Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Dance of the Dragonflies

You hail from Dream-land, Dragon-fly?
A stranger hither? So am I,
And (sooth to say) I wonder why
We either of us came!

–Agnes M.F.R. Darmesteter, To a Dragon-fly

I have this great big, empty, boring, white wall in my kitchen that I decided needed a little sprucing up. I thought it would be fun to have a seasonal quilt to hang for each month of the year. I put together a list of quilts I'd seen and liked or ideas of things I wanted to do and made them fit into the year. The first quilt I've finished for this little project of mine is called Dance of the Dragonflies {pattern available here}.

I started working on this quilt in June of 2008. I finished it at the end of the summer and took it to be quilted at my favorite LQS. Chantel, their long-arm quilter {who has since moved on to other things} did a seriously amazing job on the quilting. She added antennae to each dragonfly and then quilted a different design into the wings of each color dragonfly {all the red have the same design, all the turquoise have the same design, etc.}. Here is a close-up on one section of four dragonflies. You can see the beautiful job she did {click on the picture to enlarge}.

I got the quilt back from the quilter's in November, but I didn't put the binding on until spring of 2009 – quilt show time :wink:. The first quilt show was a small two-day show, sponsored by the local quilt guild and that favorite LQS of mine, during our city's festival days. There were 50 or 60 quilts in it, displayed during the last two days of the festival. The quilt guild gave out several awards, and during the show people who came in could vote for their favorite quilt. Mine received the most votes :shy: and I was awarded the Viewer's Choice, which came with a pretty purple ribbon and a $25 prize {which was quickly reinvested in the fabric arts}.

I picked the quilt up on Saturday night and the next Monday morning I took it to the next quilt show which was rather larger; sponsored by several quilt shops and a larger quilt guild. There were several different divisions and I entered in the wall hanging division {the obvious choice for a quilt that was made specifically to hang on the wall in my kitchen during the month of June}. There were perhaps a twenty or so other quilts in that division, and again I won the Viewer's Choice award. I got another pretty ribbon and a $15 gift certificate from one of the quilt shop sponsors {I still have that – I'm saving it to put towards machine quilting by the shop owner for my October quilt}. This show was a little bit longer than the last show and the Viewer's Choice awards were given out at the beginning of the last week, so I was able to get a picture of my quilt hanging at the show.

The third show I entered last summer was held at the Springville Museum of Art and is one of their yearly exhibits. The quilts entered are amazing, the competition is pretty stiff and the prizes are much higher. There are usually around 100 quilts in the show, with 20 prizes awarded. I didn't win a prize at this show, but it was really amazing to see my quilt displayed as a work of art in a gallery.

As I mentioned, the quilter, Chantel, did a fabulous job. Her work is what really makes this quilt amazing. Here are a couple of close-ups of some of the details she put into my quilt. This is along one of the borders:

This is in one of the corners:

Because this quilt will hang in the kitchen on the wall right next to the table, I wanted to have some matching place mats {which no one will ever eat off of} to put on the table. I improvised a bit, and had a hard time getting the sizing right for the curved borders along the edges with the small space I had to work in, but I wanted the theme to carry through from the quilt to the place mats. I made six place mats; two with red dragonflies, one with orange, one with turquoise and two with blues. The batik fabric varied in color, so I used the different tones to make each dragonfly a little bit different from the others. Here is the only placemat I have completely finished. I still need to do the hand stitching on the binding for the other five.

When I started the dragonfly quilt, I wasn't sure how I was going to hang my kitchen quilts. I've since decided to put loops across the top of all of them, so I'll need to go back and undo the hand stitching on the binding across the top of the quilt so I can put the loops in. I also need to sew the label on the back and get a pretty quilt hanger to put up on the wall in the kitchen. I'm thinking that if I tie up all the loose ends on the Dragonflies, it can be June year-round in my kitchen while I finish up the other months.


QuiltNut Creations said...

absolutely gorgeous! love the colors and the quilting is fantastic! congrats on the wins!

and the placemats, love them too!

jednoiglec said...

I love these dragonflies!

Barb said...

You are one talented person. That dragonfly quilt is outstanding and I can truly see why you won Viewer's choice. Congrats.

Love the placemats too.

Shay said...

Wow...Love the dragonflies quilt E. And the quilting is amazing. I can see why this quilt has won awards. Fabulous!

Michelle said...

Oh Elizabeth the dragonfly quilt is gorgeous! I can see why it won the Viewer's Choice award. And your placemats are a perfect accessory (however, I'd be too afraid to use them!).

Amber said...

one word: amazing.


Paulette said...

This is just one stunningly beautiful quilt. Love the placemats too. I wouldn't eat on them either!

Jennifer Lovell said...

The colors of your dragonflies just astound me. Why am I always commenting on the color of your projects? I think it's because color is one of the many creative genes that make you and I creative cousins ("creative twins" didn't have the same ring, but that's what I really wanted to say). You are so great with colors.

I love the design/layout too. I'm so glad you won such a good prize with this one!

Anonymous said...

Nice dispatch and this enter helped me alot in my college assignement. Gratefulness you on your information.

Casey said...

what a beautiful quilt!

Unknown said...

Absolutely beautiful! I love dragonflies and would love to try this when I'm a bit more experienced. Is there a paytern to purchase?

Elizabeth said...

Sandra, your e-mail is not attached to your Blogger profile (you are a no-reply blogger), so I don't have a way to contact you, so hopefully you'll see this. The pattern is by Southwind Designs and is available here.

xo -E

carol said...

I'm working on this same quilt, but I want mine queen size, so it's taking a few more blocks. Still not sure if I want to add the 'ribbon' around the border or not. Will decide when I get to that point I guess.

Anonymous said...

Do you sell the pattern?

S Herbert/Wisconsin said...

Dragonflies are probably my favorite flying creature. I admire your beautiful artwork. It is an inspiration for me to try the next step in my quilting experience. Since i am 78, I need to live to be 200 to finish all the projects i want to enjoy.