Thursday, April 11, 2013

Tea time!

Back in February, I joined up with a group of four local quilters who wanted to make a "slice" quilt for the Alliance for American Quilt's 20th Anniversary Quilt Contest. The quilts will eventually be auctioned in an on-line a fund-raiser, and the contest rules ask that the entries be 20x20 inches, and include the "20" theme.

My part was to find a photo that could be cut up and made in four parts to make a small quilt that would make a good impression in the thumbnail image auction buyers would be looking over.  I spent a lot of time on a variety of ideas, looking for free-to-use images on the 20 theme. What about 20th anniversary?  The traditional gift is china so I was looking at photos of plates and teapots and coffee services, which often show up in little quilts, but I didn't find anything I liked.

During the last week before my deadline, Norris helped - we went scouting for a good colorful photo opportunity. We headed to Main Street Weaverville.  There is nothing at 20 S. Main but this space between the town hall and the former fire house.

So we headed to 20 N. Main, where there is an art gallery featuring works by local artists.  Still on the china theme, Norris took this photo in the back with his cell phone. I worked at recoloring the brick to a brighter red, but getting a well framed shot with a surreptitious cell phone camera?  It was just not going to make a great quilt.

We remembered  the old mill wheel on the Reems Creek near Lake Louise was recently repainted, and what luck - it has 20 spokes!

I wondered if my photos didn't have just too much going on for a 20x20 inch quilt made in pieces by four people.  I then looked on line and found a really beautiful photo  taken in warmer weather with beautiful greenery in the scene.  My photos just seemed dull after seeing that one, but the photo is labeled "All rights reserved" and by now, I have no time to ask for permission to use.
I staged some photos back at home.  I have two pieces of inherited china, including this plate I thought was "quiltable".  It was probably hand-painted by one of my ancestors, and doesn't have so  much detail to interpret like my other inherited china plate. 

But even on my red chair, it was a yawn for a quilt.

Maybe I could take the plate on a picnic.  After a trip to the grocery store where we picked up a loaf of bread and strawberries to add to the mood, I took this photo in the back yard, with my one piece of inherited china layered on the blue plate ...  Still maybe too much detail for the thumbnail version in the on-line quilt auction.

I whined in an email to Dorry, wondering how I could do my part for this project.  Happily for me she was not too busy with deadlines of her own and got involved.  She read the contest rules and sent a couple of interesting photos, like this next one.

She counted 20 items, and included some subtle 20s - such as the clock which, for a final version, would have been set up to read 8:20,  (If it's 8:20 P.M. that's 20:20 in military time.)  But I figured my four quilting friends would kill me if I gave them this level of detail to do.

I then mentioned to Dorry that Norris had had an idea to depict 20 with the Roman numeral, two X's, and we had looked high and low for that - fences? Railroad crossing signs? The water wheel spokes?  But I hadn't found anything satisfactory.  Within what seemed like minutes of sending that email, Dorry surprised me by taking some photos of her Easter treats on various combinations of plates and mats.  We melded that idea with some from her earlier tries and, on a windy day, she posed her dishes and buns outside.

I printed her photo in four vertical slices and gave them to the quilters last month. Today, I have the four pieces ready to be sewn together and quilted - all four did a great job on their parts, and the details are simply exquisite!

The extra wide seam allowances are causing the large jags in the diagonal lines of the napkin, so I'll wait to take better photos of it when I finish my part. I think it will make a delectable entry and one that someone will be sure to bid on in the auction.


Alice said...

Thank you for all your diligent research! We all enjoyed making our slices and can't wait to see the finished product.

Sherrye said...

such a process. Worth the is great!!

Anna Banana said...

You took your job very seriously! But it has been a fun experience so far and I can't wait to see the slices sewn together and quilted. Our thanks to Dorry... And Norris, too!

Dorry said...

Oh well done whoever got my funky lemon mug to work on! I'll look forward to seeing this finished!

Cindy tedesco said...

I love the thought process and the outcome.