On April 26th , Instruments of Praise received the 2011 Bernina Machine Workmanship Award at the American Quilter’s Society show in Paducah KY. By accepting this purchase award, my quilt became the property of the National Quilt Museum of the United States. The museum, also located in Paducah, is dedicated to honoring today’s quilters. Three spectacular galleries showcase the fine art of quilting with as many as 150 quilts at a time. This is my quilt’s new home.
Over the past couple days, I have been compiling information to provide the museum with the most complete documentation on the quilt as possible. Some of these facts have been posted on my web site and blog but never summarized into one report – until now. What better entry for my blog this week?
Completed in 2009, Instruments of Praise was two years in the making, including months and months of hand appliqué, 20 hours of marking quilting designs, 30 hours of cut-away trapunto, and over 140 hours of machine quilting on a domestic sewing machine.
It was made primarily from commercial cotton fabric, although silk was used to represent the tambourines and cymbals.
The fabric used on the back inspired the color palette used on the front.
Wool batting was used for the cut-away trapunto layer and 80/20 cotton/polyester blend batting for the quilting. The needle-turn appliqué was stitched with 60-weight cotton thread; the machine quilting with a combination of cotton and monofilament threads.
The trumpets, lyres, violins and flutes were outlined by hand with a stem stitch using embroidery floss.
The four blocks were framed using a musical bracket shape.
Additional embellishments include beads, buttons and Sulky Sliver thread hand couched with invisible thread.
A double-strand twisted cord was hand couched to frame the four center blocks.
The block designs were adapted from a CorelDraw Medieval clipart collection; the corner motifs from the Dover book “Victorian Stencils” by Edmund V. Gillon Jr. The cut-away trapunto motifs were also adapted from these sources.
The center quilted medallion of ballet dancers was designed using my Sewflakes: Papercut Appliqué technique.
Other quilting motifs include half-inch grid, rope, and stippling.
I would also like to take the opportunity to thank Bernina for their generous sponsorship of this award. Their support helps the National Quilt Museum as they build a collection of fine art and achieve their goal of honoring today’s quilters. It is particularly gratifying to receive this reward since I made the quilt using my Bernina 170!