By Amy Aderman (Membership Committee Co-chair), Jonelle Archibald (Chair) and Ken Broussard (member)
Our Mod Squad is a modern quilting interest group comprised of individual members of the Modern Quilt Guild. We are all members of Quilters’ Guild Acadienne, a 25-year-old traditional guild. We saw this challenge as an opportunity to expose our traditional quilters to the world of modern quilting. We invited all guild members to participate. Quilters of all levels, most of whom were new to modern quilting, accepted. With little or no knowledge of how to begin, we began.
As a group, we watched the webinar, “Improv with Intent,” browsed galleries of modern quilts, and discussed how traditional concepts, techniques, and designs can be adapted for modern quilting. Since most of us were modern quilting newbies, we decided to collaborate by sharing ideas, teaching and learning from others. Our number-one priority was for our collaboration to be a fun, social learning process. Working alongside intermediate and advanced quilters, novices soaked up tips, techniques and confidence. They shared their own knowledge as well, and everyone grew from this exciting collaboration.
The webinar, inspirational photos and state maps led to a brainstorming session for determining our intent. We decided that we would represent various aspects of our beautiful state, and then connect them all with the winding river. We started with a very rough sketch of the concept. At each sewing session thereafter, team members used his or her imagination to create landmarks, memories, and representational pieces in both abstract and realistic designs. The prescribed color palette, at first a challenge, soon became a source of fun and whimsy, spurring our imaginations.
When you view our quilt, visualize the scenes along the Mississippi and its tributaries. Can you find rice fields, crawfish ponds, a shrimp boat and an oil rig? Can you feel the joie de vivre in the vibrant rhythm of jazz and zydeco? Our state flower, bird, tree, and insect each have a place. The tranquility of the rural areas and the energy of the urban scenes flow around each other as one might discover Louisiana.
Whether you’ve lived in Louisiana your whole life, are a transplant from somewhere else, or even a visitor, you can’t help but be inspired. Just as threads bind the various pieces of a quilt together, the mighty Mississippi is a source of energy stitching together all aspects of our lives: connecting, enriching, sustaining, feeding, and binding us all.
The Charity Quilt Challenge has stirred the pot within our guild, challenging traditional members — both novices and experts — to taste a genre perhaps unfamiliar to them. We’ve added spice to our pot and a new flavor to our already-rich gumbo.
Mod Squad Charity Quilt Challenge Members (listed alphabetically)
Amy Aderman, Beth Andrepont, Jonelle Archibald, Kenneth Broussard, Nadine Cain, Linda Ducotey, Judy Garber, Beth Glass, Stella Guidry, Marty Mason, Diane Redfearn, and Polly Stacks.