Peru – finally a quilt in progress

'Prosperity' Patchowork inspired by Peru. In progress (before quilting). © Stephanie Boon, Dawn Chorus Studio, 2013
'Prosperity' Patchowork inspired by Peru. In progress (before quilting). © Stephanie Boon, Dawn Chorus Studio, 2013

Prosperity. Quilt top in progress.

Hello my lovely friends, I’m so glad you’re here ‘cos I’ve been excited to show you this quilt top, which I bet you weren’t expecting to see today?! I  say that because I wasn’t expecting to make it, but I’m so pleased I have: I love it!

It’s the first one that’s inspired by Peru that I’ve been blogging a bit about recently (you can read the first post New Inspiration here). I’ve had lots of ideas, but an actual, real live quilt has been a while in the cogitating stage… I’ve been faffing about, too scared to just cut into the fabrics I’d collected specially – resources are limited and I didn’t want to waste any just ‘playing’. I knew where I wanted to start, but just couldn’t bring myself to dive right in.

I’ve decided to call this quilt Prosperity. Do you remember the story about the Toro de Pucara, little ceramic bulls on top of the local houses; they’re are supposed to bring fertility and prosperity to the home? Well, they got me thinking about rooftops; the wonderful shapes and colours of  the pan tiles in particular, and a photo I’d taken of tiles stacked up in the window of a dilapidated house in Ollantaytambo (I was fascinated by them).

Pan tiles stacked in a neglected window, Ollantaytambo, Peru, 2003. © Stephanie Boon, Dawn Chorus Studio, 2013

Pan tiles stacked in a neglected window, Ollantaytambo, Peru, 2003.

Dirt road,  Peru, 2003. © Stephanie Boon, Dawn Chorus Studio, 2013

Dirt road, Peru, 2003.

I also have strong memories of the colour of the rooftops against some quite distinctive greens and earthy colours in the landscape, and one of the fabrics I’d collected just takes me right back there. But I got that far and just stopped really, feeling that I didn’t have the skills to do what I wanted without a month-of-Sundays practice making curved blocks.

Quilt top inspired by Peru. Improvised curved blocks - work in progress. © Stephanie Boon, Dawn Chorus Studio, 2013

Detail of one of the curved blocks

But in the end I got it off the ground much sooner than I anticipated and I owe that entirely to two people: Marianne Haak and Kathy Schmidt. I left a comment on an interesting article about creative down time that Marianne had posted on her blog The Quilting Edge. I vented my frustration at not being able to get on with this particular piece, feeling that my ambitions were well above my capabilities.

The following day Kathy had left a comment for me in response: “…you really do not need to do basic, traditional quilting before you branch out like Marianne is doing. There is lots of info on improv piecing that usually works better for artists….”. Then I had a very encouraging email from Marianne too and I thought to myself “You know what? Just bloody well get on with it and stop fart-arsing around”. And that was it. It was all I needed; the kind words and encouragement of 2 quilters on the other side of the world. I feel humbled and grateful for their kindness in nudging me out of my own creative downtime. I’m excited that I’ve made this, it feels like the giant leap into self-expression through quilting that I’ve been hankering after for some time.

So please, never be afraid to leave a comment on someone’s blog! The conversations they can lead to might be more significant than you could ever imagine!  A heartfelt thanks once again to Marianne and Kathy – and oooh, don’t forget to check out their blogs, very, very inspiring!!!

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6 replies
  1. Ann
    Ann says:

    Love the colors. They do look like your photos of Peru. It’s delightful to be able to read how different artists make their decisions. Thanks for sharing yours!

  2. Elita @ Busy Needle Quilting
    Elita @ Busy Needle Quilting says:

    I love this streak of “Light a Fire under my bum” that seems to be a reoccurring theme igniting amongst us creative types at the moment! That’s a lovely quilt. Well done for getting it out of your head & bringing what has touched you to tangible reality!


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