I’ve been rescuing unfinished projects from bins in my garage and am making efforts to get better organized. It’s amazing what you find when you start digging around! I’ve recently finished this double-sided Friendship Quilt. When I was President of Kitsap Quilters’ Guild about 12 years ago, members gave me 16-patch blocks. I clustered in these in groups of four to make the 16 large blocks of 64 squares. The border took a surprisingly long time to complete. I cut scraps into 2½” squares and I needed over 550 of them to make the borders three squares deep all the way around.
The back of the quilt is made from blocks given to me in 1988 when I left Fayetteville, AR. They were made by members of Quilters United in Learning Together (Q.U.I.L.T.), my first quilt group in Northwest Arkansas where I learnt to quilt. Some of you receiving this newsletter may recognize your blocks! Thanks to Wanda Rains for her fantastic long-arm quilting and Joanne Bennett for instructions on two fabric double-sided binding (red on top and blue on back, the first time I’ve done this).
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!).
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.
On my recent trip to the Asheville area to teach at the North Carolina Quilt Symposium, I stayed an extra three days to explore the area. I headed southwest to the Pisgah National Forest and saw this beautiful hand appliqued and hand quilted quilt hanging at one of the park information centers.
As you can see from the legends in the borders, the quilt was made in 2005 to celebrate 100 years of service caring for the land in the Southern Region. Each of the southern states from the east coast to as far west as Texas provided quilt blocks representing their area. Here are some detailed shots. There is a map showing the states which are part of this Southern Region, and on the right, a block from the Interagency Wildland Firefighters and Support group depicting Smokey the Bear.
Here the blocks from the Cherokee National Forest and the Daniel Boone National Forest.
The block for North Carolina depicts a hiker silhouetted with a waterfall behind. The picture on the right is of Looking Glass Falls which is just a few miles down the road from the Center where the quilt is hanging. The waterfalls were spectacular and very swollen. The locals enthused that they had never seen so much water gushing. The area had over 20″ of rain in a two week period just before I arrived. I was blessed with three clear sunny days to explore the Pisgah National Forest and the Blue Ridge Parkway and experience the glorious natural beauty there.
The Bainbridge Museum of Art (BIMA) will be hosting its annual BIMA Bash fundraising event on June 8th with music, refreshments and a silent auction, followed the next day by a dinner with a live auction. I have donated a quilt which will be auctioned to help support this top-notch museum right here on Bainbridge Island. My quilt, Ferntastic Star, was made for a Kitsap Quilters’ Guild challenge several years ago. The challenge was to use the floral fabric and make any “star” quilt. I printed the ferns using fabric paints and ferns from my yard. I machine quilted it to accentuate the ferns and flowers on the floral fabric. Size is approximately 45 x 45″.
Last month, I taught in the Fort Worth area of TX and was fortunately to be able to visit the Kimbell Art Museum where there was a special exhibit, Lands of Asia, featuring items from the Sam and Myrna Myers Collection. This silk Mandala from Tibet, Qing Dynasty (1644-1912), made from Chinese silk, caught my attention. The simple geometric pattern of triangles made from silk scraps glows and looks luminous. The large scale dragon print in the border is an added bonus.
In Tibet, where imported silks were always in short supply, the practice of making patchwork from silk scraps and recycled donations of clothing became a pious act born of necessity. These Mandalas made from half-square triangles, may have served as sacred diagrams to focus meditation. The number of pieces and their colors and arrangements were linked to numerology and divination. Mandalas were used by Tibetans in daily and religious life for altar coverings and table covers. In the context of Tantric Buddhism, geometric patchworks evoked the matrix of time and space in which the soul was caught in the web of existence.