Saturday, 1 February 2014
"Textiles Across the Tasman" Quilt Challenge Group
When I was in Adelaide in July last year teaching at the South Australian Quilt Encounter, I met some marvelous and inspiring quilt tutors.
We had a great time after classes were over for the day networking, exchanging ideas and generally talking non stop and laughing a lot!
We got on so well we decided to form a group and challenge each other to expand our quilting experiences and learn from one another.
As Amanda Daly was present and had given everyone a talk on the mathematician Fibonacci and the Golden Rectangle, we decided to incorporate some of his philosophy on beautiful proportions into our work.
The challenge was set that every three months we would each produce a small quilt around a chosen theme and post it onto a specially organised blog. The completed dimensions of the quilt were to be 8 inches wide by 13 inches long in portrait format (which complies with Fibonacci's ratio of aesthetically pleasing proportions). Lost you? Oh well, the quilts should look good anyway!
The members of the group are Amanda Daly, Rachelle Denneny, Kay Haerland, Pam Furniss and myself from Australia and Jacqui Karl and Juliet Fitness from New Zealand.
All of the challenge themes have been chosen by individual members of the group, being a word starting with the first letter of the person's first name.
Pam was to choose first, so her theme was "pattern". Each member could interpret the word "pattern" however they liked and produce their quilt using whatever colours, materials and techniques they desired.
I was a bit reticent to get started as I felt all the other tutors of the group work in a more contemporary, arty style to myself but I decided to persevere and make a quilt that reflected what I do best: traditional patchwork.
One night through the holidays I went to bed with different ideas swimming in my head and tossed and turned and dreamt all night about Maths! How was I going to divide the dimensions of 8 inches by 13 inches into equal parts to piece a quilt the right size? Neither measurement divides well into sizes that can be rotary cut and pieced.
I woke up thinking of flying geese! As you do!
I decided to draft a pattern on my EQ7 computer program that was 1.66" x 13", dividing the length into ten equal segments and drawing flying geese. I then printed the pattern full scale three times and used this as a paper foundation piecing pattern.
I was thinking to use just two fabrics, one for the "geese" and one for the background to give a bold look, but I decided to use my own principle of "more fabric is best", so I used sixty different fabrics in my little piece. Each of the 30 geese is a different dark reproduction fabric and the background to each one is a different light value fabric.
Here is the crazy pile of fabrics I used during construction on the ironing board in my sewing room!
I then joined the three rows together, added pellon and a backing fabric and hand quilted the piece using a sage green Perle 8 thread in the ditch of every triangle. Binding in repro orange completed the piece.
Here is the completed quilt. After taking some artistic shots of it with my great camera, one of my students suggested it looked like an airport runway, so I named the quilt "Runway Geese". Thanks, Meredith.
Here are some more shots:
I really enjoyed the challenge and hope you will enjoy following this new group on our blog. You can get there to see the other quilts by clicking here.
Remember, this is a new blog and still a work in progress.