Friday, August 19, 2022

Grand Prismatic

 While I have been documenting all the quilts I've made since I began quilting (1994), I have realized that some of those that I consider my biggest and best have never had a post of their own. There have been progress shots along the way, but nothing about the finished quilt. 

In the next few days or weeks, I will be posting a few of them as I write up the post for the Quilt Diary blog. I begin with Grand Prismatic, a quilt finished in 2021.

 Grand Prismatic was inspired by the Grand Prismatic spring at Yellowstone National Park.

I was given a copy of the Pollinate quilt pattern designed by Kitty Wilkin and published by Karen Tripp. We had just returned from a trip to Yellowstone and I was inspired by the boiling mud pots and many springs and geysers in the park. So while a lot of quilters were doing lovely "rainbow" versions, I headed off in a totally different direction. 

I knew I wanted to use a variety of Oakshott cottons and a lot of other fabrics that "read" as solids but had some texture or gleam/glisten to them.

The center medallion, the one replicated the Grand Prismatic spring itself, was definitely the most fun.

There were a few times when the quilt spoke to me about fabric choices and said "absolutely not"--I tried a print that was too busy or not the right color. A lot of fabric auditions simply did not work. I'm so glad I listened. 

When you do an English paper pieced project, pulling out all those papers is a big job. Mark volunteered and I was happy to hand that part of the job over to him.

Once it was ready for quilting, I had a very specific vision in my mind, especially for all the white parts that represented the bubbling mud pots. Dawn Haldeman gave me everything I envisioned, and even more.  Each pool and spring in Yellowstone is surrounded by a wooden walkway. I had used a very subtle fabric around each "pool" to mimic the same thing. Dawn quilted all the "walkways" with the pebble motif, and all the bubbling mud pots had bubbles and swirls. 

On our trip to Yellowstone, I purchased a tea towel to save to the back of the quilt. And then in a stroke of luck, I was able to find some Yellowstone fabric. In a weird twist, while many of the springs, geysers and pools are part of the Yellowstone map fabric, Grand Prismatic, one of the biggest and most famous, is not part of the map. 
I'm so happy that I stuck to my vision of the Grand Prismatic spring. There were times when I thought it would either be epic. Or an epic failure. But I'm thrilled with it.

Title: Grand Prismatic
Design by: Kitty Wilkin, published by Karen Tripp
Date Completed: 2021 (entirely English paper pieced)
Size: 55" x 64"
Quilted by: Dawn Haldeman


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Charlotte M. said... #

That is spectacular and I was wondering how long it took to make? Do you have it hanging up somewhere in your house?

Anonymous said... #

I love this quilt so much!

Anonymous said... #

-Doris (not anonymous!)

Yvonne from Quilting Jetgirl said... #

I'm so glad you stuck with it, too. It's a stunning quilt and thanks for all the photos showing the beautiful detail in fabrics and quilting!

Anonymous said... #

That is stunning, just perfect.

Elizabeth said... #

I think this is my favorite post of all. I'm so glad Grand Prismatic has its own post, and what I love about it, is how much info you gave in one place about how it was made and the choices you navigated. I so love this one!!

Susan said... #

What an incredible achievement Cindy! All that paper piecing AND the gorgeous quilting make for a stunning quilt!