Missing Horseshoe Bend {American Travels Quilt Series}

If you are looking at this picture and thinking “That’s not Horseshoe Bend,” you’d be right. It’s nearby, but this certainly isn’t it.

On our road trip last August, Hawke and I were heading north around the eastern side of the Grand Canyon. It was our third day on the road and we were heading toward Zion National Park; we didn’t have reservations anywhere and wanted to get to our next sleeping spot as early in the day as we could. We were making good speed, but as with all road trips, a bathroom break was needed, so we stopped at what looked like a rest stop. Turned out it was for a hiking trail and the fellow at the gate explained that it was just a 20 minute hike if wanted to do that after using the bathrooms, but we demurred and he let us through to use the facilities then hit the road again.

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The Making of Red, a quilt

Red at Watermark Gallery. Photo credit: Peter Cameron

Late last year, I teamed up with Bill Volckening to brainstorm some modern art-inspired quilt designs. Over a couple of dinner meeting, we settled on something reminiscent of Matisse’s paper cuts with a touch of Rorschach, deciding that it should be all needle-turn applique in the spirit of traditional Hawaiian quilt making.

Teresa Coates applique
I started by free-hand drawing the red shape on Kona Cotton, then cutting it 1/4-inch larger. I basted it to 108″-wide white muslin.

Over the next month, it went from a digital sketch to a full-blown (80″ x 80″) quilt, hand-appliqued and lightly hand-quilted by me, with load of echo quilting from Jolene Knight.

The entire shape was appliquéd using a traditional needle-turn method. It took about 30 hours in total.

I just keep stitching, then removed basting stitches.

Needle turn might just be my favorite.

Big stitch quilting
Bill took it to Jolene who worked her magic, but left purposeful gaps for some additional big-stitch hand quilting in both the white and red.

 

In the end, I’m absolutely thrilled with ‘Red,’ which is now part of the Volckening Collection.

It is currently on display at Watermark Gallery (part of Gallery EOSS) in East Providence, Rhode Island through April 10, 12016. Red by Teresa Coates, quilting by Jolene Knight

 

Addendum: Sam of Hunter’s Design Studio wrote about the work here and there was an interesting bit of discussion that ensued.