A couple of months ago Marianne Fons asked me to participate in the Celebrity Small Quilts Auction to raise money for the Quilts of Valor Foundation. As a huge fan and admirer of both QOVF and Marianne, I couldn't say no. The theme of the fundraiser was America the Beautiful and we were asked to make a small quilt, no larger than 30" square.
I knew right away that I didn't want to use red, white, and blue in my project, so I began to think of the words of the song, "America the Beautiful." I didn't have to go far into the lyrics to find my inspiration. The first few lines, "O Beautiful, for spacious skies, for amber waves of grain, for purple mountain majesties, above the fruited plain," have always stood out to me, and were the inspiration for my project, which I've named "For Spacious Skies."
I used an improvisational technique that I've devised for one of my newest classes, and used solid fabrics in shades of yellow and gold to represent the amber waves of grain, and a variety of hues of purple, lavender, and magenta to symbolize the purple mountain majesties. I have to admit, these are colors that I don't typically use, especially together, so it was a bit of a challenge for me to create with such a palette.
I also used a pale yellow linen to give the quilt a bit of texture as well. I knew that I wanted to quilt the piece using straight lines, so I used my Brother PQ1500SLPRW machine, which does an amazing job at that.
I used a cream colored Aurifil thread that would blend with all of the colors that I used in the quilt, as well as give a bit of a filter to the bright colors and tone them down a bit. The quilting is pretty dense, with each line of stitching about a 1/4" apart from one another.
I bound the quilt using a lavender fabric that I used in the construction because I thought it acted as a nice frame for the piece. It really makes all of the yellow hued fabrics pop.
My For Spacious Skies quilt is now available for purchase. You can see it in person this weekend at the America Quilt Expo in Des Moines, Iowa, which runs through tomorrow where you can bid on it as well. Or, if you're not able to attend the show, you can place a bid in the silent auction by calling (515) 708-7689 by tomorrow, Saturday May 28, at 3:00 pm CT. All proceeds from the fundraiser will help the Quilts of Valor Foundation in supporting their mission to cover service members and veterans touched by war with comforting and healing Quilts of Valor. To see more of the quilts in the fundraiser and for more information on the event, please visit the Quilts of Valor events page here.