So, one of the things I'm learning about blogging, is it takes up time. And I am the kind of person who struggles with doing something that takes time from things I want to be doing. So, now, as I make this post, I'm wishing I was working on the thing that I am posting about, and not just blogging about it. Ah, the perils of virtuality. I just made up that word. Look, if Shakespeare could do it, so can I.
Voila. The 2009 People's Light & Theatre Auction Quilt (top).
Every year since 2000 I have donated a "hand crafted" quilt to People's Light, my artistic home. In 2000, the quilt sold for $12,500. It was one of the proudest and most shocking moments of my life. Every year, the quilt is featured in the fund raising event, so much so that I don't even have to have it finished, or conceived even, before auction date. Now, PL&T auctions off the "promise" of one of my quilts and, although they've never fetched quite the ridiculous amount it did in 2000 (that was before 9/11, remember), it is a much anticipated moment. Go figure. All monies from the auction benefit the People's Light Project Discovery programs, which brings theater and its processes to thousands of students yearly. This is a program I've worked in extensively, and believe in wholly, and am eternally grateful to for shaping my approach to theater, and thus, my love and life.
Back to the quilt. This year, it's a Bargello pattern, one I've used before, and, like every year, I use remnants of fabrics used in the costumes from productions from the current season.
A couple of previous years' auction quilts:
This used calicos from the production of SPLITTIN' THE RAFT, a 4 character telling of the Huck Finn story, so there were some great 19th century vintage fabrics. I think this was my favorite. It was hard to give it away, but the winners are dear friends, so I know it is well-loved.
This is more typical auction quilt style. I like how the stars almost twinkle.
So: the Bargello is fun because the design emerges out of precise ordering of pieces and a kind of mathematical system. It appeals to my love of geometry, and beauty unfolding out of pattern.
Strips of different widths await their turn in the pattern. I manage the unpredictability of the fabrics (these are mostly silks and they shed and fray terribly) by keeping them uber-organized. I learned (too late for this year's project) from the awesome lady at my new favorite fabric store in Narberth, Cloth and Bobbin, that using very lightweight fusible interfacing before cutting the strips make fancy fabrics much more manageable.
It's funny. Putting the strips together doesn't really pay off until they are all connected. It starts off looking very blocky and formulaic and I wondered if I hadn't made a terrible mistake in the pattern and choice of colors. They don't really talk to each other and move together until it is complete.
Cool, huh? I know, the colors are whacked from different lighting, but it really is the same quilt.
I like the trippy picture because it really captures how this very precise, strict patterning ends up creating so much movement when completed.
Then just add some borders and off we go.
It really is quite luscious, even if completely unusable. I guess some quilts just get to live the lazy life and their only job is hanging on some wall and looking pretty. It doesn't appeal to my pragmatic nature, but there you have it.
Sometimes beauty is just, well, Beauty.