Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Til Death Do Us Part Quilt - Guest Post

Hi! I'm Trisha Frankland aka Quiltchicken (www.quiltchicken.com), and Marcia asked me today to guest blog about my quilt 'Til Death Do Us Part.

This quilt is 95" x 100" and was free-hand custom quilted by Marcia Wachuta. The quilt is based on the Metro Rings pattern using the Quick Curve Ruler by Sew Kind of Wonderful, but I extensively changed and improvised to make this quilt design unique and personal.

I began this quilt in May 2013 when Maddie Kertay of the Bad Ass Quilters Society (www.badassquilterssociety.com) announced there would be a special BAQS exhibit at the AQS show in Chattanooga in September 2014.

I knew I wanted to make something special to enter in the exhibit, and I took a bit to think on what the BAQS mission means to me. Maddie began the BAQS as an online counterpoint to all the mean attitudes and spiteful venom sometimes found in quilting - the appliquers don't like the piecers, the moderns want to distance themselves from the traditionalists, and everybody gets weird about the art quilts. 

You can go to the BAQS website and read the official manifesto, but essentially to me it boils down to this: Follow whatever muse calls, and we'll cheer you on.
In creating this quilt, I threw traditional convention out the window and instead focused on what my heart wanted. Where traditionally a wedding ring quilt is bright and light, this one is grungy and rock 'n' roll.

The asymmetry and interrupted rhythm are meant to stop you in your tracks, to make the viewer slow down to look closer and investigate the carefully chosen themes. Nearly every fabric holds meaning to me - including the dozens of skull fabrics I've been hoarding since I began quilting in 2000 - and many others incorporate symbols of my marriage, career, and personal interests. I'm a 8.5 year ovarian cancer survivor, and several of the teal fabrics are from Blank Fabric's ovarian cancer awareness line.

At every opportunity, I did NOT what a judge or another quilter would want - I did what made me laugh, what tested my skills, and what would make me proud in the end. It's very liberating to make a quilt that way - and then also a little scary to put it out there in the world when it reveals so much about you!

I sent Marcia several sample rings to test quilt before we tackled the final piece. She worked out several concepts for the ring  s, a handful of accent ideas, and multiple options for the background areas. Ultimately, nearly every one of Marcia's ideas were implemented in the final quilting - we used those shifts and changes to complement the piecing's intentional anomalies.

We tried different batting layers too.  We selected two layers. The bottom layer, 80/20 batting and poly batting as the top layer.

Marcia and I completed the quilt in June 2014, and I submitted photos for the exhibit. Ultimately, there were enough quilts entered that a second BAQS show was added to the AQS Des Moines show, too.

A view of the labels and the back side of the quilt.

My quilt did get juried in and was assigned to the Chattanooga show. I took a week's vacation to go and see my quilt hanging there.

I was already bursting with pride, but you'll just have to imagine my reaction when I discovered that the AQS used my quilt's image on the exhibit poster and in the show guide!! (There are not enough exclamation points in the world for that sentence.)

The whole experience has been so positive for me. I had a wonderful time explaining my vision to show attendees, I got to meet several other quilters with BAQS quilts. The quilt got a lot of attention and support, and my feet hardly touched the ground all week.

I'm ready to put this quilt in more shows, and I'm ready to make more quilts that make my heart happy. 

Because isn't that really what it's about - making something that makes us happy?

aka Quiltchicken (www.quiltchicken.com)


VickiT said...

Congratulations Trisha! How exciting for all you wrote about your quilt and being in the show guide as well. Your quilt is awesome, and Marcia did a great job with her quilting.

Marcia does an amazing job with her quilting. I had her do my first big quilt a few years ago and she did a wonderful job on mine also.

Sandy D said...

What an amazing quilt and story behind this quilt.Congratulations

Unknown said...

It's an amazing quilt, just like the amazing broad who created it :)

erin said...

I LOVE THIS QUILT!!! congratulations Trisha and awesome job on the quilting as usual, Marcia. WOW!!!

Karaquilts said...

What a wonderful and creative quilt made by a fun and fantastic woman! So glad I could meet you AND your quilt in Chattanooga. I can't wait to see your next discovery. And thank you for sharing Marcia with the rest of us who may need her participation in the future.

Vroomans' Quilts said...

Congratulations - Trisha and Marcia. What a colaboration and work from the heart.

krislovesfabric said...

Congratulations to you both, this is a gorgeous quilt and wonderful quilting!

Farm Quilter said...

Congratulations!!! Beautiful quilt and quilting - I love the unexpected in your quilt!!

The Inside Stori said...

From a former Cheesehead (who will ALWAYS be a Cheesehead at heart).....I love EVERYTHING about this quilt!!!!

garnet said...

Thank you for sharing everything about creating your quilt and your experience at the show. It was great to see so many pictures with so much detail about the design and quilting. Congratulations!