South African Quilt Festival 2013, #5

The most popular quilt with the viewers at the quilt show was “Bush Fire”, 185 cm x 123 cm, by Tilly de Harde, which received the Viewers Choice award. It was easy to see why. This quilt is an extraordinary work of art, displaying a design with a powerful impact and incorporating many quilting techniques. The quilt won first place in the “Free Style” category which encompassed a large variety of quilts.

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Here’s what the label said: “Silhouette of trees and plants against a backdrop of fire. A Round Robin with a difference; monthly instruction from Mayflowers over a period of a year. Design credit: inspired by the work of Gloria Loughman.” Check out these detailed pictures. I love the way Tilly pieced traditional quilt patterns into the tree trunks and branches. Look at the wonderful background which is pieced from diamonds in many shades of red, orange and yellow. There is also thread painting to add detail to the shading on the trees and the veins on the leaves. This was a well deserved winning quilt.

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Tilly entered another stunning quilt into the “Free Style” category. I was surprised this one didn’t receive an award, but the competition was steep and the judges had a difficult job. “In Tatters”, 150 cm x 102 cm, illustrates the world in tatters and is a protest about the way humans are destroying the earth.

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The foundation of the quilt is the earth as it should be and the embellishments symbolize the destruction taking place. The straggly tatters are made from bandages that were dyed using rust and the red stitches visible on the detailed picture of South America are for the blood that has been shed. In the embellished oceans there are plastic bottles and garbage. The quilt makes a powerful statement which is hard for some of us to stomach. Once again, Tilly’s workmanship is amazing, and this is a fantastic quilt. Tilly also made “Senseless”, a quilt protesting the senseless killing of rhinoceros for their horns, featured in my Festival blog #3 about the challenge quilts. She is a talented artist and I’m in awe of her work.

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