Life in Pieces by Tucson MQG

By Susan Wells

Life in Pieces started out as an idea — exploding Dresden Plates. It’s not an entirely original idea (Google it) but it seemed to have intriguing possibilities.

Susan A. made a set of Dresden fan blades and brought them to our first work day for this quilt. Playing with the blades gave the idea traction among the group.

We all loved the color palette so selecting fabric at our home shop, the Quilt Basket, was lots of fun. We chose 10 fabrics in each color to get variation in brightness and texture.

The visual feast of fabric, color and design was delightful but how could we convey the idea of individual plates? Thinking about color and plates we realized that the colors were like those seen in Fiesta Ware over the years.

So each piece of a 5-piece place setting is represented by a different color — the orange dinner plate, the pink salad plate, the red bowl, the blue cup, and the yellow saucer.

We showed up to the second work day with completed fan blades and center medallions backed with iron- on material. A white and off-white background was quickly assembled to represent a tile floor and then the fun began.

We placed the blades and center medallions on the “floor” at odd angles to represent the
shattered plates, cup and bowl. We “broke” blades and created small sherds that spread out from the points of impact.

We took turns standing at the wall moving pieces around and sitting back to look at the overall effect. When we were satisfied we ironed the pieces to the background with a mini iron while it was still on the design wall and then took it down for a good steaming. Beth added a colorful Dresden Plate to complete the quilt top.

The quilt top was presented to the membership at our next meeting and we voted on the name. Other good candidates for the name included Opa!, Seismically Shifted, Shattered, Splash and Dresden Fiesta Disaster. Kathleen made the quilt label. Kathy and Elaine skillfully quilted it on a long-arm machine.

Gayle did the finishing including the binding and the hanging sleeve. Working together to create the annual challenge quilt is one of our most popular activities. It is fun to watch what happens when everyone has something to contribute.

The quilt will be donated to a local Tucson charity.

Learn more about the Tucson Modern Quilt Guild.

Life in Pieces

Life in Pieces

Cheyann Neades