I no longer hate sewing, I abhor it.  I don’t mind embroidery, but the sewing machine is a beast I do not wish to interact with any more.  Why can’t the bobbin just be a whole spool?  I have learned how to print photos onto fabric, how much work there is in making a quilt, and that you can iron fabric dry!
I think my creative process is fairly human in nature.  I really enjoyed this project (even though I don’t like the sewing) because while the process was hard for me, the creativity and the photo collage-making and the product are almost totally worth the burns, cuts, and pokes!

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