Quilt Entries, in process

Our quilt guild has a quilt show every two years, and this is a show year. So far I have 7 entries in the show, and this is the one that will be in the “Art/Innovative” category. The rules for this category is that the piece can be any size, but it must be quilted (i.e. three layers – top, batting, backing, quilted together), it has to be totally original, and not done in a class.

I was inspired by the improvisational style of Dianne S. Hire, and by the freeform curves of Ricky Tims and Peggy Barkle when I started putting the quilt together.

Rainbow quilt

When the girls asked to play on the computer yesterday, I started quilting it (they only are allowed to play on the computer if I’m sitting here, so sewing is the perfect task for that). The circles were marked beforehand, but everything else was completely free-motion and unmarked.

under the needle 1

under the needle 2

under the needle 3

I had about an 8″x3″ section remaining last night when I ran out of bobbin thread. At 11:30. Usually when this happens, it’s a sign from God to STOP. If I ignore the warning, there’s usually a spectacular mistake in the next 5 minutes that either makes me lie sleepless all night, worrying, or keeps me up for another hour fixing. So I heeded the warning and went to bed, sleeping well. I got up this morning, loaded the bobbin again, and finished the quilt in 5 minutes. After auditioning several fabrics for a binding, I cut a plain solid black for that and will hopefully have this quilt to the handwork stage by the end of the day today.

I plan to add beads to some of the circles (not all of them, and not all of the rings within a circle will get beads, either), just for an added surprise for the viewer.

Another quilt I’m entering is this one, called “Peace Lily.”

Peace Lily

I made it in a class with Barbara Olson in April of 2008. It’s her “Wild Child” pattern. The quilt is about 30″ square, and has Swarovski crystals on the flower in places.

I finished the flower in April, and grappled for most of the summer with what background it needed. I tried prints, solid black, white, red, orange, yellow, green, blue, purple… nothing screamed. Blue was the best, because it made the oranges sing. But which blue? I ordered several from my favorite batik store, and put them under the flower to audition the best one for the background. Again, I didn’t like any of them the best. At a quilt group one Friday night last summer, a friend suggested frames in the varying blues, and a lightbulb went on. Of course, because the flower itself is wonky, the frames had to also be wonky. I had a wonderful time putting the background together, and I think it’s perfect for the flower, which looks (to me) like it’s bursting forward.

The unnamed quilt was layered and ready for quilting for most of the fall, but I couldn’t decide what to do. On November 24, when my father-in-law died suddenly, I was blinded by my grief and needed to throw myself into something that would absorb my tears without judgment. I picked up the quilt and started to quilt, and finished it in 2 days. I named it “Peace Lily” because that’s a flower often associated with funerals, and because my father-in-law never said goodbye — he would always simply say, “Peace” when hanging up the phone or leaving after visiting with the grandchildren. So this one is for him. When I thought of the name, I knew it was perfect.

Two others that are being entered are this one, which I will hopefully layer today and start quilting:

Diamonds and Curves

I made this one this March in a class with Peggy Barkle on Blendable Curves. It was a lot of fun and came together quickly, to a finished size of 40″x46″. I’m not sure how I’ll quilt it, but hopefully I’ll think of something soon. 🙂

And this last one (for today) is Jerry’s quilt. He made this in a class in 2003 or 2004, and I finally finished the top for him last summer (I just put the borders on it and fixed a few little places that needed attention). It’s a Yellow Brick Road pattern, and he chose all of the fabrics (I wasn’t even in the store to voice an opinion — didn’t he do a great job?!).

Jerry's Yellow Brick Road

Again, I don’t know how I’ll quilt it, but hopefully I’ll think of something soon. It’s also ready to be layered and quilted. It’s big — almost a twin-sized quilt.