Since 2007 the NorCal/Nevada Region of Studio Art Quilt Associates has held a Whisper Challenge, based on the childhood game where you whisper a message in someone’s ear. That person repeats the message in the next person’s ear, and so on. The final message is usually quite different from the original. This meeting where the quilts are revealed is well attended because the outcomes are always entertaining, and sometimes funny, poignant or surprising.
In our quilt version of the whisper game for 2012, the first person in each of 5 groups made a quilt inspired by the following photograph taken by Deb Cashatt while in Hong Kong. Deb organized the challenge and created a slideshow of the quilts.
The second person made a quilt inspired by the first person’s quilt. The challenge continues in this manner until everyone has completed a quilt. Only the first person in each group has seen the photograph.
I was the last person in my group to make a quilt. My predecessor’s quilt had a delightful wintry scene with a squirrel on a barren tree, carrying a suitcase with a summer hat, seeming to have a conversation with a blue jay. I was stuck and just didn’t know what to do with that.
I mulled over the image for awhile, and finally decided to write down words that pertained to her image and use that as my inspiration. I wrote down words like bird, squirrel, barren, winter, cold, wind, etc. And I created this:
I hope you can see her influence in my quilt: I tried to give the impression of a blustery winter day, cold and barren, but with a promise of spring to come. I used my handy dandy RollNRuler to make the center oval and used Superior Threads Kimono white silk thread and Aurifil blue cotton thread, with beading in the snowflakes and on the grid.
I used silk dupioni front and back, taking care to make the back attractive also. I actually had a lot of fun making it and tried to include a feeling of whimsy also.
I did have to mark the grid, the large diamond surround and the background hill. The rest of the piece was free hand free motion work.
You must go to the SAQA Regional Blog to see the slideshow of the quilts in my Group 3-you won’t believe how this group of quilts evolved from the original photo! You can also see the work of the other 4 groups there. It’s an incredible group of quilts and I know you will enjoy the show!