This year’s theme from The Modern Quilt Guild was Small Piecing. We found this theme to be very open-ended, which was both difficult to nail down and completely freeing. The quilt committee considered many options, from improv two-color blocks to an intricate all-over pattern.
We always try to tie our annual charity quilt to our local area; something that reflects or refers to Silicon Valley, where we live and work. One of our committee members had the idea to make a quilt top that looked like a smartphone, a Silicon Valley invention. Making app icons in fabric would surely lend itself to small piecing, and would allow each member to provide a stand-alone block that could be integrated into the overall top.
Each block in the quilt represents a common app that can be found on any of our phones. To ensure that we didn’t get repeats, we came up with a list of some of the most common apps and members signed to interpret a specific app, into a unique 8-inch block.
It was interesting to see how members communicated the essence of a phone app, without copying a logo or image directly. Some apps were translated very literally, while others were more interpretive and subtle. It was a fun game to receive new blocks and see if we could guess which app each one represented.
Members were advised to leave space in the corners as they would be rounded in order to mirror a phone app icon. This proved tricky and we had to make some decisions about what elements might be lost if blocks were too big. We chose to reverse applique the blocks into the background to avoid having to piece curves that could interfere with the flow of the background design.
We chose bold solid fabrics in the color palette provided to better represent the graphic quality of a smartphone home screen. We held back one color from the palette to be used in the background only, to set it apart from the app blocks.
We wanted the background of the quilt to appear like the wallpaper on a phone… to sit behind the app blocks… and what better background than a quilt top?
For the quilting, we opted for simple diagonal lines using monofilament on the “apps” so that it would not stand out against the sometimes complicated block designs. On the background, we echoed the quilt design using a sashiko stitch for a handworked effect and to accentuate the look of a quilt behind the apps.
Finally we named the quilt “Home” as it represents both the home screen of a smartphone and the place where we live.
Many thanks to everyone who made a block to contribute to the quilt. And thanks to our committee members who brainstormed the theme and execution plan, appliqued the individual blocks, pieced the overall quilt, and finished it with quilting and binding.
If you’re in Nashville for Quiltcon, keep an eye out for our quilt!
for those of you who need some help translating the blocks…