Textile Connections

These quilts were the result of a two year project of pieced block challenges. Each quilter was given a monthly pattern and color “menu” to use to complete the block. At the end of the first year, the collected block sets were chosen in a wild free for all by each member to complete into a full quilt.

The challenge for each of us was to stretch the designs of the quilts to new interpretations of the pattern, with the addition of special sets, embellishments, and personal design elements.

As each member worked on her quilt, the group contributed ideas and encouragement. We learned to listen to our own intuition, while staying open to the group input. Working on blocks made by each member of the group was both challenging and frustrating, but ultimately proved to be a true connection of both the textiles and our friendship.

The quilts premiered at the Mendocino College Gallery in 2002, right after completion. They have been shown as a special exhibit at Pacific International Quilt Festival, 2003, International Quilt Festival, Chicago, 2004, and American Quilters Society, Paducah, 2004. Several of the quilts have been entered in the group quilt category at the International Quilt Festival, Houston, 2004.

african quiltI chose these African blocks from our year long guild project because of my trip to South Africa in February 2002. I decided to tell the story of our visit to LeSotho, the mountain kingdom, and to the Manyaleti Game Reserve bordering Kruger National Park. The mountains, villages, people, and animals I saw had the color and vibrant life needed to set off these joyous African fabric blocks. I used my photos for inspiration, and Quilts on Safari by Jenny Williamson and Pat Parker. Ann Horton designed the block.