Whisper Challenge Quilt-SAQA

I participated in the year-long Studio Art Quilt Associates Whisper Challenge and since the “reveal” happened last month, I can now post photos of my challenge quilt.

Our Whisper Challenge starts with a photo and each team member is assigned a month. The January person makes a quilt inspired by the original photo and then sends a photo of just her quilt to the February person. It goes on down the line and by the time it gets to even the third person, it usually bears little resemblance to the original photo. This is the quilt that started it out, made by Noelle Tamborini-Olson. I think the original photo was of a farmer’s market, with heaps of fruits and vegetables on tables. I did not see this quilt when I was making my quilt.I was the March artist and received this photo from Miss February, Priscilla Read. I had no idea what to do with it and I pondered my choices for about 3 weeks before I forged ahead. I decided to use words that described her image as my inspiration, so I worked with “abundance”, “healthy” and “gluttony” (the pig). I know those words don’t normally coexist in the same reference but that was my very first reaction as well as my studied reaction, so I went with it. You may think that my quilt has absolutely nothing to do with Priscilla’s at first glance, but it actually was totally inspired by her quilt. I noticed lots of vegetables in her novelty fabrics around the border, so I chose “eggplant” silk for my background. My background quilting motif is “bouncing bananas” and the “pea pods” from her quilt are the spine for my feathers. The motif on the urn is the “blossom end of the eggplant” surrounded by “bubbles” of water. The overflowing urn reminds me of Priscilla’s overflowing pig bowl.

The curves in the border-uh-have nothing to do with the Priscilla’s quilt.

Of course now in retrospect as I see the previous quilts, I see that I took it in a completely different direction! I probably left the April person scratching her head…This is the back. I had fun trying out a new technique that I have had in my mind for awhile. The quilt is actually two whole cloth quilts atop each other: one of the sheer and the other of the eggplant colored silk. I started with 2 layers of poly organza and placed the quilt sandwich of silk atop it. Then I satin stitched the two together and very carefully cut away the silk quilt sandwich along the satin stitch, leaving a sheer border.I used Superior King Tut variegated cotton thread for the feathers and urn, and Superior Kimono Silk thread for the rest of the main body. I used King Tut again in the borders.I learned from a previous piece that if I don’t spray baste the two sheer layers together they shift and rumple. I found it exceptionally difficult to photograph and get the right color for both the sheer and the silk so you will see color variations in my photos. I “cut” the edges of the sheer poly with a wood burning tool.Design is my biggest challenge and I am not particularly pleased with the design of this piece but I had fun and tried some new things. I missed the Challenge Reveal so I can’t show you the next quilt behind me and what she did with hers.Coincidentally I was visiting a friend who had this glorious flower blooming in his side yard. I have no idea what it is but it positively glows!


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