Quilt 12 - 2021 ' "Quid Pro Quo--Freedom´s Not Completely Free" '
Having started to move towards a less geometric and more pictorial style with "Clottie" I wanted to take the idea in a slightly different direction. When the Asociacion Española de Patchwork proposed the theme of "soy libre" (I am free) for their then upcoming annual competition I immediately dusted off an idea I had had many years ago of having rays of different coloured light emanating from Liberty´s torch.
As so often with my quilts, ombre fabrics were going to be the key for this project too. It was fortunate that some years ago I had had the foresight to build up a good stash of my favourite ombre, Pointillist Palette 2 which came out in 2014, when I saw that it was getting scarce. I then pixelated an image of the Statue of Liberty and set to work.
As a further development, whilst still remaining faithful to the idea of weaving which has served me so well since 2015, I decided to eliminate the turned edge strips of fused fabric from the equation. I have to admit that I was reluctant to allow raw edges into my quilt but felt that the huge reduction in weight and stiffness which would result would be worth the "sacrilege" ! I also hoped that the undulations created by later quilting would be far more visible if the "top" were that much more pliable.
I cut 0.75 x 1.5 cm pieces of fabric on the diagonal to reduce the risk of fraying and, starting at the top, simply stuck them one by one onto a single sheet of interfacing in such a way that I would later be able to lift them up when I needed to slip a new piece partially underneath. The key was to have them tacky but not stuck fast. I am not aware of anyone having done this and have dubbed the process "false weaving". I still have vertical columns and horizontal rows. It is just that the component pieces of those columns and rows are neither sewn nor stuck together.
When it came to the quilting, I used a walking foot for everything except the hearts and made sure that the threads blended in with the fabric. I wanted people to see the peaks and troughs created by the quilting without being distracted by the stitches themselves. I used the direction of these quilted lines to accentuate the scattering of the rays, the verticality of the statue itself and the horizontal nature of the words.
Some nine months and 30,000 little squares later "Freedom´s Not Completely Free" was ready to be exhibited. I am delighted to say that it has just won the Covid-delayed Spanish Patchwork Competition, held finally this year in Madrid.
Click thumbnails on the right to enlarge
'The Accidental Quilter'
The Quilts Of Peter Hayward