The Undercover Quilters :: 5th Anniversary Celebration

Undercover Quilters (1)Glass Beads by Jane Davis, inspired by The Glassblower of Murano by Marina Fiorato.  Jane made some wonderful blown glass beads and placed them on velvet for an elegant quilt. 

The Undercover Quilters is a quilting book club based in Bend, OR.  We have 12 members, and the only rule is You Must Not Quit!.  We read and discuss a book each month.  Every year we choose one book from the past year to inspire quilts.  Some past books have been:

Members don't have to read the book or even make a quilt.  This year we sifted through all of the books we've read since the beginning of the group, leaving out those that had already been done or none of us liked.  We still had about 30 choices so everyone got something they liked.  Only 8 of us made quilts this year mostly due to life changes for the others.  This group of quilts is as varied as the makers themselves.  Enjoy!

**Click the photos to enlarge

Undercover Quilters (2)The Zookeeper's Wife by Sally Black, inspired by The Zookeeper's Wife by Diane Ackerman.  Sally has been doing some fabulous work with portraits.  Her leaves are 3 dimensional, bringing the viewer right into the scene.

Undercover Quilters (5)The Help by Susan Mondry, inspired by The Help by Kathryn Stockett.  Susan's piece has some important symbolism that needs an explanation. Susan writes, "I wanted to integrate the friendships that developed in the book with all of the women of various color.  I used hand dyed skin tone fabrics and wanted to represent the women growing closer as they worked on the book together, thus the size of the pieces getting smaller as they move to the center.  The friendships in the book were so unique and special, as are the friendships of the women of The Undercover Quilters."  Pretty special, isn't it?

Undercover Quilters (9)Benny & Shrimp:: Like Chalk and Cheese by Kristin Shields, inspired by Benny & Shrimp by Katarina Mazetti.  This title needs a little explanation.  The story is about Farmer Benny and City Girl Shrimp.  As it says in the book, they are as alike as "chalk and cheese", meaning NOT AT ALL!  My quilt depicts the Swedish winter, the deliniation between rural and city life, and the sense of time passing.  Throughout the book, they both consider their biological clocks and how they are ticking away in their mid-thirties.  

Undercover Quilters (12)Heartbeats by Betty Gientke, inspired by The Art of Hearing Heartbeats by Jan-Philipp Sendker.  Betty's quilt is made with sumptuous silk fabrics and depicts many hearts beating.

Undercover Quilters (14)Wild by Wanda Barkhurst, inspired by Wild by Cheryl Strayed.  Wanda has created many different paper pieced animals and other sights that the author saw on her trek on the Pacific Crest Trail.  

Undercover Quilters (18)The Empress by Cindy O'Neal, inspired by The Twentieth Wife by Indu Sundaresan.  Cindy has developed a real talent for faces.  On this piece she writes, "I struggled initially with deciding on a color for the face and finally decided to use all of them, focusing more on value rather than color.  I love the results!"

Undercover Quilters (21)The River by the Bay by Martha Sanders, inspired by Olive Kitteridge by Elizabeth Strout.  Martha has become well known for her 3 dimensional quilts and this is no exception!  Martha writes, "In the last story, Olive and Jack find friendship and a new beginning.  Here, Olive and Jack sit at the river by the bay.  It's a cloudy, windy day, somewhat like their lives have been."  Martha used watercolor pencils to draw the image of the figures.  Then she took it a step further and copied the image onto fabric.  The print is on the front of the quilt (enhanced with thread painting) and the original is on the back and serves as the quilt label.

 August 2014 Quilt Reveal (20)This 5th anniversary finds The Undercover Quilters in a stage of development that is much farther along than we might have been without this group.  We have all tried countless new techniques, developed lasting friendships and created some wonderful exhibits.  It's been a fantastic 5 years, with many more to come!  This last photo was taken at our group quilt reveal in early August.  Susan's quilt was the perfect opportunity for a group photo of a different kind.  If any of my readers is curious about starting a book/quilt group or is part of one, I'd love to hear from you in the comments.  

PS: I discovered while writing this post that many of the other quilt exhibits have never been posted about here on the blog.  That's something I plan to remedy.  I will take care of that in the coming weeks.  It's going to be a very busy early fall, but I will try to post at least every week about all that's going on.