Monday, August 29, 2005

The Sound of Quilting

That's what you could hear coming from my studio today, in more ways than one.

For the last few years, I've been in charge of the challenges for my quilt guild. It's a great guild position, by the pick a challenge theme, announce it at a few meetings and in the newsletter, and you're good to go.

For this year's challenge, I wanted to find a theme that wasn't trite or overdone or boring. I wanted something that would appeal to the traditional quilters in the guild, as well as to the art quilters. I solicited ideas, consulted with friends, and came up with this theme: The Sound of Quilting. The challenge is to make a quilt (smallish, no larger than 36 x 36 inches) inspired by a noise or a sound.

It seemed like a good idea at the time. I figured I'd be full of ideas.

I mulled. I pondered. I thought about the theme each night as I tried to go to sleep, and each time I came to the same conclusion.

Who the hell came up with this stupid idea, anyway?

I can't beg off -- it's my challenge idea, after all. And it's due to be shown, completely finished of course, at the meeting on September 15.

For awhile I was going to illustrate the sound of a cat's purr. Well, I liked the idea of illustrating a cat's purr. The problem was, I couldn't settle on any image that actually portrayed the sound. I kept thinking I'd try to do the image of a cat rubbing up against someone's legs. But I'm not that confident in the drawing department, and I couldn't find an image that I wanted to work from, not for lack of trying. (I can't even tell you how many books on cats I've looked through at area bookstores, and children's books, even.)

A few weeks ago, on a very hot afternoon, I was out in the backyard running the sprinkler both to water the flowers and to entertain the puppy. I laid back on the lounge chair while Gemma ran back and forth through the sprinkler, and as I was relaxing and enjoying the cooling sound of the sprinkler on such a hot day, it hit me: that was THE SOUND.

Today was the first chance I've had to work on this project. And I'm off to a good start, if I do say so myself! Here it is so far:

Water droplets to come! I'm playing around with silk organza to fuse, and with an irridescent white thread... we'll see what happens next!

Funny, I can't seem to stop humming..."The hills are alive....."


  1. I hear the summer night sounds when I see this picture-- I thought your safety pins were lightening bugs! Great illustration of a sound.

  2. I love it! We have the kind of sprinkler that goes: spurt, spurt, spurt, spurt, spurt, whirrrrrrrrr

    Can't wait to see more.

  3. Love it!! Can't wait to see it finshed!!