01 August, 2012

"Rhapsody in Bloom"

"Rhapsody in Bloom"  90" x 100"
As I have mentioned previously, numerous times...,  I am a member of the Umpqua Valley Quilters' Guild.  I call myself so very fortunate to belong to such a talented and inspiring group of women.

Each year we make a quilt to raffle off at our annual Quilt Show, which always occurs on the third week-end in April, right here in the Burg.  I have participated in the making of our yearly raffle quilt in some manner since I joined the guild in 2008.

It goes like this.  We form a committee.  I was a member this year as well as last year. The committee decides on the quilt design.  Committee members each bring photos of quilts that they like, then we somehow manage to combine elements from many inspiration photos to come up with an original design. We choose the fabrics, then set about getting the quilt made.  Kits are put together by committee members, then the kits are checked out and completed by guild members.  The returned kits are then sewn together to make a stupendous quilt! Sounds easy, right?  But really, putting a quilt together that has been sewn by many hands (with minutely different seam allowances...) is no easy feat. Each year, I am astounded and amazed that we are able to make such a beautiful quilt with so many hands involved.

                                      Detail of Center Hand Appliqué Center Panel
The central hand appliqué panel was designed by our Committee Chair, Doris K.  Honestly, I just want to be in her presence, breathe the same air that she breathes, stand as close to her as I can in hopes of absorbing just a smidge of her knowledge, design sense and talent.  Doris does not dictate what the quilt is to be, but rather, let's it, and our committee, find it's own way.  That is not to say that she does not have a vision... but the quilt is always evolving as it comes together.  The whole process is so inspiring, and has taught me to be more fluid and flexible in my own design process.  

Detail of Beading Highlights and Quilting
Oh,... and I have learned new techniques.  I have done hand appliqué since the mid '70's and it is one of my most favorite techniques to do.  But Doris showed me how to do Needle Turn Appliqué, a technique that is much, much easier than the method that I have been using all of these years.  I am SO hooked and can't wait to do something spectacular with needle turn appliqué.   

The custom machine quilting was beautifully done by Corinne W., who tailored the quilting designs to our quilt and changed thread colors MANY times. We are still working at adding the detail beading.  We will begin selling raffle tickets at the Douglas County Fair beginning next week.  Ticket sales will continue through early April, when we will award this quilt at our annual Quilt Show to whomever purchased the winning ticket.  

I'll be buying lots and lots of tickets. Fingers crossed that I am the lucky winner!


Friday, August 10th.  - I spent the afternoon at the County Fair at our Guild Table, selling raffle tickets  for this quilt.  Fair-goers loved our quilt and asked many questions about how it came to be. It was my pleasure to tell them just how we put such a quilt together.  What I dearly love is that people want to talk to us about their family quilts.  One lovely couple, who had been to our table on Tuesday, came back and brought in their photo album of quilts made by the gentleman's mother.  All were so very beautiful.  Crazily, it turns out that they were from the very same area in NW Arkansas that my father was from. He recognized my family surnames and I recognized his.  Our family members had most certainly crossed paths! How crazy is that? 

Disney had it right.  It's a small world, after all....

1 comment:

  1. Tomorrow I'll go out and buy a blindfold - your eye candy is causing me major sugar highs.

    You are incredibly creative - what a blessing.

    Thank you SO much for sharing your feast.