My book/quilt group, The Undercover Quilters, was just beginning last fall when we chose our first book to interpret in cloth. It was The Good Good Pig, by Sy Montgomery. The subtitle is, "the extraordinary life of christopher hogwood". While this true story centers around an amazing pig who was allowed to live out a full life, the other characters are fascinating too. Of our 12 members, 11 chose to make a quilt based on the book. Today, the group of quilts was featured in a special exhibit at the Mt. Bachelor Quilters Guild show. Our group is full of talented and creative artists. When we get together, once a month, it's always a fun time filled with delicious food, laughter and lots of great ideas.
"The Ladies" by me. In the book the Ladies were described thus, "The Ladies looked like a small flock of cheerful nuns- if nuns had crimson combs and orange eyes and scaly yellow feet. With industry and precision, the Ladies pecked at bugs and seeds around the barnyard, stole scraps from Christopher’s bowl when he wasn’t looking, and generally kept the pig company when Howard and I were in the house writing." My Ladies are a bit more flamboyant than the description, but colorful ladies came to mind and so wouldn’t ladies have purses, hats and pearls?
"In a Pig's Eye- view from Pig Plateau" by Martha. Martha finished her quilt yesterday! This was amazing as it wasn't even layered when we saw it on Thursday evening!
"The Ladies" by Susan. Susan did a take off on Freddy Moran's chickens. Her chicken wire fabric is just fantastic!
"The Apple Tree" by Cindy. Cindy "cavemanned" her strips to create the curved piecing. It was so much fun to see this quilt evolve over time. Her quilt comes from a quote in the book, "And that was how I spent the afternoon: lying beside someone I loved, watching the clouds and the dragonflies and the sun streaming through the leaves of the apple tree." ("Someone I loved" refers to Christopher.)
"Christopher raids a garden" by Sally. Sally left evidence of Christopher and The Ladies leaving the garden.
"Where's Christopher?" by Betty. Betty chose to show Christopher on one of his many journeys around the neighborhood in search of food. He was famous for trampling gardens.
"Oh there you are, I've been looking for you" by Erin. There's lots of beautiful hand stitching on this one. Christopher is depicted in wool here.
"What is Beer but Liquid Grain" by Janelle. Christopher loved to drink beer. Janelle got permission from Sy Montgomery to use an actual photo of Christopher to work from. In the original photo he was drinking a Schlitz, but one of our local brewers creates Black Butte Porter, Janelle's favorite. She got permission from the Deschutes Brewery to use their label in this quilt. There is so much thread painting on this one- it's amazing!
"No onions, lemons, oranges or tomatoes thank you!" by Sandie. Christopher ate most everything, but did have an aversion to these four items which are placed out in the four corners of the quilt.
"The Good Good Pig" by Wanda. This quilt is amazing for it's attention to detail. First of all, it's a book. You can't see them here, but the bottom has layers of fabric like pages of a book (complete with book mark). The title is at the top (doesn't show well in this photo, but it's at the top of this post). The image of Christopher is from a real photo of him. Wanda created it with tiny little squares of fabric- mosaic style.
The Ladies and Tess, the border collie, feature too.
Surrounding Christopher's head are many words and phrases referring to pigs.
There is also an amazing variety of selvages with words that apply to the book.
"A good good pig goes to heaven" by Jane. This quilt depicts the endless buckets of slops that the community brought to help feed Christopher. He dined on everything (save the dislikes mentioned above). Jane says she always imagined her quilt with Christopher ascending to heaven with all the slops a pig could want.
At our monthly meetings, members would bring their quilts to show progress, invite discussion, get ideas and help with design issues. Many members tried new techniques on their quilts. We traded feedback and supplies. Having a theme to build our quilts upon has been wonderful. In the intervening 10 months we read and discussed many other books. Last fall we had a crazy idea to create a quilt every 3-4 months. We quickly realized that wasn't feasible and have it down to 1 a year, just right for a group of busy women. We are ready to pick our next book and I can assure you the coming year will be just as much fun as the last!