Monday, February 20, 2012

Well, I did it!

"Princess Argiope"

I actually turned my precious spider quilt over to the post office on Friday.  She is on her way to Paducah, Ky- to the AQS.  Then they  will take her to be hung  in the show in Lancaster in just a few weeks!  I am still amazed every time I think of it. I felt like I won the lottery when I got the letter saying they had accepted my quilt!

I posted pictures when I finished her, but am not sure I ever did tell the whole story.
I bought Jane Sassaman's book, the Quilted Garden when it was new. (out of print, but available as a download from AQS) I read it cover to cover immediately and set out  to the garden to study the flowers and find one to inspire me to make a quilt.  I took tons of pictures, and in the process I found this spider.
In my youth I was terrified of spiders and would have smashed her with a rock, but now that I'm over that ( I was determined not to teach my sons to be afraid of them when they were very little, so we spent time learning about spiders and studying the ones we found in the gardens), I decided this is a beautiful creature.  I recently learned some people call them "zipper spiders" because of the way they make their webs.
This species is Argiope Aurantia.  I watched her all summer.  Yes, I'm saying her.  You can tell the difference between the males and the females!  The design on her back reminded me of one of those buddhist goddess figurines with the many arms and the wonderful headdresses.  So I started calling her "Princess Argiope".

The following year, I had occasion to take a design class with Jane.  I wanted to use the spider in the class, but the supply list specified flowers, so I used the picture of the flowers I took in class to create this quilt. (This is the one at the top of my blog)

 I then  spent months reading some of the books Jane recommended and studying art books for inspiration.  Finally I created the spider,but couldn't decide what to do with her, until I found a Dover book of art nouveau alphabets and such that also had some designs like paper snowflakes and the lightbulb came on to make the web that way!

It took me three years to make this quilt because I kept stopping when I got stuck on something.  I wanted to make a border but nothing looked right, so I ended up cutting away a section of the background before making the facing.
I want to encourage all my art quilting friends to take the chance to enter a piece into one of these shows.  I know each of them has apiece that would be accepted!!!  It's an amazing feeling.

My green tip for today is to ask that you try and encourage someone you know- your boss, your husband, the other people in your office... to be more aware of what they are and are not recycling.  My boss catches herself when throwing away papers she printed in error now, so it's working!  :-)

I am grateful for:
a girls day with Mary
the upcoming retreat
the raffle quilt is almost done!


  1. It is certainly an amazing piece, and a wonderful testament to your learning/creating process. Besides that, you have a merthful manner in looking at the world.

  2. ...but I hate trying to decipher the muddled letters, numbers and symbols in the anti-robot exercise. It hurts my eyes ands I cannot remember what symbols are where on the keyboard.

  3. Congrats, again, to you!! But, being one of your art quilting friends, I do not have a clue what I would enter. Maybe someday I will think something is good enough,

  4. i loved this quilt from the day i saw the pattern. well deserved acceptance! congratulations!

  5. Martha, we all are so proud of you. We have known for a long time that you had a ton of talent and now the world will see it too. Well done!