The Modern Quilt Guilds in the Pacific Northwest region of the United States and Canada (Oregon, Washington, and British Columbia) were invited to participate in a challenge to feature metallic details. Robert Kaufman provided fabrics from their Quilters Metallic collection and the Seattle MQG received a selection of Quilters Tussah and Quilters Linen. Completed quilts could be entered to be exhibited in the new Quilt! Knit! Stitch! show in Portland, Oregon in August 2014.
As with most challenges, this one had to percolate for a bit before I formulated a plan. I wanted to explore more Anni Albers inspired design since I finished my Binary Challenge quilt, Albers Orange Chair. Looking at images of Anni Albers’ weavings online, I decided to use the traditional Flying Geese block. The metallics would be geese and a cross-woven steel blue would be sky.
The project languished due to conflicting priorities and work (you know, normal life) and I pretty gave up on finishing by the deadline. An unexpected extension inspired a marathon of arranging, sewing, and quilting. At the end, I had Mount Rainier.
Stepping back, I realized I had just quilted what every Seattlite knows about Mount Rainier – the mountain is always there, even when we cannot see it behind the clouds and rain. Right then and there I knew the quilt had found its name.
For the back, I arranged the remaining geese and metallic fabrics and added a hanging sleeve. The design of the back references the front but is definitely its own composition which just might have to be explored further.
Mount Rainer: 32 inches wide x 20 inches tall. Original design inspired by Anni Albers’ weavings
Takeaways from this quilt: Making visual decisions visually by making blocks and using the design wall is the design process which works for me, growth comes through accepting challenges, quilting can really change a quilt top, never say never even when the deadline has passed, quilting friends are the best
Favorites things about this quilt: Persevering through design challenges, the gradated values for the geese, straight line quilting, the subtle sheen and light play on the cross woven fabric, the subtle sheen of the metallic, the amount of negative space in the design, the back design, quilting friends who encouraged me (thanks!)
Things to try next time: metallic thread, a different thread or threads to highlight the “mountain”, gradated value (definitely gradated value), higher contrast between the geese and sky, back design