Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Monumental Quilts!

OQP # 2010-02-078, “SuperSymmetry” 2010, by Wendy Hill - made for Lucas Hill

The Oregon Quilt Project returned to Sisters last week for a three-day quilt documentation, and the event was a huge success - in more ways than one! 

During our first documentation last April in Sisters, we had one physical data recording table. This time, we had more space with two data recording tables, located next door to the Sisters Outdoor Quilt Show Office. Having two data recording tables quickened the pace at the photography station, but luckily, there was still time to interact with the quilt makers and owners. They told many wonderful stories. 

As the quilts started to arrive, we all noticed a deluge of monumental scale quilts. Several exceeded 100 inches in length, and some were so large the quilt stand touched the ceiling while the quilts swept forward touching the floor. It was absolutely jaw-dropping.

OQP # 2010-02-038, “Millennium Y2K Quilt” 2010, by Anna Marie Bates.
One of the largest quilts was a “Millennium Y2K Triple Irish Chain” (pictured right) with 2000 pieces of fabric including signed patches collected from around the world. The scale was considerable, but the cultural significance was even greater. One signed square came from Kuwait. Others came from Australia, Canada and Switzerland. The quilt offered a hopeful statement about connecting people around the globe at a pivotal time in history, and that’s what made it so monumental.

Another stunning example in the parade of enormous quilts arrived on our third day of documentations. “SuperSymmetry” 2010, by Wendy Hill (pictured top) really knocked my socks off! The quilt was made for Hill’s son, Lucas. That’s one lucky lad! 

When we were hanging the quilt for pictures, Hill’s mastery of color was immediately apparent. I commented on it, because she accomplished something that isn’t easy. As we continued to observe the quilt, dazzling, three-dimensional optical illusions started to rise from the surface. I asked Hill about the source of the block pattern, and she said she’d just made it up. Again, my jaw was on the floor.

OQP # 2010-02-078, “SuperSymmetry” 2010, by Wendy Hill (reverse side)

The reverse side (pictured left) featured a center panel with a large scale, contemporary bird and botanical print with an Asian feeling, and borders on both sides with a multicolored bar print. It was amazing!

During the three days in Sisters, the Oregon Quilt Project documented nearly 100 quilts, and I took almost 1200 pictures! Many thanks to all the local volunteers and core documentation team members for a job well done. Special thanks to all the participants who brought such magnificent quilts and so many great stories. We look forward to our next documentation day in Sisters during Quilt Show weekend!

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