Sunday, June 22, 2014

Show + Tell :: From the Outside Looking In + From the Inside Looking Out

June 22 2014,

My latest creations.

Title: From the Outside Looking In
Dimension: 69" x 69"
Materials: Front - Robert Kaufman Solid Kona Cotton
Materials: Back - Batik cotton fabric
Quilted by: Timna Tarr

Progression of the above quilt:
Part 0 :: All Dolled Up And No Where to Go
Part 1 :: The Beginning... Of A Quilt
Part 2 :: The Beginning... Of A Quilt (Part 2)
Part 3 :: The Beginning... Of A Quilt (Part 3)
Part 4 :: The Beginning... Of A Quilt (Part 4)

Back of "From the Outside Looking In"

Detail of "From the Outside Looking In"

Title: From the Inside Looking Out
Dimension: 70" x 70"
Materials: Front - Batik cotton fabric
Materials: Back - Robert Kaufman Solid Kona Cotton
Quilted by: Timna Tarr

Back of "From the Inside Looking Out"

Detail of "From the Inside Looking Out"

Progression of the above quilt:
Part 1 :: The Beginning... Of Another Quilt (Part 1)
Part 2 :: The Beginning... Of Another Quilt (Part 2)
Part 3 :: The Beginning... Of Another Quilt (Part 3)

This quilt started brewing on February 2nd, 2014 when I was watching a PBS documentary call “The Amish”. The Seattle Seahawks and the Denver Broncos were playing NFL Super Bowl XLVIII. I had no interest, so I decided to watch the documentary. A friend of ours in the summer of 2013 mentioned that their family would go to Amish country for the summer, and I told my husband that it would be exciting to go visit Pennsylvania Dutch. After researching places to visit, we decided to postpone it to early spring so that it would coincide with the American Quilter’s Society Lancaster Quilt show (note that the trip never happened due to work related issues).
As I watched the documentary, at one point, there were two boys sitting at the back of a wagon looking directly at the camera, and the camera back at them. This made me wonder how it feels to be in a fish bowl, having people thump through your back yard in millions, to be more precise, ten million.1 Most of the adults tend to ignore the camera and pretended as if the crew were not there. I guess they must be use to the gawks and stares from travelers. I could not imagine living in a community where people were continuously looking at me.
The front of the first quilt, “From the Outside Looking In” is the traditional Amish center diamond block which portrays a non-Amish (or English) person  peering into the lives of Amish living. The back of the quilt is what an Amish person would interpret as modern living - a world that is busy and full of noise.
The front of the second quilt, “From the Inside Looking Out” is the opposite, where it’s from the viewpoint of an Amish person peering out into the English world.
Yes, it's deep even for me - but I think it's pretty cool.
Now that you know how it all started, let me take you on a journey through my thought process.
So the first thing I did was open excel and block out or "sketch out" what I wanted the quilt to look like. I also did measurements so that I could roughly figure out how much yardage I needed. Let me re-emphasize "rough". I suck at math - so I always give myself extra fabric - which can sometimes yield to 1/2 - 2 yards of extra fabric. I say, it's better safe than sorry.

Next I drew it on a piece of paper and calculated how many yardage I needed and brought it with me to the fabric store. Note the final measurements - I messed up somewhere. Yes it was suppose to be 70" x 70" but along the way, I forgot the add the seam allowances. By the time I realized this, it was too late, and I carried on an "Oh Well" attitude, who's going to know except for the "quilt police" (look up "quilt police" if you have no idea what I'm talking about).

So that's the process for the Amish looking side. Oh, and the yellow and dark blue colors is an homage to my father-in-law who's alma mater is the University of Michigan.
For the modern looking side - there was really no sketch. The closest thing to a sketch is below. As you can see, I think I deviated from it a little bit.

For those of you who think there is a master plan to all this, believe me there is none. It starts out with an idea - and it just continues and continues until it is done.
These two quilts were further emphasized by the beautiful quilting done by Timna Tarr. I expressed to her my concept of the quilt being two-sided and Amish versus modern. She ran with the idea and further emphasized the concept with the quilting. Without her quilting, this quilt would have been boring. Her quilting makes this quilt.
Quilt & Bitch

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