Transparent Community Sampler

2005 Quilt – Open for Discussion
Transparent Community Sampler

In trying to define what exactly constituted a ‘Quilt’ so as to have a starting point to work on this project I researched the many specific definitions of quilting in dictionaries, quilting competition rules, quilt magazines, and textile books. Among them I found these ideas.

• to stitch in lines or patterns like those used in quilts
• anything used as a quilt
• To sew or fasten between two or more pieces of material
• any material made up like a quilt,

With this in mind, I decided to test the parameter of the quilt as a utilitarian object. While regular quilts are of course normally made with fabric and are usable items, art quilts may not be necessarily functional, but more of a way to communicate an idea or stimulate a thought process. Using an alternative definition for ‘material’ gives a wide interpretation of what you can use to quilt with, especially when the material is not necessarily fibre or textiles.

A colour palette was chosen of reds, pinks, oranges with greens to highlight, and the theme ‘Spring’ and the size of the block were chosen as is usual when making a quilt. There the similarity ended, out went the warmth-giving fabric and in its place a transparent plastic was used

As this was to be a community quilt and we have a very strong and social quilt group in Lake Grace and surrounds, I gave experienced and non-experienced quilters a block of plastic each, to be manipulated and then pieced back together and quilted. So the Community Sampler came into existence.

The brave women that took up the challenge were:

Lenore Gladish
Judy Stewart
Catherine Hendry
Cheryl Chappell
Anna Strevett
Phyl Dunham
Rita Marshall
Sandra Richter
Linda Carruthers
Irene McGlinn
Lesley Duckworth
Kristy Stanton
Jeanette Bennett
Kerrie Argent
Margaret Carruthers
Cobi Stanton
Nellie Lay
Lois Dickens
Jayne Argent
Linda Hunt
Sheryl Smith
Alex Dangerfield
Annie Slarke
Elizabeth Spencer
Tania Spencer

The blocks that came back from these wonderful women were combined with a number of plastic flowers and set on the diagonal, resulting in an irregular-shaped quilt. What was interesting was the diversity of techniques that were used with this unconventional quilting material. Highly creative souls relished in the opportunity to breakdown the strict conventions laid out by traditional quilting. Dyed in the wool quilters got busy trying to turn their piece of plastic back into fabric by covering it and others were just plain puzzled as to why you would want to even do such a thing!