By Andrea Berryhill, President
Last year the Modern Quilt Guild threw out a challenge for the 2016 charity quilts to be displayed in Pasadena. The challenge required participants to “work collaboratively to create completed quilts using a predetermined color palette and improv with intent.” Several members of the Denver Metro guild know a thing or two about improv, so we were eager to accept the challenge!
The first step in our process was to choose a theme around which to construct our quilt so that it would still be cohesive. The theme that was settled on was “Trust.” Specifically, how does trust come into play when making a collaborative quilt?
We trusted the MQG in their choice of colors, which included several neutrals and a few primary colors. Participants were then instructed to make an improvisational block using the neutral colors for their negative space and a simple four-sided shape with the black color trusting that there would be more direction to come. The third step was to put the pieced blocks into a bag, mix them up and draw out new blocks. Those blocks could then be altered using small amounts of the secondary colors using improvisation, curved piecing, slice and insert or whatever moved the maker, trusting the process while working together. Finally, the blocks were laid out with the intention of creating a focal point and some visual interest and movement through the use of the secondary colors and quilting. I think the result is a stunning success!
An interesting point to make is that many of these blocks were turned on their corners in order to create the movement of the smaller secondary colored curves. It was like putting together a puzzle for which there was no picture. There are a lot of Y-seams in this baby!
Let’s face it, improv can be intimidating for a lot of us quilters. We tend to like order, and lines, and rulers! However, when you quilt with intention, basing your ideas off of a set of guidelines it takes some of the intimidation off the table and turns out to be a lot of fun. We loved seeing how all the blocks, as different as they were, still fit together (in our minds) perfectly! We’re not sure yet where we’ll be donating our quilt, but we hope that it makes the recipient smile.
The women of the Denver Metro Modern Quilt Guild would like to give the following members thanks for their participation: Andrea Berryhill, Alaina Marler, Marsha Loewenberg, Chelsea O’Hayre, Katie Rapp, Shelby Skumanich, Rosalynda Turner, Amy Wade, and Emily Voytek. We would like to especially thank Stephanie Ruyle for trusting us with an amazing design concept and working on final construction, Wendy Bermingham and Christine Perrigo for the many hours of assembly, creating the back and the amazing quilting, Susan Sanstistevan for heading up the committee and Judy Sanclaria for binding the quilt. What a beautiful collaboration!