Today I want to talk about my quilt "Ha, The Breath of Life". Not only did it take 2nd place at MQS in the Theme category, but it has deep personal meaning to me. The easiest way to explain it is by giving you the show description.
Ha, The Breath of Life
The ancient Polynesians believed that Ha, or The Breath of Life, was the passing of wisdom and spirit from one generation to the next. It is signified by the sharing of breath, the source of all life.
My passion for quilting has come down thru the generations, from my Great-Great Grandmother thru to me. I am now passing this family tradition down to my own granddaughter. Because my family and friends have always been my biggest supporters, I have collected photos of them giving Ha, The Breath of Life, to their next generations.
In keeping with this passing down of breath or wisdom thru generations, I have used Hand-Woven Burmese silks. The artists of Burma have passed their time honored skill of hand weaving silk from generation to generation.
I choose to create a quilt with swirls of color and my favorite quilting motifs because I believe our pasts, presents and futures are intertwined making us each connected, yet unique.
How's that for a description?
I had taken this picture of my husband and Great-Grandson a few years ago. I knew that one day I would build a quilt around it. When MQS announced the 2016 Theme - Threads of Time - I knew instantly what I was going to do.
First I dug into my stash of Burmese silk I started collecting also a couple years ago. I was so prepared for this quilt, just didn't know it! The bottom roll is Burmese silks, the top fabric I added for more color variety.
Then I started collecting pictures of family and friends giving Ha to their grandchildren. I printed these on fabric and hand appliqued them on to the Silk. A 4x8 sheet of foam board in my living room and many hours of piecing later, I had a quilt top. Then the fun began!
In BeBe, not quite straight or flat, but I'm now chanting "You can quilt that out" in my head. I used only Glide thread by Fil-Tec with mostly Magna-Glide bobbins. I wound bobbins with matching Glide thread if there was no matching Pre-wound. I used Fil-Tec's Monopoly thread to stitch-in-the-ditch every seam with NO THREAD BREAKAGE! Glide in my Gammill Classic+ always gives me great tension, and believe me, I check often on my show quilts!
Each Silk has 1 or 2 pictures and all are quilted differently. Hearts in the center for Bob, the love of my life, and our first Great-Grandchild. Creating all the different motifs gave me the opportunity to express my creativity (or so I'm thinking!).
See all those little circles? Over 800! all quilted continuously using The Pebbler Ruler by Dusty Farrell from Country Stitchin'
Next came all the background filler pieces. Each color is quilted differently. Bobbin and safety pen are placed for size perspective.
Couching black yarn over all my seams adds a definite finishing touch!
And Now,................ 242 hours of quilting later.......
Ha, The Breath of Life
The back is solid black fabric. I use the same color bobbin thread as the top thread.
More pics of the back, just because I like it!
Hanging at MQS Cedar Rapids. Viewers tied the curtains back to see the back, and it hung this way thru out the whole show!
This quilt was an amazing journey for me, from collecting pictures and fabrics, thru design, piecing and quilting. I hope you enjoyed viewing my journey as much as have I sharing it.