Send a Tweet
Most Popular Choices
Share on Facebook Share on Twitter Share on LinkedIn Share on Reddit Tell A Friend Printer Friendly Page Save As Favorite View Favorites
Exclusive to OpEdNews:
Life Arts

Wicked Cool Fiber Art "To Dye For"


Related Topic(s): ; ; ; ; , Add Tags
Add to My Group(s)

View Ratings | Rate It

opednews.com Headlined to H4 2/23/16

Become a Fan
  (86 fans)

'The Clock of the Time Dragon and The City of Emeralds' by Carl Hentsch of Saint Joseph, Missouri. Finalist
'The Clock of the Time Dragon and The City of Emeralds' by Carl Hentsch of Saint Joseph, Missouri. Finalist
(Image by Cherrywood Hand Dyed Fabrics)
  Permission   Details   DMCA
- Advertisement -

Wicked. It's both a Broadway play and an innovative quilt challenge that may make you "green with envy."

What's a quilt challenge? It's a project designed to challenge the creativity of a group of quilters, within prescribed parameters. Typically a fabric, or group of fabrics, is selected, and participants must use one or all of the fabrics in their finished project. Some quilt challenges allow or require the use of other fabrics, and some require quilters to only select fabrics from within a particular group. Some challenges specify a theme, or a specific size, and many offer awards and prizes.

The first major quilt challenge event was initiated in 1988, a result of an idea by veteran quilter/judges Betty Boyink and Holice Turnbow, who had booths next to each other at a quilt event. They came up with the concept while chatting about a particular Hoffman fabric that Betty had described as "challenging" to work with. So they "challenged" each other to make a quilt using that fabric by the next year's event, and along the way nearly 100 other quilters jumped onboard. The exhibit was enormously popular, and Hoffman of California continues the annual event, which now includes clothing, dolls, and accessories as well as quilts.

- Advertisement -

For 2015, the Hoffman Challenge fabric used was Pomegranate Gold:

Hoffman Challenge 2015 Fabric - Pomegranate Gold
Hoffman Challenge 2015 Fabric - Pomegranate Gold
(Image by Hoffman of California Fabrics)
  Permission   Details   DMCA

- Advertisement -

A sampling of entries incorporating this fabric is shown below:

Top L: Sidetracked to Marrakesh by April Wicker, Top R: Over The Rainbow by Marijke Van Welzen, bottom: assortment of dolls by various quilt artisans
Top L: Sidetracked to Marrakesh by April Wicker, Top R: Over The Rainbow by Marijke Van Welzen, bottom: assortment of dolls by various quilt artisans
(Image by Hoffman of California Fabrics)
  Permission   Details   DMCA

Hoffman's Marketing & Media Coordinator, Michelle Flores, notes, "We're revamping the Challenge for 2016 and starting a digital submission process via ArtCall. (add link) Another new feature for the 2016 Challenge: the selected Challenge fabric is adigitally printed fabric. Digital prints are a hot trend in quilting cottons and Hoffman is offering some of the very best made collections of digital fabrics under its Hoffman Spectrum brand. A butterfly fabric (N4240) from the new Crystalia collection is the selected Challenge fabric, and participants can choose either the black (213-Onyx) color way or the white (132-Opal) color way to create their contest entry. Or they can use both fabrics! One more new addition to the contest is a home decor category."

Hoffman Challenge 2016 Fabric
Hoffman Challenge 2016 Fabric
(Image by Hoffman of California Fabrics)
  Permission   Details   DMCA
- Advertisement -


The WICKED Cherrywood Challenge 2014-2015 incorporated specific fabrics and finished size, and the theme was the Broadway show, "Wicked."

Poster from the musical, Wicked.
Poster from the musical, Wicked.
(Image by Wicked, the musical)
  Permission   Details   DMCA

For anyone who has been living under a rock, the show, which premiered on Broadway in 2003 won a Grammy and three Tony Awards. The show went on its first national tour in 2005, and 14 million people have seen it since. According to Playbill, "Wicked broke the record for highest-grossing week in North American touring history, taking in $3,285,606 for the nine-performance week ending Jan. 3 (2016) at St. Louis' Fabulous Fox Theatre."

'Spotlight' by Lynn Synhort of Fargo, North Dakota. Grand Prize Winner in The WICKED Cherrywood Challenge.
'Spotlight' by Lynn Synhort of Fargo, North Dakota. Grand Prize Winner in The WICKED Cherrywood Challenge.
(Image by Cherrywood Hand Dyed Fabrics)
  Permission   Details   DMCA

One hundred and fourteen 20" x 20" square quilts in The WICKED Cherrywood Challenge collection traveled to 18 exhibition venues in 13 months through 2015. Quilts were constructed from Cherrywood hand-dyed, suede-look fabrics. The 27 finalists were displayed in the Gershwin Theater on Broadway in NYC from October 2, 2014 through Jan. 2, 2015.

The Arts Center at Orange, Virginia, was a beautiful space to show The WICKED Cherrywood quilts. April 2015
The Arts Center at Orange, Virginia, was a beautiful space to show The WICKED Cherrywood quilts. April 2015
(Image by Cherrywood Hand Dyed Fabrics)
  Permission   Details   DMCA
OEN visited with Karla Overland, owner of Cherrywood Fabrics, for more details.


(Image by Cherrywood Hand Dyed Fabrics)   Permission   Details   DMCA

Meryl Ann Butler: Thanks for visiting with us, Karla. Can you share with us how the idea for this project/exhibit came about?

Karla Overland: I saw WICKED on Broadway when I was attending the Quilt Alliance "Quilters Take Manhattan" event in 2013. I had always wanted to offer a fabric challenge, and the combination of strong colors, memorable graphics, amazing costumes and the uplifting storyline of WICKED seemed to be the perfect fit! It also helped to have a connection to a quilter who worked in the costume department! And lime green just happens to be my favorite color.


(Image by Cherrywood Hand Dyed Fabrics)   Permission   Details   DMCA

MAB: Yes, I always laugh when veteran quilter Virginia Robertson calls lime green a "neutral" color! She says it goes with everything, and in her quilts, it sure does! What was the most exciting part of the WICKED Challenge for you?

KO: Some of the quilts were displayed at the Gershwin Theater for a few months. This was a thrill in and of itself, but when I watched the video clip "Broadway Backstage"-a NYC news broadcast that touches on all the new musicals - I was over the moon. The show gave the quilts a full minute of coverage! And the guest host for the show was Tony Danza! It was at that moment that I realized how big this had grown.


Broadway Backstage WICKED/Cherrywood Fabrics The WICKED Cherrywood Challenge is a collection of small art quilts that were submitted for a fabric challenge sponsored by Cherrywood Hand Dyed Fabrics in ...
(Image by Cherrywood Hand Dyed Fabrics)
  Permission   Details   DMCA

MAB: That's exciting! What's going on with this project currently?

KO: Although the traveling exhibit could have easily been booked into 2016, all WICKED things must come to an end! After over 17 public appearances in national venues all over the country, the quilts have been returned to their owners. However, many of the artists have chosen to donate their quilts for an online auction for Broadway Cares to raise funds for AIDS.

Exhibit-goers view the quilts in Lancaster, PA, March 2015.
Exhibit-goers view the quilts in Lancaster, PA, March 2015.
(Image by Meryl Ann Butler)
  Permission   Details   DMCA

MAB: But people can still "see" the exhibit via your book, right?

KO: Yes! The entire 114-quilt exhibit is captured in a beautiful keepsake book. Each quilt is accompanied by an artist statement and detail shots so readers can be inspired by all the creativity that went into these little quilts. The WICKED book is the first in a series of collector books. Better get the first one!

the book, 'Wicked'
the book, 'Wicked'
(Image by Cherrywood Hand Dyed Fabrics)
  Permission   Details   DMCA

MAB: I understand you had a successful crowd funding project and a relocation during the same time that the quilts were going from one exhibition to another! Wow, what a busy time for you! Can you tell us a little bit about your fundraiser?

KO: We needed to relocate our business for several reasons- we were operating out of an older building with three levels. The stairs were killing us, we were very inefficient, and we were running out of space. After countless hours of searching, planning, getting construction quotes, financial planning, and securing a loan, we decided to give crowd-funding a try. People crowd-fund for many reasons, and we felt that our loyal customers would genuinely like to see our company not only survive, but thrive. It was a family affair: my sister wrote a script for a short video to explain our plight, and my son shot the footage and did all the editing. After a month, we had received $14,000 in donations! We are indebted to all the contributors and they were each given a thank-you gift for becoming a part of this amazing journey.

MAB: Well, that's proof of your loyal following! And I know that a big reason for that is because you have consistently offered a top notch product for over 30 years. I've been a big fan of your hand dyed fabrics since before you took over the business from the founder, the late Dawn Hall. Can you tell us something about your current challenge project, and how stitchers can find out about it?

THE LION KING 2016 Challenge Logo (Lion King Logo c. Disney)
THE LION KING 2016 Challenge Logo (Lion King Logo c. Disney)
(Image by Cherrywood Hand Dyed Fabrics)
  Permission   Details   DMCA

KO: We are very excited to get started on our second big challenge. This one was inspired by The Lion King which I saw on Broadway last fall. The stage manager gave us a fascinating backstage tour. I developed a group of three warm, intense golden yellows. These colors paired up with black will create a striking exhibition of quilts.

Our brand new "news" is that Cherrywood has the partnership of The Disney Theatrical Production Company in this project! They are the producers of THE LION KING on Broadway. The musical tells the story through amazing, sophisticated puppetry, and Disney loves the connection between hand-dyed fabric and the hand-crafted artistry of the costumes and set. We are working with Disney for prize incentives and special media attention. And the most exciting part? Some of the quilts will be displayed at the Minskoff Theatre in November of 2017 - the 20th Anniversary of the Award-Winning musical! The theater overlooks Times Square - WOW!

First Place will now also receive two free tickets to The Lion King on Broadway!

MAB: WOW! Indeed! That's so exciting! I saw the Broadway tour of The Lion King when I lived in AZ a few years ago, from a front row seat, so I had an incredible view of Julie Taymor's stunning costumes. I had also seen the retrospective of her work at the National Museum of Women in the Arts in early 2001. What an inspiration! She got well-deserved Tony awards for both directing (for a musical) and costuming The Lion King. What a great point of inspiration for your project! Can you give us some more details?

KO: The format for the challenge will be the same as before - quilts are only 20 inches square so it is a very achievable project. Participants may use accent colors of Cherrywood and any technique they desire. The finished quilt must be an obvious use of the challenge fabrics - we suggest at least 60%.

THE LION KING 2016 Challenge fabric selection (Lion King logo c. Disney.)
THE LION KING 2016 Challenge fabric selection (Lion King logo c. Disney.)
(Image by Cherrywood Hand Dyed Fabrics)
  Permission   Details   DMCA

We will be jurying in 120 quilts for the traveling exhibit and have already been working with quilt show organizers for scheduling. American Quilters Society has been very supportive and will debut the LION KING Cherrywood Challenge at the American Quilter's Society QuiltWeek in Grand Rapids, MI on August 11, 2016. That is when we will announce the three prize winners. First Place prize is a $650 gift card and two tickets to THE LION KING . Prizes for second and third place are gift cards for $200 and $100. We will be publishing the traveling quilts in another beautiful keepsake book, making this our second in a series. We hope these colorful books will provide inspiration and excitement for your own creative endeavors.

As of today, the LION KING Cherrywood Challenge has been scheduled for AQS Chattanooga and Des Moines in 2016, Houston International Quilt Market and Festival, and all of the AQS QuiltWeek shows in 2017. There will be many more venues to come - watch our website and Facebook page for news!

The challenge is open to all quilters of all levels. For logistical reasons, the quilts will be juried from photographs before anything is sent to us. We have a site that has all the information and the registration form. When quilters buy the Challenge packet ($45), they receive one fat quarter each of black and three shades of golden yellow. This packet also includes rules, registration fee and shipping fee.

THE LION KING 2016 Challenge fabric selection (Lion King logo c. Disney.)
THE LION KING 2016 Challenge fabric selection (Lion King logo c. Disney.)
(Image by Cherrywood Hand Dyed Fabrics)
  Permission   Details   DMCA

MAB: Anything else you'd like to mention?

KO: We invite visitors to our new studio, which is open by appointment. Our new space allows us the efficiencies in our trademark process to produce more fabric.

We plan on focusing more on wholesale accounts in the future to get Cherrywood into more quilt shops across the country. Even though our website is open 24/7, we know that customers would really like to pet it in their local quilt shop!

Cherrywood Fabrics, the home of Hand Dyed Suede Look Fabric, is now located at 7882 College Road in Baxter, Minnesota 56425. Call us at 888-298-0967. There is also a retail quilt shop that carries Cherrywood in Brainerd/Baxter. All of our fabrics and kits are available on our website.

Many people may not know that we wholesale our fabric to exclusive quilt shops. If you are a shop owner and would like more information, contact us through our website. If you are part of the Cherrywood Fan Club, tell your local quilt shop to contact us!

MAB: In addition to finding your fabrics in quilt shops and online, fabri-holics can also find them in various quilt shows. Can you mention a few that you'll have a booth in this year? You always have such inspiring samples in your booths, they really get the creative juices going!

KO: We started out the new year with The Road to California in Ontario, CA. Then we head off to the east coast to the AQS QuiltWeek show in Lancaster, Pennsylvania. We will be in Chicago in April for the International Quilt Festival.

We have gone to Paducah for 30 years, supporting the Rotarians by exhibiting at their quilt show. Their door sales are used for scholarships and the small group of vendors in the building is top-notch. We don't want people to miss us when they come for QuiltWeek Paducah, so look for us along the shuttle bus trail!

Cherrywood is a proud sponsor of the Minnesota quilt show which will be in St. Cloud, MN this year. Grand Rapids will be a new adventure for us in August, then Chattanooga in September.

Cherrywood has been a sponsor of "Quilters Take Manhattan" for several years - a great escape to the Big Apple. We finish off the year at the PIQF show in Santa Clara, and Houston Quilt Festival.

Linda McQuaid, Karla Overland (center) and Julie Iten at the Cherrywood booth at the Houston International Quilt Festival Nov. 2015
Linda McQuaid, Karla Overland (center) and Julie Iten at the Cherrywood booth at the Houston International Quilt Festival Nov. 2015
(Image by Cherrywood Hand Dyed Fabrics)
  Permission   Details   DMCA

MAB: Whew, what a journey you have this year! Thanks for visiting with us, Karla, I'll be looking for your booth and the quilt challenge exhibit at the quilt shows!

KO: Thank you, Meryl Ann. It is always fun to see what you are wearing and how you use Cherrywood in your amazing garments!

Purple Piecing Plus wearable art jacket by Lila Hendricks
Purple Piecing Plus wearable art jacket by Lila Hendricks
(Image by Meryl Ann Butler)
  Permission   Details   DMCA

(Above) This wearable art jacket by one of Meryl Ann's students features an 8-step range of Cherrywood fabrics. It was featured in Passionate Colors: A Quilt Show Photo Essay.

(Below) The author (L) on the set of "Creative Living with Sheryl Borden" wearing "Guadalupe Dreamcoat" made with an 8-step range of Cherrywood fabrics.

Meryl Ann Butler and Sheryl Borden on the set of 'Creative Living with Sheryl Borden'
Meryl Ann Butler and Sheryl Borden on the set of 'Creative Living with Sheryl Borden'
(Image by Sheryl Borden (used with permission))
  Permission   Details   DMCA


 

- Advertisement -

View Ratings | Rate It

opednews.com

Meryl Ann Butler is an artist, author, educator and OpedNews Managing Editor who has been actively engaged in utilizing the arts as stepping-stones toward joy-filled wellbeing since she was a hippie. She began writing for OpEdNews in Feb, 2004. She became a Senior Editor in August 2012 and Managing Editor in January, (more...)
 

Meryl Ann Butler Social Media Pages: Facebook page url on login Profile not filled in       Twitter page url on login Profile not filled in       Linkedin page url on login Profile not filled in       Instagram page url on login Profile not filled in

Go To Commenting
The views expressed herein are the sole responsibility of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of this website or its editors.
Follow Me on Twitter     Writers Guidelines
Related Topic(s): ; ; ; ; , Add Tags
Contact AuthorContact Author Contact EditorContact Editor Author PageView Authors' Articles
Support OpEdNews

OpEdNews depends upon can't survive without your help.

If you value this article and the work of OpEdNews, please either Donate or Purchase a premium membership.

STAY IN THE KNOW
If you've enjoyed this, sign up for our daily or weekly newsletter to get lots of great progressive content.
Daily Weekly     OpEdNews Newsletter
Name
Email
   (Opens new browser window)
 

Most Popular Articles by this Author:     (View All Most Popular Articles by this Author)

The Bizarre Theft of Dr. Stanislaw Burzynski's Miracle Cancer Cure

Mysterious Bayou Sinkhole Continues to Cave In: Radiation, Hydrocarbons Detected

Relentless Bayou Corne Sinkhole Nearly 30 Times Original Size (UPDATED with Cave-In Video)

Sex, Love, and Jesus: A Few Surprises in the Easter Basket

2012: Armageddon or Quantum Leap? Gregg Braden's Answer-Fractal Time

California Fire Update: Station Fire 1:30 pm, Pacific Time 8-28-09