Quilt 8 - 2017 'Steering By The Stars'
The starting point for this quilt was the traditional "Mariner´s Compass" pattern but fairly early on in the design process a couple of extra cardinal points somehow sneaked themselves into the central shape and so I ended up with what you see now.
Once one has developed a distinctive style it is sometimes difficult to strike a balance between being faithful to that style and being repetitive. I wanted to use the same Pointillist Palette ombre fabric collection as I had done in "Lone Star Explores Space", the same juxtaposition of contrasting colours, the same op-art inspired use of colour gradation and black "patches" to achieve a 3-D effect and the same technique of interwoven strips of fused fabric for the construction of the quilt itself. But I needed the result to look suitably different and innovative, so I incorporated a couple of new tricks.
The first of these was the use of one, and in places two, layers of tulle sewn on top of some areas to help the eye to see more depth and changes of direction in the underlying geometric shapes and whilst this made the whole thing a bit more bulky I am happy with the result. The other evolution for me was the use of more machine quilting, most notably the coloured concentric circles which I hoped would enhance the impression that the six bright stars are orbiting the centre.
One further change was a partial departure from my original purist concept of only using turned edges. The black strips of the outer hexagons have raw edges and no interlining. The truth is that I had "cheated" a little bit in this way with the tiniest black strips in "Lone Star Explores Space" and having felt that I had got away with it I decided to try it again in a more major way. In the event I am very glad I did as it is a far quicker process but even so the quilt took me over a year to make.
I am delighted to report that this quilt has just been awarded " Best in Show" at the 2018 Spanish Patchwork Festival in Sitges. If it gets accepted it will be going to Houston in the autumn. Fingers crossed !
STOP PRESS: I have just got back from Houston and am proud to be able to report that "Steering by the Stars" was awarded second place in its category and then, just as the show was closing, it was also awarded the viewers´choice prize, just as "Lone Star Explores Space" had been in 2016. I cannot express what a great feeling it is when the viewing public feel strongly enough to vote for your quilt when there are so many fantastic works of art in the show. A BIG than you to all of those who voted.