Monday, April 30, 2012

Sher's Challenge Quilt

My piece is serendipitous for several reasons. I have been wanting to do a small art quilt for my dad's apartment. He was just 86 last week, lives in the Quad Cities (on the border between IA and IL), and he's lost much of his sight due to macular degeneration. The Quad Cities (he lives in Davenport, IA) hosts the Bix Biederbeck Jazz Festival each summer along the Mississippi waterfront. It's a hot, but great music festival and 7 mile run. Where it runs through Davenport is the only location along this major river that the Mississippi runs east to west; everywhere else it flows from north to south.

So I rescaled a map of the Quad Cities' boundaries and the river as a pattern and used the orange dyed fabric to represent the summer heat and sun, the colors to show the liveliness of the music. It is bright enough for him to see even if he can't make out all the detail. I did some metallic thread hand-quilting on the orange. Also used fused and mostly raw edge piecing. I didn't really like the way the small white strips look; they represent all the bridge locations, but it's done and he'll like it.


  1. I know where Davenport is! Nine of my growing-up years were spent in Keokuk, just down the river from Davenport, but I did not know that the Mississippi ran east to west there. Very clever interpretation of serendipity! And there is a strong hot jazz feel to it with all the multiple-sized shapes in the borders and that wonderful orange background fabric. Having lived near the Mississippi, I know how important bridges are and they could also be a reference to all the strong rhythmic beats that make up good jazz.

  2. Your dad gets a lovely present for sure ! Do you know the work of Valerie Goodwin? Your quilt reminded me instantly of the maps she does. I love your color choices, and the bridges add to the modern feel of your work.

  3. A nice gift for your dad for sure! It tends to remind me of the connectors in the brain! And synapses for some reason..........but I see the convergence of the rivers here........very interesting.....and the bridges........ Very nice interpretation and creativity.

  4. Sher,

    I love the way you've translated this theme visually! And...the 12 by 12 group are revealing their "Map" themed quilts today! How's that for serendipity?!