One day in March I spent a number of hours trying to come up with a suitable image that could be made into a quilt. This was at the suggestion of my friend Cheryl in NC who had a small group of quilters who had asked her to lead them in making what we'll call a "slice" quilt. The idea is that you take an image and cut it into a number of pieces (to make things easier, equal sized pieces) and give each slice of your image to one participant. They are required to reproduce that portion of the image. Then each fabric slice is seamed together, quilted and finished and, hopefully, you will come up with a reasonable reproduction of the original image.
In the quilt world it is always necessary to be sure you are not using a copyrighted image/pattern. For this reason we decided an original photograph was needed.
The ladies wanted to make a slice quilt and enter it into a challenge created by the Quilt Alliance (Alliance for American Quilts). This is the twentieth anniversary year for the Quilt Alliance so they asked for quilts to be made to celebrate the number twenty and that the finished quilts should measure 20" x 20". All the quilts entered would become the property of the Alliance and will be auctioned later in 2013 as a fundraiser.
I had a lot of fun rummaging through my cupboards looking for well colored pieces to use in a photo.This was the (unedited) image that was used (we cut off the untidy portion of my backyard).
The traditional gift for a 20th anniversary is china, hence the china teapot, mug and plate. It being just prior to Easter my eyes fell on the hotcross buns sitting on the kitchen counter and I suddenly had a lightbulb moment - 20 in roman numerals is XX so if I angled the buns just so I would have my XX. Yellow and blue always look good together and my lemon pig mug added a touch of whimsy.
I sent the image to Cheryl who got it printed and then she cut it up and distributed it to Ann, Alice, Susan and Christina. The ladies, who had not seen the entire photo, quickly set to work cutting and stitching their fabric to make their individual portion. When they were done the slices were returned to Cheryl who seamed them together and then quilted the piece. Alice took care of binding the finished quilt and submitting it, along with the written work to the Alliance.
Then I forgot all about it.
Imagine my utter surprise when I answered the phone on Wednesday afternoon to hear a very excited Cheryl tell me that our quilt, Time for Tea, had been awarded the Grand Prize. I'm not sure I even realized that there would be judging and prize winners; I just thought it was a fun challenge and I like to do group projects and since this was to be a fundraiser for the Quilt Alliance that made it even more worthwhile to participate.
Now, if I have piqued your interest, you can go here (click on the word "here" - it should be a live link - let me know if it does not work) and see all ninety entries. You'll find our quilt at #19. From that page you can click and go to other pages which will show you the winners. And if you (left) click on each individual quilt picture it will bring up details about that quilt.
The quilts will go on a short tour and then will be available for an online auction beginning in November.
Do browse around the Quilt Alliance web page as they are doing very important work in recording the history of quilts. Consider joining the Alliance and/or bidding on one of the fun little quilts that were made in response to the TWENTY challenge.
And maybe feel inspired to sometime enter such a challenge yourself - it's not about the winning it's about the way you stretch yourself creatively. We can all learn from each other and have fun with our quilts at the same time.