My approach (and I had to have my arm twisted to be in this competition as speed under pressure is not my preferred work style) was to think about what techniques I would use ahead of time as I wanted to use a technique I liked and was comfortable with. So I came in thinking curves and fusible applique. The theme was "Disappearing Act". Like myself, I understand all the participants immedately quieted and developed a "deer in headlights" stare. As I wasn't sure what I was going to do, I took Priscilla Kibbee's approach and just started making fabric (in many cases I had to first sew same fabric scraps together to make a strip) -- 24 inch long strips of curved pieces that I just free hand rotary cut. (Technique: Overlap two pieces of fabric and then make a long curving cut through both. I then mark the two pieces, pin and sew together). I constructed a 24 inch wide x 24 inch "fabric". While constructing this, I thought I would cut out an image of leaves and fuse them down randomly over the whole piece and then cut apart somehow. My goal was to have the piecing, cutting out of leaves of different fabrics and sizes and fusing down done by lunch. I succeeded in that. I fused random leaves trying to place them so there was a value contrast with the background. The only fabric I used from my stash was the reddish batik you see in the background. Coincidentally, I noticed later that it had leaves on it!
After lunch (we had to take a half hour break halfway through), I decided that I would stitch on the leaves as well so did a straight stitch around each applique. I then thought I could free hand the embroidery. My machine didn't like doing freehand on such a thin piece so that idea went by the wayside. Then I decided I would just make some straight line cuts down this finished piece. At first I was going to make them fairly equally apart but I wanted to make sure I got a good cut through the leaves so went with random widths. I then put them back up on my design wall, turned some upside down and tried to come up with an arrangement I liked. Then I sewed up the seams and pressed. I got batting and some background fabric, used straight pins to tack them together and straight line quilted down the straight lines. I never changed the thread through all of this, using a fairly neutral light beige. After this quilting, I switched to free motion and again tacked down the leaves around the raw edge and then free hand drew in veins on all the now cut up leaves. I went back to the table after this was done in search of fabric for binding, made the binding and cut it wider than I usually do so that I could machine stitch it down. (Technique: attach doubled binding like usual on the front, then pull around to the back (where I usually hand tack it down). I made sure it was wide enough however so I pinned it in place and then stitched right next to the binding edge on the front. You couldn't see the stitching in front but not too attractive in the back!
I didn't win any prizes (well, we all got Honorable Mention) but really liked the piece and plan to do some more with this technique in future quilts.
This was the third place winner by the very talented art quilter Joyce Martelli.
This piece was by Kathi Everett who won our competition last year. There is a little door on the birdcage. Kathi is incredibly creative.
This was the winning piece by Anne Hawkins. A little hard to see is that the "vee" is really a zippered part. She just happened to have a zipper in her embellishments! She won a Bernina sewing machine!
The rest of these are by the remaining quilters in the competition. This is by Anne Anderson and was about the tornadoes.
This was by Carol Boyer
This was by Catherine Williams.
This was by Deb Roach.
This was by Elaine Ross. She also use leaves as a theme.
This was by Frances Dack.
This was by Janet Root.
This is by Linda Bachman.
The Wicked With of the West by Liz Scott disappearing into the floor.
Louise Tiemann did this one.
This had a disappearing Noah's Ark by Margaret Reek.
This was by Nancy Hicks.
This was by Sue Donovan. There is no fabric behind those holes, just stitching.
This was by Diane Enerson.
I should add that I came in with green and purple hair -- something I have always wanted to do with my now white hair. Margaret Reek also had the same idea and had blue and pink hair for the competition. Isn't it cool that the bag I found on my table just happened to match. I also had on a green shirt which you can see and purple Crocs to complete the ensemble.