Project Modern has been a huge success and we hope that you’ve enjoyed taking part in the challenges. We’re down to the end of things with the winners of Challenge 4!
In this challenge of Project Modern, The Modern Quilt Guild challenged quilters to “find your own voice.” You can see all of the entries in this flickr group. (Just join the group to see all the photos.) Our judge for Challenge 4, Denyse Schmidt, loved a lot of the quilts that were entered and really struggled to pick three winners! She said “In general, I really loved how thoughtfully each quilter approached the challenge. I look forward to seeing more work from these talented and dedicated quilt makers. Thank you for the opportunity to see such great work!” Thanks so much to Denyse for the time she took to do the judging!
And now… the winners are:
Challenge winner #1: Heather Jones
Denyse said: This quilt is beautiful and striking in it’s clear simplicity and strong execution. The translation of the idea/inspiration into a quilted medium feels spot on, and every choice the quilter has made – from palette, to structure, and quilting – supports this clear vision and intention. I’d love to see the back!
This quilt was inspired by a large metal silo at a farm that is about ten miles from my house. I’m sure I’ve seen that silo hundreds of times before, but one day a couple of months ago I saw something new in it as we drove by. Luckily my husband was at the wheel, so I grabbed my sketchbook and drew out a quick plan. There was just something about the linear repetition of the grooves of steel, and the grid that each tier of metal makes, that caught my eye. This quilt is my interpretation of it.
For this project I used three solid colors of woven cotton: cream, pale blue, and a warm gray. I really liked how the colors worked together, and the combination reminded me of how the silo looks at dusk, when the entire structure seems to glow in the setting sun. The large and small pieced rectangles are made up of bands of cream and blue, and the thin gray strips represent the grid work. I used cream for the binding so that it would not interfere with the design of the quilt top.
While the design of front of the quilt is very regular and structured, the back was designed entirely improvisationally. I used some leftover sections of the blocks from the front and added some scraps and bits of fabrics, and I pieced them all together with more cream fabric.
The quilt measures 64” x 67”. It is heavily quilted with horizontal straight lines to repeat the design of the front, as well as the grooves of metal on the silo.
I feel like this quilt is truly a reflection of my voice as a modern quilter. I’m often inspired by everyday places and things that most of us wouldn’t even notice, and I’m always excited by the challenge to translate that inspiration into my work.
Challenge winner #2: Ramona Burke
Denyse said: I have to admit I have never been a fan of the traditional Cathedral Window pattern, but this quilt proves how a well-executed idea and skillful use of color can transcend pre-conceived prejudices. The loose thread ends and random hand-stitching on the surface of a pattern that typically is fastidiously tidy first caught my eye. The beautiful use of color and “light” made it clear what this pattern was always intended to do. I love the combination/juxtaposition of a pattern that requires such diligence and skill, and the intention of exposing the process. The visual results are beautiful.
This quilt IS and has always been, a challenge. It started as the Kona Solids challenge, and then when I finished it, and my husband LOVED it, (but not the size, at 55″ x 70″), I was challenged to double the size. I have always wanted to make a Cathedral Windows quilt, but being an athiest, I don’t spend much time in cathedrals… I tried to think of windows that inspire me, and I thought of all the amazing stained glass windows at my alma mater, Yale. My freshman year roommate was a Yale tour guide, so I soaked up much of the history of the school and it’s architecture… One of the coolest (or strangest) stories about the buildings at Yale, particularly the 7 original residential colleges, is that although they look centuries old, they were built in the 1930s, and artificially aged.
Acid was poured down the walls to color the limestone, roof shingles were chipped away by hand, window panes were shattered and soldered back together in the shapes of Ys…
I decided to make a faux vintage Yale windows quilt… oodles (37 yards of Kona Espresso worth. 487 total?) of folded brown squares (the wood of the window frames), colors cut up (and bits of espresso inserted, often in the shape of a Y), sewn both by machine (various colors of blue and green) and by hand (all the white). Some color groupings are missing squares (like the empty niches at Yale that were never actually filled), while others have a substitute. I wanted to make sure people could tell the “aging” was intentional, so I pulled all the threads to the right side, so the back is clean and neat.
I’m not sure what the biggest challenge was: working with the weight; all the hand-sewing; all the folding and ironing of all those little squares; or just the sheer size (110″ x 70″); but I love love love love love this quilt (which is like a bed scarf on my bed, and I love it every day). It has been washed multiple times, and each time I make sure all the threads are still on the right side.
Challenge winner #3: Andrew Montejo
Denyse said: There are a lot of things I love about this quilt. I love the quilting pattern (feels like a moving blanket), especially in red on grey. I love how the quilter contained his/her beautiful, chaotic experiments in the expanses of neutral grey. It produces a quilt with rich detail, yet an overall feeling of spareness – and I love that juxtaposition. I like also how the quilter has found a way to answer their likes and dislikes, and solve problems. And I like Neutral Milk Hotel!
Name: Two Headed Boy (named after the song by Neutral Milk Hotel)
Reason: Every quilt that I have ever made was for someone else. This quilt is for me.
Design: I like lines and empty spaces, but I also enjoy experimenting. In addition I love quilts that are completely two sided.
Inspiration: She broke up with me.
Style: I like making 10 inch blocks that are mini pieces of art. I also get bored of making the same block over.
Function: I’m terrible at making my bed and I need a quilt that will easily look good.
Detail: Some of the same fabrics lines are used on both sides just in different color shades.
The winner of the drawing prize package is Megan Norrell!
AND FINALLY – it’s time to get to the winner of the Janome Horizon!
Congrats to all of the winners and thanks to each and every one of the entrants of all four of the challenges of Project Modern! You made it such a hugely successful year of making modern quilts!