Monday, April 04, 2011
Mothers of the Orphans: Into the Light
Last September I went to a class at Midsomer Quilting by Lisa Walton who was teaching her crystalisation technique. I was supposed to be making a quilt that looked like her class sample, as shown below - namely a kind of bulls eye pattern with changing values in a square ring. As you can see, I got to making a tiny bit of the internal square and got rebellious!
Now, this technique is the one Lisa and Nic Bridges used on their award winning Bushfire Sunset Quilt (which I have had on my sofa!) and which is beautifully lomg arm quilted by Nic. Whilst this quilt will always owe a debt to Lisa, I wanted to make it my own in some way and not just an alternative version of her work. So I hand stitched it. For months. And months. It is just finished now.
There was a point when I hated it and doubted if it was worth continuing but Diane Hock, who had seen it at retreat encouraged me and gave me vaulable advice about blocking and now I like it.
It is called Mothers of the Orphans: Into the Light because having started with the yellow I realised I had a sun. I had African fabrics with me and started to think as I made it what that could be all about. We hear a lot about the AIDS orphans so I thought it was time to commemorate the mothers and so the quilt depicts three mothers approaching the light that some people say appears as death happens. Which is why the figures are ghostly. I know I know - not really a happy quilt topic, but that's what it said to me it was and there was no arguing with it.
I think being a quilt which was cobbled together on the hoof with no original plan, it suffers a little from that. I also put some organza patches on thinking I was being clever and playing with light and shade. What I was actually doing was sticking organza patches on and they, on reflection, add little. They may even take something away, but hey, that a lesson learned. But I love the handsewing on the tiny patches and will be tempted to make some more in this series. Just don't expect them to appear quickly!
The quilt is now lovingly packaged in a box and will shortly be on its way to the Quilts and Embroidery show in Utoxeter which takes place on 14th 15th and 16th March at the Racecourse.