Wednesday, 1 August 2018

The Endeavourers Challenge: Spiral

It's reveal day on the Endeavourer's blog, the results of our latest challenge: Spiral.  I've written about the ideas I had and rejected, and why I chose the one I made for my project over there, so pop over to have a read if you like.  In this blog post, I thought I'd talk about the way I made my piece and some of the construction issues I had!

Didn't make this one but will for myself some day!  The first lines of some of my favourite books!

I had an idea of a quilt in two halves inspired by a Jonathon Haidt TED Talk about what liberals and conservatives and concerned with.  I decided a yin/yang style spiral could be fun, as both are needed to balance the world, but elongated it as the extremes in politics we see from both left and right can cause more harm than good and a circular yin/yang felt wrong. 

My paper pattern blown up to use as a template for cutting my spirals.

I chose shot cottons as I've had these on hand for ages and in a variety of subtle colours that I thought would work well together for an improv background.

I should have starched the living daylights out of them as there is a bit of give in them and improv cutting exposing bias gave me a few problems in getting a flat and square finished quilt.  Lesson learned!

I used freezer paper to make my spiral shapes and pressed carefully to keep flat.  It didn't quite have the impact I was going for and blended a bit too much.

So I thought outlining in white bias tape might give a bit of pop!

I added a cream centre, to represent people coming into the wold as knowing nothing and gravitating to a political position, with time and experience.  Most of us are in the centre with some moving along the arms of left and right!

In the background of the arms I quilted loops.

Spirals in the centre pieces, including a Celtic tri-spiral!

And text in the background to represent the values conservatives and liberals have like Fairness, Equality, Authority, Purity, In-Group/Community and I also added in the names we call each other like Snowflake and all things *ist.

Because of all the bias, what I thought I had trimmed square became a little wonky when bound. 

I entered it for the Irish Quilter's Showcase and it was shown in the Limerick School of Art and Design by Paula Rafferty last month.  Thanks to Paula for accepting my piece and showing a great collection of quilts on the theme of "Culture".

It was a challenge in the making as well as in the thinking and I am very glad to have tried it and pushed my skill levels a bit.  I would have liked a neater finish but in the concept, I am happy with it.  I called it "Snowflake, who me?"  I'm eager now to see what everyone else has made on the Endeavourer's blog!


  1. Replies
    1. Thanks Yvonne, probably overthought and under made but a challenge worthwhile doing as it certainly made me work hard!

    2. This comment has been removed by the author.

  2. So much gorgeous fabric and a spectacular design. Love it!!!

  3. This is a wonderful piece in concept and design. I enjoyed seeing your close up construction photos :)

    1. Thanks Janine. I guess it doesn't have an obvious message from afar but the background text is a hint and as long as the spiral works to bring you closer to the text then I guess it works. I'm going to think about that for the next challenge - how to communicate through textiles!

  4. You are right to point out that the extremes of ALL sides of politics are harmful. I hope you went wild with extra loops and spirals in the background on the far edges to explain the loopy craziness of ideas in the extremes!
    It looks like a fun project, in spite of the bias edges. I hope you get to make your fabulous book quilt one day too.

    1. To be honest I chose loops as they are my go to easy fill but they do fit in with the theme as you have described! I just need to figure out how to get all that text cut without driving myself crazy! Might take a while...

  5. The piece is wonderful and your commentary about it makes it even more so. I like the colors you chose and your quilting. It was interesting to read the issues that arose in construction. For me, the broken spiral depicts how no matter what your politics are or where you live, we are losing our political footing and trying hard to find firm ground.
    xx, Carol

    1. Thats a great interpretation of the quilt and the times we find ourselves in thanks a million Carol!

  6. Very intriguing post and creation, Ruth! I like the elongated yin/yang with the circle in the middle and the message this art quilt conveys.


    1. Thanks Soma - it takes a bit of explaining so I am not sure how successful it is an art piece but it was well worth going for it and I am very glad to take part in these challenges as you don't know where they will take you!


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