Friday, October 22, 2021

Welcoming Lamp

I've been working on a very special quilt  for a while now, and I'm happy to share it with you today. This is Welcoming Lamp.......

There's quite a story behind this one, so get yourself a cup of tea and settle in. 

Several months ago, through the wonders of the internet (instagram and Zoom) I met Karen Bolan, a gifted modern quilter from California. Karen and I quickly realized we had several shared passions, the biggest being a passion for inclusive community and a love of collaboration. Both of us enjoy sharing lectures on collaboration with guilds. We began meeting via zoom to talk about different ways we could work together. Basically, we wanted to collaborate on our collaboration lectures. These zoom meetings were filled with rich discussions on community in quilting and both of us had quite a few light bulb moments along the way!

Pretty quickly we knew we wanted to work on a collaborative quilt together. Karen and I decided to set basic parameters (size, colors, inspiration theme) and then each work with a group separately to create half of the quilt.

Our inspiration became The New Colossus,  Emma Lazarus' poem which is printed at the base of the Statue of Liberty. We talked a lot about creating a welcoming space for refugees and others who are oppressed. 

For my half of the quilt, I met with my friends Chris and Susan at a day retreat center nearby. I asked Chris and Susan because I knew the three of us each had different skills to contribute and that we would work well together. Chris has a great eye for color and is fearless when it comes to improv! Susan is a true artist and her design skills are something I often tap into. We worked as a team to design and piece our half of the quilt. We really got into a groove and it came together in a day.
Chris working at the design wall.

Chris, Susan and I with our finished top

 Our design thoughts..... the gold "sun" is the crown on the statue, and the gold slab is her torch. The strip piecing at the bottom represents oppression; prison bars, or the wall at the border... or perhaps refugees in a  long row leaving their homelands. The bright blues in the "sky" represent hope for the future.
I took our pieced top home, quilted it and added faced bindings. If you look closely at the bottom you might see something you don't ordinarily see on a quilt. It's half of a separating zipper tucked into the facing! Karen and I wanted a way to both attach and separate our quilts so they could be displayed as one quilt or two.

Here you can see the zipper with our two quilts zipped together:

Karen's half of the quilt came together very differently than mine! She had quilters each make one block representing a line from the poem, then she assembled them together. You can read all about her process over on her blog.

I encourage you to find ways to collaborate in the quilting community if you haven't already!


Maria said...

I really enjoyed the story on how/why the top of the quilt your quilt was created..
Clever ladies…
Will pop over and read have Karen’s half was done.

Debbie said...

What a wonderfully rich 'quilt story!' I like seeing the last photo as it helps with scale. Heading off to hear about Karen's half now.