Friday, May 15, 2015

Quilt Alliance - Animals We Love

Every year the Quilt Alliance has a contest and auction to raise money for their nonprofit organization. They were established in 1993 with the intention of documenting, preserving and sharing the American quilting heritage. 

I have participated in their contest every year since I first discovered it in 2010. Creating a quilt based on their theme always invigorates me and brings me back into quilting. This year the theme was, "The Animals We Love." Recently we have frequently watched the Mexico themed movie, "Book of Life". After chatting with my husband, who is of Mexican ancestry, we came up with the idea of a sugar skull bull, a Muerto Toro.

I started the quilts with improvisational piecing of black and white fabric. I wanted the background to be neutral, but also have contrast to the bright colors that would be placed next.

Then I freehand cut the basic shape and large shaded areas of the bull face in bright, fanciful colors.

Once I was happy with the general layout, the large pieces were machine appliqued on with matching thread. Then I freehand cut the small applique accents to the bull face.

The background then became a little too quiet and I needed some color impact. I quickly drew out flying geese on a narrow strip of paper to foundation piece on.

That linear flying geese looked incredibly abrupt placed into the improved back. I did more chopping and moving so that it flowed better. The color shapes became representative of  fans cheering the Toro on in the ring. Since marigolds are traditional at Dia de los Muertos, there is a giant bloom on Toro and petals thrown from the crowd. It is now realized that Toro is no longer a fighting hero, but has fallen and moved into the next world.

All the small applique bits are hand embroidered on with perle cotton in unique touches.

Large Swarvoski beads are couched on to Toro's eye and falling tears.

Bright and in your face graffiti machine quilting covers his face and the crowd. 

The remaining background of black and white are lovingly hand quilted in big strokes with perle cotton.
I love Toro and was sad to see him off, but I hope he raises lots of money for the Quilt Alliance. And I maybe fully intending on buying him back at the auction!

I am entering this quilt and blog post into the Blogger's Quilt Festival on Amy's Creative Side. If this quilt is one that you love, please consider voting for it. XO


audrey said...

This is just fabulous! So much fun.:)

Wendy said...

you should have entered this into the art quilt category! It's such an original and fun design

Lara B. said...

Your Muerto Toro is awesome Jennifer - it makes me laugh with delight! Have a great time at the BQF!

leanne said...

oh such a fun, cute quilt!

Tiffany said...

Wow. This is amazing. Thanks for sharing Toro's story!

Anonymous said...

Hi Jennifer! I love your art quilt! Very unique and inspiring! Greetings from GREECE! x Teje

Yana said...

This quilt is awesome.

lelandavestudios said...

I love this! It has a Picasso-esque vibe to it! It's really fun and well done! Awesome!

ipatchandquilt said...

What a playful and cheery quilt! Thak you for showing us how you created this mini!!!
esthersipatchandquilt at yahoo com
ipatchandquilt dot wordpress dot com


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