by Tammy JohoThere are some things the world should know about Vermonters. One, we’re a hardy bunch (have you seen our winters?), second, we have a great sense of humor, and lastly, our sense of community is enormous. Each of these traits played a part in choosing our quilt design.
At first, someone jokingly suggested that we submit a quilt consisting of one large half-square triangle. There were a lot of laughs and some nods in agreement. But when our resident quilt designer Dona presented us with an array of designs to choose from, we rolled up our sleeves and chose the
design with seemingly infinite tiny half-square triangles. Unbeknownst to us however, Dona’s design included some 485 tiny HST’s, behind our mountain logo. Despite that, we knew this was the perfect design to represent our Green Mountain guild. We knew that creating those squares and appliquéing
the mountains would encourage us to practice some new techniques too. Dona even arranged for a guest speaker to present on half-square triangles so that we could be consistent as a group, while sewing independently at home.
Our process was fairly straightforward. Dona graciously sourced and prepared the gray and pink background fabrics for us. I’m not sure how long that took, but I imagine it felt like eternity! All of these tiny squares were then packaged for members to take home and transform into half-square triangles. While we hold our meetings in Burlington, some members drive 1-2 hours each month to attend, so planning group sew-ins isn’t very easy. This way, we can each work at our own pace at home, and then bring back completed squares ready for the next step.
At this stage, we organized a sewing get together to make sure things were put together properly! About 10 of us got together in mid-October to piece the background, and one of the reasons I love our guild is that we always have a good time when we’re together. We brought coffee and snacks and spent an enjoyable morning sewing. We approached our task with assembly-line mentality; a few sewed squares together, one person pressed seams, one sewed rows together, and those who didn’t have specific tasks made pillowcases for donation. Oh, and we all ate cookies. I’d say that this was
definitely our favorite part of the challenge!
Dona took this partial-quilt home to add the lake pieces and mountains. Her husband Nick, (our first male guild member!), is a longarm quilter and he took on the quilting. We went for a modern approach; with clouds in the sky and waves on the lake. We don’t currently have a final destination for our quilt. There’s been interest in entering the quilt into some local shows, and then either donating it or holding a raffle and then donating the proceeds. One thing we want to share is that we decided unanimously to refer to projects like this as “community” quilts. Recipients are still an important part of our community, and each piece takes a community to create, so we felt it better reflected the intentions of these projects.