by Erika Echols
We were impressed with the variety of solid colors selected from the participating fabric producers. As a group, we loved them all and couldn’t decide on which line to go with. Therefore, we decided to purchase all the fabrics on the MQG list. After we compared the vast differences in color and texture, we decided to integrate as many of these as we could—hoping it might create some unexpected design elements in the quilt.
Next, for inspiration, we considered the final purpose for the quilt—which charity would we select? Would that have an influence on the design? After some debate, and indecision, we arrived at a broader question: What can the charitable organization do with the proceeds from this quilt? We decided that regardless of the type of critter, person, place, or space charity we eventually give this quilt to, they should, at a basic level, provide opportunity. They can open doors or close doors, offering people, animals, or the environment alternative solutions, options, safe zones, or education. This became our central theme.
Our group of diverse-thinking quilters first created two doors each, then two more each. We reminded each other about ‘modern’ ideas. We had lively design board concept discussions about the use of negative space, color, and composition. Some in the group had strong opinions about color: some for grey, some for gold. We compromised by using both as our “background” fabric. We tested each other with different ideas. We returned to the theme for the composition, this time considering the path one can take leading to a charity, or the path after a charity’s influence.
During the design process a member offered the Emerson quote, Be an opener of doors, which felt natural and complimentary to the theme. This offered an opportunity to integrate paper pieced letters to the background, and the opportunity to use another quilting technique.
Individually we were motivated and inspired by participating in, and supporting, the MQG International Show, collaborating with friends, trying “modern” ideas, and offering a modern quilt to a charitable organization in our community.