by Kris Farnsworth, 2017 PresidentFrom the Guild that brought you an improvisational portrait of Woody Guthrie, comes “Good Morning, Tulsa!” — our entirely paper-pieced entry into the scale challenge for QuiltCon 2017!
We were blown away with all the positive attention our “This Quilt is Our Quilt” received during its time on display at QuiltCon 2016 and wanted to push ourselves again this year. The challenge theme of “scale” had us thinking of space, microscopic images of cotton, and tiny flying geese… but the color scheme reminded some in our group of “art deco” — a movement that influenced many of the buildings in downtown Tulsa. So we finally decided to create a paper-pieced version of our city.
The pattern was drafted in Adobe Illustrator, and fabric was generously donated by Brenda Shreve of Red Barn Quilting (brendasredbarn.com). Foundation piecing sheets were printed and then distributed to the 43 quilters who took part in the making of this quilt. Many of our members were new to FPP, so our first sew day featured some instruction. Though many of the pieces are quite small, even those trying paper piecing for the first time were impressed with their progress.
I can’t even imagine how many individual pieces make up the design — and I’d be lying to say there weren’t a few times some thought we had bitten off more than we could chew — but as the blocks started coming in and we started joining them together, it fueled our determination to see the project through.
Our completed top was sent to Guild member, Ann Olson of Ann’s Quilt N’ Stuff (annsquiltnstuff.blogspot.com) to work her magic on the long arm. She free-handed straight lines in the buildings and filled the sky with her signature “graffiti style quilting” (including a tornado or two in the sky).
This project was a great learning experience! Many of our members learned FPP, and those who already knew the process learned to not be afraid of small piecing. Personally, I learned how to draft a paper-piecing pattern — a skill I hope to use again in the future. We had some bumps along the way: mixing up the blue and navy, forgetting to leave the extra ¼” seam allowance, and misplacing a pattern piece or two, but overall it was an enjoyable experience.
We are proud of our work and hope you enjoy this tribute to our beautiful city. We haven’t yet decided who this quilt will be given to, but have discussed a couple of possibilities.