I’ve begun my next large project, a quilt for my nephew. I have five nephews and nieces and am making quilts for all of them for their 21st birthday gifts. Matthew’s is the fourth, and since he’s already turned 25, I’m running behind schedule! He looked at my website to see what kind of quilt he’d like, and was really drawn to the Gateway to Mongolia pattern because it looked Celtic. Who knows where this pattern originated, but it has been around in Mongolia since before the era of Genghis Khan 800 years ago. In Mongolia, the Olzii is painted on the doors of gers (yurts) to bring long life and prosperity to the inhabitants. It also drives away wild beasts and evil spirits. It is one of the Tibetan Buddhist special symbols, a never-ending knot signifying the eternal universe and continual cycles of life and death. The pattern is indeed typical of many Celtic under-over designs and I’ve also heard it called a Gordian Knot. A few years ago, I went to an exhibit of Islamic art in London at the British Museum. There was an Abyssinian tile from the fourth century with this pattern, so it clearly has significance in many parts of the world and has been around for a long time.
I achieved the woven effect by using a color gradation of fabrics on the large on-point central Olzii block. The simple Olziiis surrounding the center field are 12″ blocks and will be trimmed slightly to fit. I will sew another orange strip around the outside and an additional pieced border yet to be determined. Watch this space in a couple of months for the finished quilt….
Over the past several weeks, I’ve posted pictures of this quilt in various stages of development. Lauret’s Stars, is at last completed, after 20 months and over 200 hours of piecing.
With our quilt show being cancelled, I was unable to photograph this commissioned quilt at the quilt show. Instead, I took it to church and set up my quilt stand in the parish hall where there was plenty of space and light. This is one of the largest quilts that I’ve ever made, at 105” x 105”. My friend, Wanda Rains, did a spectacular job on the custom long-arm quilting. I’m happy to report that my client is thrilled with the quilt and has given me permission to borrow it back from her so that it may be displayed in our rescheduled quilt show in May. Here I am up close with it.
Here’s another detailed shot so that you can see some of Wanda’s exquisite quilting.
Last week I shared a poster promoting our upcoming Kitsap Quilters’ Guild show on Friday and Saturday of this week, 15th and 16th February, (snowy weather permitting). The poster shows a small portion of the beautiful raffle quilt. I wanted to share the whole quilt with you in all its glory, so here is the full-sized picture, photographed by Richard Thornton.
This certainly echoes the theme of our quilt show, “Stitches of Love”, reflected by the hours of hand appliqué that went into making this gorgeous queen-sized quilt. Ann Trujillo and Margaret Mathisson chose the design and coordinated the project. The pattern is Jacobean Appliqué by Pat Campbell and Mimi Ayers. Twelve guild members pieced the blocks and another four assisted with borders and the quilt top assembly. The quilt was machine quilted by Jackie Heckathorn. If you are able to attend our quilt show at the Kitsap Fairgrounds in Silverdale on Friday or Saturday, you will have the opportunity to purchase chances to win this lovely quilt. The drawing will take place at our guild meeting on 26th February and the winner will be contacted by phone (unless at the meeting!).
As we approach Veteran’s Day, it seems appropriate to remind you all of the opportunity to make patriotic quilts for wounded veterans or for family members of veterans killed in action. American Hero Quilts is one such group that does this. At our Bainbridge Island Quilt Fest in September, sponsored by the Bainbridge Island Modern Quilt Guild, there was a Sew In to make quilt blocks for a quilt to donate to this group.
Anyone could participate to sew simple 4-patch blocks, or string-pieced blocks to make a replica of this antique quilt using patriotic colors. The new blocks are much more vibrant in color, the antique quilt having faded with age. This project was coordinated by Marybeth O’Halloran and Barbara Kirk.
The American Hero Quilts organization was established in 2004 to provide recognition and appreciation to wounded service men and women who served in the Iraq and Afghanistan wars. Each quilt as a metaphoric hug and a way to express gratitude for their service to our country. There are now over 800 volunteers participating in the program, ranging from piecers, binders, quilters and other helpers, including generous contributors. As of the first of the year in 2018, over 26,500 quilts had been provided to deserving men and women and their families. The quilts are sent to Madigan Hospital at Joint Base Lewis McCord, other Warrior Transition Centers in the US, and directly to bases in Afghanistan.
I recently taught at the New Mexico Quilters’ Association in Albuquerque. The big buzz at their meeting was the upcoming Balloon Fiesta, an annual event that takes place for nine days in early October in Albuquerque. The guild runs a booth at this event, where they sell tickets for their raffle quilt and have a variety of balloon themed quilted items for sale. It is their major fund raiser for the year. They had a balloon themed challenge and these delightful quilts were the entries. Members voted on their favorite at the meeting, hence the quilts just have numbers on them and the makers were not identified. I don’t know which one won, but I thought they were all pretty creative. The winning quilt received a prize. All the quilts were donated for sale at the upcoming Balloon Fiesta to benefit the guild. They were whimsical and fun.
Purely coincidentally, on the day of the Bainbridge Island Quilt Fest, there was a small fair with tables on Winslow Green for animal lovers. There were adorable kittens and a couple of dogs out for adoption, a pet food stand and more. One table had this beautiful quilted pet portrait. Raffle tickets were offered for $5, and the winner will be given the opportunity to provide a picture of their pet to be memorialized in a customized quilt made by artist Dawna Ellis.
I think Dawna does an incredible job at bringing these dogs to life on the quilt. The raffle is in aid the Kitsap Animal Rescue & Education organization. Dawna makes a variety of pet quilts for her clients and always donates 10% of her fee to a pet shelter or rescue organization of the client’s choice. She may be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org. Hanging nearby, was this delightful whimsical dog quilt, Mod Dog, made by Dana Dimmick Scarp and machine quilted by Gladys Schulz. The quilt pattern is by Colourwerx, designed by Linda & Carl Sullivan.
During my recent visit to Kodiak Island, AK, I went to the Baranov Museum. These two salmon quilts were hanging in the gift store for sale. Both are made by the same local artist, Sally Troxell. The fish panels are made from Shibori dyed fabric, printed with hand carved stamps using Daniel Smith oil-based water-soluble ink. Commercial prints surround the panels and the quilts were machine quilted on a domestic sewing machine.
The Reeds, depicts seven salmon swimming through the reeds.
The River, shows the salmon swimming upstream. The combination of watery colors punctuated with orangish-red make beautiful settings for both of these quilts. The quilting designs add to the pleasing effect. Salmon play an important part in this corner of the world and Kodiak Island is a hub for the fishing industry. There are reminders of this all over the place. In downtown Kodiak, the garbage cans are made to look like the salmon cans from the 1950’s. Here’s an example.
The large salmon sculpture by the harbor is made from marine trash from the ocean and designed to draw attention to ocean pollution and the damage that it is causing in the ecosystem. Iqalluk, Alutiiq Salmon was made by art students at Kodiak Middle School and High School with teachers Bonnie Dillard and Marcin Mazurek with support from KIBSD and the AK State Council for the Arts.
On my recent trip to Kodiak, AK, I saw this attractive triptych wildlife quilt hanging in the Kodiak National Wildlife Refuge Visitors Center. I was in Kodiak to teach at the Kodiak Bear Paw Quilters and was able to stay additional days to explore. Members of this lovely group made this quilt and donated it to the Visitors Center in 2007. It hangs near the entry way in an area with seating where people may watch a video about the wildlife on Kodiak Island. I love the animals and wildflowers. Check it out if you are in Kodiak.
The Project was coordinated by Darsha Spalinger, Ilva Fox, Christy Kinter and Sheila Wallace. The quilting is by Sue Thompson. Here are some detailed shots.
Fireweed by Becky Applebee. Fox by Elsa Dehart
Otter by Christy Kinter. Puffin by Mary Buben.
Bear by Sandy Peotter. Forget-me-nots by Sheila Wallace.
I’ve just returned from a teaching trip to Alaska and had the good fortune to spend time on Kodiak Island with the Kodiak Bear Paw Quilters. We had three days of workshops and then I stayed an additional three days to explore the area. I went on a trip of a life time, bear watching. We flew in a float plane for an hour to a remote area on the Fraser River near a fish ladder where we could observe Kodiak bears fishing for salmon. We saw five bears. The 900 lb mama with two second summer cubs were the most photogenic. This was an incredible experience! Despite the mist and rain, we had excellent views. The bears crossed the river and came up on the trail very close to us. Our pilot was not concerned and reassured us that these bears are well fed on salmon and salmon berries and were not interested in us!
The following day, I had dinner at the Old River Inn and spied this bear quilt on the wall. There was no label on the back and the restaurant staff did not know the maker of the quilt. It’s a pretty good representation, even down to the massive claws!
In May, I taught in Santa Rosa at two quilt guilds and stayed in the lovely home of quilter Janet Tonkin. Several years ago, Janet purchased a Navajo hand woven rug at the Hurbell Trading Post in Ganado, AZ. The 20″ x 30″ rug was woven on a loom by Lenora Davis and the style is Two Grey Hills. Janet has it displayed on a wall in her home. This rug inspired her to design a quilt using the rug pattern as a guide. She was able to break the pattern down into squares and rectangles to piece this beautiful replica. Here are the quilt and rug side-by-side.
As you can see, Janet added red to her quilt and used grey tones rather than the browner tones in the rug. The quilt is about twice the size of the rug. Janet has it folded over the back of a grey couch in her living room where it is a pleasing addition to the decor and can be used as a large lap-quilt on cold evenings.