In 2015, after the regular season of Project Quilting had finished, the coordinator decided to host a Focus Through the Prism series. Participants had to purchase a fabric bundle (although we could add additional fabrics), had to create a 20" x 20" quilt, and would have a month to complete each challenge. Every month a traditional quilt block would be selected and participants had to make one of the seven colors from the fabric bundle be the featured color.
Since the parameters of the challenge were to use specific fabrics and a given size, I decided it make all of the quilts similar enough to be a series, and the first quilt would help define what my series would look like.
The first traditional block was presented at the beginning of May and it was the Monkey's Wrench block (also known as Churn Dash). I made some designs and started piecing. Halfway through I looked up at my art quilt Lavender Diamonds
and though that I could have made something similar to that but since I was already going a different direction, I'd keep going. Only once I started quilting it, the universe had other ideas and it got wonky and wouldn't cooperate.
So I set it aside and started on my second idea, which is how I ended up with Monkey Tail. The choice of the blue fabric was mostly a random choice. (I took the piece that wasn't working and cut it up and made it into quilted postcards.)
- Use all of the seven colors but have one main color (with smaller pieces of fabric almost the same color to give it some visual texture*)
- Have a black border with brown stars
- Have bits of the focus color on the black square in the middle, on the border, and on top of the other colors
- Have a piece of black yarn couched on top*
- Have curved quilting lines 1/4" apart that echo the shape of the yarn*
*characteristics also used in Lavender Diamonds
In this piece the focus color is BLUE and the yarn represents A MONKEY'S TAIL.
My series was featured in Art Quilting Studio Magazine's Autumn 2018 issue on working in a series and they were also included with several quilts that other people made for the Focus Through the Prism challenge including the Wisconsin Quilt Expo in 2016. Above is Monkey Tail with some of the other blue quilts.
Because this is the Quilt of the Week, it is 10% off the original price of $300 and as a special deal, all of the Focus Through the Prism quilts are 10% off through 5/16/21 if you purchase directly from me. Details can be found here.