I started a quilt of historical buildings of Port Elizabeth in 2006, but had to abandon it due to time restrictions and time out due to spinal surgery. I shelved this project for one day.... As I hate UFO's, the niggling guilty feeling of not finishing this piece kept on bugging me, so I decided early in 2011 to finish this quilt. It was extremely difficult to regain the initial momentum and rhythm, indeed a reason why I don't like to interrupt a project.
After 5 years, I was very critical of the work already finished on this quilt. I unpicked one entire block and re-started from scratch, only keeping the painted sky section! Another block also had the pick-unpick treatment! I slowly regained the momentum and picked up speed. I realized that maybe it was good that I was forced to abandon work on this quilt as somehow I was so happy with the second take on it....
I completed the blocks and started sewing the quilt together. The quilt was really a combination of techniques and was really a test for my skills - it was really the most complex and challenging quilt which I have ever made. I could not find fabric for the church walls, so I painted stone walls with a tiny brush. I used Avalon Plus to embroider the wrought iron fence around the church yard. Avalon Plus was also used to do the gates of the Grey Institute, one of the first schools in Port Elizabeth and the gates at the Public Library. I added the Campanile as it was erected to commemorate the centenary of the landing of the 1820 Settlers in Port Elizabeth.
Close-up detail of the 4 main blocks:
|Holy Trinity Anglican Church, Port Elizabeth|
|City Hall, Port Elizabeth|
|Public Library, Port Elizabeth|
My son Jopie escorted me on various trips to take photographs of the historical buildings. I used 35mm film for photographs while he used his digital camera. I used both photographs and images on the computer for detail and to prepare patterns to work from. When it was time to quilt the border, it was the turn of my husband Willem to accompany me on further photography trips as I needed images of more buildings.... So, this quilt was really a family affair....
This quilt was awarded Best Machine Workmanship at the 2011 National Quilt Festival which was held in Stellenbosch.
It is part of a selection of South African quilts and currently in the United States of America where it is on show at four different venues as part of the 2012 World Quilt Competition.