Thursday, August 18, 2011

Year 6 - What do you want to do?

Year 5 of FFFC is coming to a close with the August 26th challenge and it's time to consider Year 6.

Do we want to continue the group? do we want to start a new group with a new focus? Do we want to evolve into something other than fast monthly challenges? I'm willing to continue to facilitate another year if there is interest.

Let's get a discussion going about what we want to do!

Please weigh in on the above questions as well as some of these:

  • Do we want to continue, change our focus, continue as is, invite new members, ask for a level of participation commitment from members (1 to 12 challenges)?

  • What do we want to do for our program…structured studies, random challenges, focus on art history or design principles or personal goals or ?? What topics are you personally interested in?

  • Should we go to quarterly challenges or keep it monthly or do 52 or 365 challenges next year?

  • What do you personally want to get out of your participation in FFFC? What are your goals and how does FFFC fit with those?

  • What do you like and dislike about FFFC now? What would like to see changed?
Looking forward to all feedback...dream big, think outside the box, consider your needs!


  1. I have not been active this year...circumstances. I would like to see it stay to once a month, with hostesses for each challenge. I love color challenges and principals of art...I intend to be a lot more active in the upcoming year.

  2. Cynthia, this has been my first year in FFFC. I have not been able to do each project but have finished about half. My reason for joining the group was to attack a project in a short time. However, that has been my problem, time.
    I've enjoyed all the challenges but I have to say that the last one was my favorite. I love using a word and giving a technique to accomplish that word. MTSW

  3. ummm I'm still working on finishing up 6 almost done pieces which I never showed. Personal circumstances got in the way plus sometimes I get started and "OH, I can finish this right up before Sat...." and Sat comes and goes. In most circumstances I think a week is just right...and one a month is fine.

  4. I am also a first year member. I love the FFFC format. Limited time forces an intuitive response. I love the design and art history-inspired challenges. I appreciate the effort required for the educational links that the hostesses provide. I learn from the thoughtful critiques of all the work, not only mine. I think that participation is personal: not only in life circumstances, but in whether a challenge is personally inspiring or in the personal courage required to post work. Thank you for what you do for this group.

  5. I look forward to the monthly challenges and sometimes have difficulty finishing it up in a week as I research the topic at hand in books and on the internet. It sits on my design wall as I keep adding details. Sometimes it is only completed on paper but I do dwell on the topic of the month.

    Thanks for pushing me further.

  6. I enjoy the monthly challeneges but, like so many others, I have been too busy to participate on a regular basis for the last six months.
    I would really like to see if we could work personal goals into the challenges. I feel I am at a stage - in part because of FFFC - where I am most interested in making work that fits my own developing style. I think it might be easier to justify the time spent if the outcome was a continuation of my path rather than a tangent!
    Kathy Lichtendahl

  7. Hi Everyone.... I've been with FFC since the beginning... I haven't counted how many challenges I've done, but at least a few a year.
    Personally, I'm tired of challenges that end of being pictoral ... they don't stir my imagination when I'm asked to quilt a picture of something. I'd love to see more abstract ideas come forth, focus on design and not a distinct subject. (yep, I have some ideas)
    I think monthly challenges are fine, quarterly might work but then we'd lose momentum. We might want to consider extending the deadlines from 1 to 2 weeks.... there are some weeks I never see my studio, but 2 weeks might work.
    I find I'm most successful when I read the challenge and an idea forms in my mind almost immediately! Then I have to figure out how to do it!
    We have a huge group (Cynthia, how many? 200?) and we only get 10-20 posted quilts per challenge. I don't think we can mandate how many challenges we need to complete, but I do think we can ask folks to renew their committment or be dropped from the blog and yahoo group.
    I'm in for the next year...
    Wendy in Flagstaff
    PS Why won't this blog let me use my Blogspot acct?

  8. My whole post just got deleted when I tried to use my google I.D. so this is a test before I re-write it!

  9. Now I will re-write what got deleted. I would like to continue even though I have not been as active as I would have liked to...I cogitate on the ideas and then get afraid to put cutter to fabric.

    I really like the educational/learning challenges be they art-related, color-theory related, principles of design, etc. I hope that we will continue with at least some of the challenges following this concept. I like Wendy's suggestion of a 2 week deadline. I would also like to see more posting of works-in-progress or just how far people have gotten in the time. Some of the works appear to have been made before the challenge they are so perfect, which then makes it more "fear-inducing" to post. So I would not feel badly if only specially created works were allowed, even if unfinished.

    I would like to see this challenge continue. I took a class with Pam Holland a few weeks ago, and she said that doing weekly challenges with her quilt buddies had pushed her to come up with new techniques and how valuable it has been to her growth as a quilt artist.

  10. I did not answer Cynthia's question on how FFFC fits in with my goals. I want to think less and create more, and get over my paralysing perfectionism, which is why working fast and even showing unfinished works would be great for me. Seeing that others have unfinished works or experiments vs perfectly finished projects would also help.

  11. I haven't been very active this year either; a combination of being too busy and losing my creative mojo somewhere along the way. Ironically, I was laid off and almost immediately felt creative again, so I'm ready to get to work. I like the monthly format. I would like to have an extra week to finish the project, but I know the "rules" are pretty lenient for when you actually have to finish a project.

  12. I am a first year member as well. I agree with all the comments that have been made. I was feeling bad that I had to skip some of the challenges because of time pressures, but I went back and counted, and I see I posted something on 7 of 12 (I will miss the August one too) so I think that's a fair level of participation. I really love thinking about and researching the topics, but it's been challenging to me to learn how much I can reasonably accomplish in one week.

    I've been a little disappointed in the small turnout lately, but I guess that's at least partly due to summertime. I learn as much from seeing others work and techniques as I do from creating my own. I'm all for keeping the program as it is, and inviting enough new members to keep the participation up.

  13. I do understand about life getting in the way of getting the challenges done. Especially in the summer months.

    Looking back, I was able to participate in all but two challenges this year, even though some of those had to be posted unquilted. I personally think it is okay that they weren't quilted, as I had the opportunity to think about the new challenge and develop a way to do it. I consider this a good learning experience.

    I hope we continue to have this a monthly challenge. I have learned a lot, and have tried new techniques that I otherwise would never have learned on my own.

    I do think we should open it up for new members each year. New members add new interest and enthusiasm.

  14. I haven't been very active this year either. Good intentions and all that. Since we have some months with very low participation would going to 10 Challenges per year, with a couple of months off, maybe extending the deadline for finished work during those periods. I was thinking that we could skip the December Challenge and perhaps the July Challenge, as December seems so crazy for many and July is Summer/School vacation time. As for themes, I too like the color theory or principle of design challenges, but word challenges can also be fun. Whatever the group decides.

    I will try to be more active this coming year. I don't usually finish in the week but try to finish in the month, when I have a good idea.

  15. As a first year member, I wold like to be able to continue even though I only posted one picture, and had to have a lot of help to do it.

    If others want to weed out the participants that don't do all of the monthly challenges, then so be it. How many would be the bare minimum? Would somoeone be on "probation" if they could not meet the bare minimum? Who would act as the participation police?

    I would rather be a part of a flexible, forgiving group, not a group that excludes based on the rules of a few.

    Of course, the majority wins.

  16. The commitment suggestion was a personal would not be monitored by anyone but yourself. It's a promise to yourself to participate in 1 or all or anything in between. Usually making a public commitment helps the individual do what they say they want to do (works for me anyway!). We have over 200 members with only about 10% participation now.

  17. I'm another one of those who was new this year. I managed to get one little quilt done, covering two months of challenge. Of course, some of the months didn't interest me. Some of them I had ideas for, but procrastinated until I forgot what it was! This last one, #59, I got as far as taking a photo the other day to help my idea along. Who knows, maybe I'll get to do something with it this week!

    I have learned a lot from those who do participate. Thank you. I haven't commented much, as I sometimes don't feel qualified to, and sometimes just don't 'get it'.

    Of course, whatever the majority and/or the organizers decide, I'll go along with, if you need the space on the blog membership.

  18. I have been a member from the beginning, and did most of the challenges in the first years, but have been trying to deal with a huge creative blaahhh.... I started pieces for at least 4 of this year's challenges, but didn't finish. The last one finished was #48 where I ended up with 2 pieces... (Those were the last art quilts I did). The only quilt I finished bigger than postcards or ATC's this year was one for my bed made during a guild retreat.

    Life has been totally crazy with 2 son's deployed/stationed overseas(one in Iraq now, one back safe from Afghanistan last winter and now stationed in Germany... We just found 3rd son may end up in Afghanistan this winter). To add to the worry about sons, my hubby had a heart attack this spring... thankfully he now feels better than he has for years. (I wish my medical issues would go away like that...)

    Back to the challenges... I have loved the fact that most of them will take me in directions I would not usually go in. They make me think and try new things. Just last month I sold one of my challenge #48 pieces which gave me a boost I needed to feel like creating again. I got the farthest in getting toward a piece (or 2) done for last month's solitude challenge. I really would love to see the monthly challenges continuing, and I want to challenge myself to shoot for getting at least half done.... maybe not always on time. Things have been very flexible about the deadlines so I would think the 1 week could stay and those who can't finish can still post theirs when they do finish.

    As far as the themes for the challenges, I think every year there have been some challenges that seemed too overwhelming to even attempt. In my more creative days, I gave even the hardest looking challenges a try and succeeded with many. During the creative Blahhh years, if I found something more challenging, my brain has shut down.... not the fault of the challenge, just my creative state. I have spent much more time in my gardens than the studio. After not even plugging in my sewing machine for 4 months, I finally got in my studio to make up some items I sell at a consignment shop in my town.... Not super creative, but I am getting closer to actually doing an art quilt again.

    While I can't promise that I will do any better finishing things in another year, I do want to stay around and hope I can be a better participant again.

  19. I have been a member since year 1. I have enjoyed creating many of these challenges and I have missed many. The last several I have not been able to do because of other personal issues. I know that I will miss more yet this fall.

    If someone is a member of this group I think that we should all commit to creating at least 2 of the challenges per year. I'd like to see more, but I think everyone can handle at least 2.

    I would also like to suggest that if one creates a challenge piece that they must also comment on other's pieces for that same challenge since it seems most of the comments come from the same people and rarely from some who post a challenge piece. One doesn't have to be 'critical' of a piece nor 'gushy' about a piece. State what you like/dislike in an honest, supportive way. That's the only way one learns.

    Different challenges fit everyone's needs differently but we can all learn from each challenge and the critiques whether we participate or not.

  20. Hi Cynthia, I joined FFFC two years ago and also if I haven't done all the challenges I can say that this group gave me a great input and taught me tons of things. If I grew up as artist is also thanks to this group so I hope it will go on.
    Also when I don't do a quilt for the monthly challenge I think to the theme, my brain is at work also if my hands has to do something else (or almost nothing actually since I've a broken finger :( )

    This year I've loved challenges about artistic styles, I'd love another year of them but I know this could be boring for others, so every kind of themes you will give it will be fine for me, everything can be food for brain and art :)

    Thank you

  21. I love my FFFC, I'd keep it to once a month. I've found some of the more specific ones are harder to do, especially if it is a style you don't care for.

    I'd work more on design principals this year and would be happy to host a challenge.

  22. I would like to continue. I do think that the challenges need to be simplied. Just one concept per challenge would be ideal. I have had problems posting comments on blogs with my blogger account so have to be anonymous, but I am Sylvia.

  23. I was a "charter" member of FFFC and learned a huge amount in the first couple of years. Life then intervened and my participation became rarer. I don't think I did any of this year's challenges. But I would like to remain a member so that when a challenge comes along that coincides with some time in my life I can participate.

    I have followed the challenges and the great work being done by the group all year.

    As a postcript I want to say that the most valuable thing I learned early on through Fast Friday was cropping! That lesson has served me well ever since.

    Thanks to all of you who have done the work and shared it - good stuff!

    Roberta Ranney

  24. I am not a member of FFFC but I have found the site to be very inspiring. I have learned a great deal from the challenges and the quilts that are posted, as well as the critiques. I often look at the site for information and inspiration. The different techniques used and the breadth of the quilts displayed is great.

    Even though I'm not a member, I look at the challenge each month and try to design something that would fit the criteria. This gives me the opportunity to think about how I would do something without the pressure of actually making it within the time period.

    I definitely want to say Kudos to all the people who have hosted challenges! The information provided with each is amazing and shows a tremendous amount of thought, effort, and research.

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