Monday, May 27, 2013

Capturing a Story in a Quilt

I recently got back a few pieces that had been hanging in my Grandma's apartment and thought it would be fun to share one of them. I made this back in 2002 for a challenge put on my Quilting Arts magazine. I can't even tell you anymore what the theme of the Challenge was, but I do remember that I had to send in a slide of my project, which seems so archaic now! 

My piece, which measures about 14" square, is a collage of all my favorite memories from my high school church youth group. 

When I created this piece, I'd been sewing for quite a while but had only made three quilts, all fairly traditional. I pretty much made this up as I went along. I definitely appreciate how far I've come, technique-wise, since I made this, but it still makes me happy to look at!

Here are some close-ups and some descriptions of what's going on in the piece:

Our youth group took summer trips, mixing service and camping, each summer. Here you see a mountain (we took trips to Wyoming and Colorado, as well as Tennessee and Michigan while I was in the group), a campfire, and whitewater rafting. The paintbrush represents a service trip where we painted a school's gym, and I have it "painting" the river. (Yes, I was into beading at that point too!)

A favorite game of the group was Capture the Flag. Here's the flag represented here.

We had a softball team, and we held a spaghetti dinner as a fundraiser each year. (I was also playing with multimedia at the time, and the fork is Tyvek painted silver and hit with a heat gun to make it shrivel.) The ice cream cone: a local custard shop, Kopp's, was our weekly hangout. I still go there every time I'm in town--delicious!

 Another fundraiser were homemade sub sandwiches sold after the church services. This was the 3-D part of my block! I stuffed each piece and then sewed them together.

The church itself is probably my favorite part of the piece. I pieced tiny strips of different reds/burgundies to fashion the brick and then added some embroidery stitching for mortar. To the left, you'll see a bus (how we traveled on the summer trips), and an outhouse and green tent (both from the camping). The bucket and hose represent car washes, another fund raiser.

More current sewing project posts to come this week, but I thought this was fun to share, and I'm on vacation, so not much sewing is going on at this actual moment!