Tuesday, May 24, 2022

A Challenge Story

Here's a story for you - my quilts all seem to have stories behind them. This is a picture of the couch I said the mystery quilt I just mended goes with. Not a very good photo of the upholstery which really does have more green in it but it's the pattern that's important here. It was the inspiration for a quilt I made for a local quilt show challenge when I was living in Brodhead, WI. The theme of the challenge was Seminole, and I'd pondered ever since we'd gotten this couch about replicating that pattern in a quilt. But how to piece something so intricate? I hadn't been seriously quilting all that long, hadn't built up a large arsenal of techniques, and sat at the kitchen table with paper and pencil trying to work it out, about to give up.

And then my husband walked by, paused to observe, then said as he continued on by, "Naw, you'll never be able to work it out." Well, that was the goading I needed (as he well knew as well as he knew that I COULD figure it out) - challenge on! I used the challenge fabric in that center motif, a packet of gradated green Cherrywood Handdyes, and a few other fabrics from my stash. Not quite sure how I managed the math working out the strips that I did piece using Seminole piecing but I obviously did. It's not an exact replica but captures most of the upholstery design.

Look at those tiny pieces!

But that center motif - I just could see how it could be pieced using a Seminole piecing method. Instead, I used a modified version of Cynthia England's freezer paper template piecing method. There's even one template I missed removing - you can hear it crinkle when you press your finger on that place. I haven't had this quilt hanging in the livingroom for years though I've thought of it often, wanting it sharing space with the couch. I've finally dug it out to hang in the spot where I rotate quilts in and out. So wonderful to still love a piece this old (1996) and marvel at how I did it. I'm losing my patience for such fiddly work!

9 comments:

Anonymous said...

That quilt is exquisite! I'm so impressed by both your design process & execution of such an intricate pattern! I did have to laugh...we have that same sofa in our guest apartment (circa 1995)! Jan in WY

Sherrie Spangler said...

I love, love, love this quilt!!! Thanks for showing it, even though it is from 1996.

Michele Matucheski said...

Nicely done! You have such a large body of work now, it's good to go back and revisit some earlier pieces.

Chris said...

It’s always good to look back. I think we forget all the things we have accomplished and think we haven’t done much. Looking back shows the truth of what we have really done. Great piece of work. So many angles and tiny pieces. It’s almost overwhelming.

The Idaho Beauty said...

Oh Jan, you do NOT! Mission style? I did not want to admit how old this couch is but yes, we probably bought it along with matching mission style coffee table, end tables and sofa table probably in 96 as well. I remember looking through all the upholstery options because I wasn't too sure about this one on the display model but nothing else appealed. It has served me well over the years and I've never been inclined to replace it, just don't care for the oversized sink into oblivion styles that are on offer, everything really too big anyway for the small space I live in. Goodness, what else will we discover we have in common? lol

The Idaho Beauty said...

Sherrie, thanks! And if I remember correctly, this was the quilt that put me on Judi's radar and eventually got us together.

The Idaho Beauty said...

Michele and Chris, thanks, and it is indeed good to pull out the older quilts - I honestly am so amazed by them sometimes. And yes, Michele, I really have built up a body of work, not exactly cohesive, but a true record of my creative journey.

The Inside Stori said...

It’s wonderful…..and I’ve never seen it before…….love seeing our connection Brodhead, WI……if not for that we may never have met!

The Idaho Beauty said...

Very true, Mary. I have Judi to thank for being so persistent about getting you and me together, just like she did with Sherrie and me. It always impressed me the way she wanted to share her friends. She introduced me to quite a few textile artists.