A few months ago I was contacted by Jeanette Pilak, from the Sisters Outdoor Quilt Show, about a new fundraiser that they were planning. It would be a quilt book. An actual book made with quilts! Sounds like a pretty cool idea, huh? She asked if I wanted to make a piece for this book. There would be 12 quilts and they would be displayed in a giant book July 3-8. Folks would be able to bid on them in a silent auction. I was intrigued. The theme of the show this year is Storytellers.
I accepted the challenge and went about working on this quilt which I call Once Upon a Quilt. I wanted to make something that celebrates the history of quiltmaking, celebrates the anonymous quilters themselves, and shows what you can do with old quilts to repurpose them. It all started with the vintage cutter quilt that I've been using on various small projects over the years. I used that as the base for this quilted flower garden.
Then I went on a search for some vintage grandmother's flower garden blocks, yo-yos, and some other old blocks to cut up to use for the animal applique. I tea dyed all the parts and the cutter quilt to bring a sense of history to the grouping and to harmonize the colors. I cut the flower blocks into circles and hand stitched them down. They I added quilting stitches through those layers. The vintage cutter quilt had become quite tender on the back, so I left knots where I sewed things down, knowing I would eventually add another back to the quilt after most of the stitching was completed.
Then I added the birds and the bunny. These were so much fun to do. I used a raw edge technique inspired by the work of Mandy Pattullo in her book, Textile Collage. Lastly, I added a bunch of vintage flower yo-yos, newly made flower yo-yos, and the hand embroidered bees and ladybugs. This whole piece felt like an experiment from beginning to end. I really like how it came out. I added a little bit of hand quilting after putting on the extra backing. The quilt is completely hand stitched except for the first stage of the binding. I hope that it is appreciated by show goers. I probably won't do more projects this big in this style, but I like the animal collage technique in a smaller format and I'm sure I'll do that again someday.
Look for the Storyteller's Book in the courtyard of the Open Door Wine Bar in Sisters, Oregon July 3-8. You can read more about the book in the Show Guide PDF. You'll also find more about the various special exhibits around town on show day. I have 4 quilts in the show this year. Look for them in the following special exhibits:
- 2017 Storyteller's Book- Once Upon a Quilt
- Mountain Meadow Quilters Guild- Log Cabin Quilts- Dancing in the Streets
- SAQA Central Oregon-Pathways- Oglethorpe Square
- The Undercover Quilters- All the Light We Cannot See- For the Watchers and Dreamers
Hope to see you at the show!