Monday, October 12, 2009


Two words that practically guarantee a quilter a good evening.

Our local quilt guild had Margaret Hartranft and Mark Martin for our guests tonight. They do a show called Compositions in Quilts and Music and let me tell you if you have the chance you want to be sure to see these people.

I'm not going to post all the pictures I took but will high-light a few of my favorites.

This one I found intriguing but I wasn't sure if I really liked it or not because I'm not really into art quilts. But when I saw it up close and saw the detail I couldn't believe how beautiful it is. Now keep in mind that this is a guild challenge - the theme - stripes and dots.

She took a picture one morning on her way to work at a stop light and then created this quilt from it. The birds are machine stitched and also beaded.

This quilt took my breath away and was my favorite - for a while. This one took best of show at a quilt show and I can't remember which one. lol. It's all done in miniatures.

I would love to copy this - but I would have to make in full size because some of those pieces were almost too small to hold on to. I greatly admire people who do mini quilts. I wouldn't have the patience.

This one I saw when I first walked in and thought it was an optical illusion - that it was hung to look smaller on one side but it actually is smaller on one side. A lot of this is fabric painting. The window frame pieces are appliqued on rather than done as sashing.

This brings us to my absolute favorite part of the show.

Some of the quilts were made first and the music composed afterwards. Some the music came first. Some were sort of a collaboration. These quilts were made after the music was composed. Mark composed an opera about a woman's life. Afterwards he asked Margaret to make quilts to represent the various times.

The first quilt was for when the girl was 16. As Mark said, there were good times but it is an opera so there are bad times coming. The good and bad times are represented by the light and dark fabrics.

Next she gets married. The darker fabrics represent the masculine side of the union, the lighter fabrics represent the feminine side of the union.

The next step is being a housewife. This point of the opera would have taken place in the 40s and at that point a woman was trained to be a wife. And then what? So Margaret chose to make a quilt that used up all the different fabrics the woman would have had in her entire household. There are 3,000 pieces in this quilt and it represents the tedium of the housewife's life in that era.

The back of this quilt is awesome. Margaret used feedsacks that she got at a Humane Society thrift store.

The final quilt was to represent the older woman as age has made her a bit more forgetful and her mind muddled. Margaret said that she had to have a stopping point for this quilt because she could have gone on forever. So she chose six embellishments and six embroidery stitches for each individual block.

That was the end of the opera and therefore the end of the quilts. However, Margaret and Mark decided a finishing quilt was in order. And I'm so glad they did. This is my absolute favorite quilt of the entire show. It literally took my breath away and you could hear gasps around the room as they unrolled it.

There is so much to say about this quilt. If you notice on the top right corner there are sections of the earlier quilts - all done to appear faded as the years have gone by. In full color on the lower left corner is the crazy quilt that represents the end of the opera. But look closely at the lady - one half of her face is lined and her hair is gray but on the other side her face is smooth and her hair is brown. And then look at the shadow box - all those little items are real items. There are spools of thread, buttons, a golf tee, charms, pins, flowers, pictures, etc. The detail is incredible.

And of course there was the music. Mark gave wonderful descriptions of things he saw in the quilt and how he translated them to music. And sitting listening to him I closed my eyes and could see what he was playing.

It was an incredible night. If you ever have the chance to see this talented duo don't pass it up. It was a truly magical evening.

Until next time, hugs and stitches. Jody

No comments: