Sunday, June 11, 2006

Zigzag stitching through the Eegeehood!

It may not come as a surprise to some that I think in pictures, quite often. I'm fairly right brain dominated, according to the tests! (Only 3 of 18 questions I answered were left brain answers, or something like that). Anyway, all that is a lead up to (not only everyone taking the test.... it's fun!) but to saying that while preparing the tour I sometimes see the Eegeehood as an actual street, and sometimes as a carnival, other times as a garden - today I see the Eegeehood as a quilt.

Some quilts are just quilts... lovely to look at, to be sure, but they are pretty much just coordinated pieces of fabric sewn together in a pattern. The ones that fascinate me, though, are the ones where each panel or piece of fabric tells a story or holds some significance for the quilter. Old fabric, new fabric, odd shapes, all held together more or less by the strength of the threads... some pieces needing greater care and finer stitching, due to the fragility of the fabric, other pieces of a heavier weight that provide a support for the surrounding panels, or act as borders. Or maybe where the entire thing, put together, sends a message (maybe).

So, I hope no one has crooked seams this Sunday, cuz we're on our way to see what the quilt pieces are up to today!

First up, a velvety midnight black panel, appliqued with colors both brilliant and soft... faerie snow white, golds, dusky rose fading into the palest pink and in the middle a lovely bug!

Then there is the denim panel... deceptively simple, until you look closer at all the interlocking and intersecting threads, and you realize that in the still attached pocket is still another story.

[UPDATE! A NEW PIECE!] This next panel is a bit more complicated. Turn it one way and you have a hedgehog somehow sitting on a balloon. Look from the opposite direction and it's a beautiful arrangement of exotic flowers. Look again and it's a bird of prey. Turn it around and it's a baby tapir blinking at you innocently. Definitely an accomplished quilter here! (and nekkid people too!

Soft, sturdy flannel (US flannel, not UK flannel, which is apparently a washcloth). And buttons! Lots of them... big ones, little ones, whimsical ones, commemorative ones - all different shapes, too. Each one from a different garment, old and new, memories of a life.

[MORE UPDATE! AND MORE PIECES!] Don't ask me why, but this panel has trains on it. Is there anything about trains there? noooo. Not even a hoot. (Or is it toot?) But still... trains it is. Maybe an old time caboose crisscrossed with a new speed train, and of course tracks sewn all around and through it.

Winding, interlocking rings fill this panel. All made up of tiny patterned pieces within the pattern, one leading right into the other, so there is continous movement and color, and always new, depending on which pattern you focus on each time.

You don't often see quilt panels made of leather! (note: no cows were harmed in this tour. or ostriches.) Soft, tanned leather to be sure... resilient and versatile, large and small studs anchoring the edges and in the center sewn a jumble of small flags and snippets of memory fabric.

[UPDATE SOME MORE!] Starbursts! (Or is it sunbursts?) Whichever, they are bright and lively and always look like they are reaching or pointing to good stuff. Sometimes the rays are wavy, sometimes straight and other times a mixture of each, both short and long. Oh, and sometimes you'll find a surprise in there! (link fixed)

At first, this next panel looks a little unusual. Made up of many tidbits of memory fabric, the ones you know are the oldest pieces are bright, colorful full patterns. Towards the middle the pieces fade and the patterns are difficult to see... but then you get to the still being completed portion, with the new fabric again bright and colorful, with new bold and difficult to dismiss designs, and you just can't wait to see how it turns out.

It's not that no one's ever thought of making a quilt panel out of smoke or mist, it's just that it's somewhat difficult to do. This is not to say the panel is not solid and sturdy... it is. Sometimes even quite sharp, although I wouldn't want to be the one who had to describe what sharp mist was like (so I won't!).

[UPDATE AND THE FINAL PIECES!] Tumbling music notes and toe prints border this panel, with the center filled with interwoven streamers in various colors, dark and light, a few feathering over the border while others neatly form a pattern in the middle.

Of course we have to have the kaleidoscope panel. Pictures within pictures, patterns that lend themselves to the eye and depend on the viewer to figure out what the quilter meant by them. Sometimes it's quite a mystery!

Lots of little pieces in this one, some connected to others, some in patterns in themselves... circles and squares, triangles and unformed shapes together filling the panel.

And our last (but of course not least) piece... the one you are standing on! It's okay to look down, you'll see we all fit on it. A fascinating center... deep blues and golds and reds and lions, strong threads that are constantly replenishing themselves, with each pass gaining strength and gathering incoming threads and fabrics to add to the panel. The edges are not neat and squared off... instead, parts of all the above quilt panels overlap along the borders, creating yet another mosaic pattern that is a picture in itself.

All done! (maybe... if I've missed anyone, please let me know. We are growing but my brain is not!)

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