Fairfield Ledger
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Neighbors Growing Together | Oct 24, 2014

Local quilters recognized nationally

By NICOLE HESTER-WILLIAMS | Jul 23, 2014
The Barn Slice Quilt created by the Iowa Art Quilters was featured in the national publication, Quilting Arts Magazine.

A group of Iowa quilters found more in their mailboxes than a few bills this month — they found their names, photos and life’s passion featured on the pages of one their favorite national magazines.

Last fall, Ann Igoe, of Grinnell, submitted a letter to Quilting Arts Magazine detailing the Iowa Art Quilter’s slice quilt project. Not long after her submission, Igoe received a call from the publication.

“I was pretty excited and it’s such a lovely article,” she said. “We wouldn’t have thought that we would get such a great article out of it.”

Though they got the call right away, Igoe said the quilt was already hanging on display at a show in Fairfield. Group member, Wendy Read, of Fairfield was also excited about being featured in the publication, but Igoe said she protested about taking the display down early.

“Wendy refused to back out of our commitment to the show in Fairfield,” Igoe said. “The magazine said, ‘OK, we’ll wait.’ They were wonderful; they made it so easy.”

The article ran in the magazine’s 2014 July/August issue.

The Iowa Art Quilters meet in Grinnell, but some of its 50 members travel from surrounding towns including Fairfield.

The group created the slice quilt for a show last fall. However, due to the event’s size requirements, they realized there were too many participants for everyone to contribute to a single slice quilt.

“We solved our size problem by making five quilts of four slices each,” Igoe said.

They settled on a photo taken by one of its members, Judy Ludwick, of Grinnell, of an abandoned barn. The artists weren’t given any specific rules other than to create a complete quilt from the photo slice they were provided.

“We put no limitation on the style in which they could work. Instead, we encouraged the use of any techniques that would enhance the artist’s vision of the slice,” Igoe said. “The instructions to the artists were simple: create a complete quilt from the photo slice.”

Though 20 members signed up, only 16 completed the project.

“As time progressed, some of the artists were unable to complete their slice within the time constraints, so three of us made multiple slices,” Igoe said.

When the sections of four slices are hung together, it provides a complete picture of the barn. The slices can be mixed and matched to render a different image each time.

The artists used a variety of techniques, colors and styles such as hand dyeing, bleach discharging, piecing, pleating and applique.

“We are artists just like painters,” Read said. “Fabric and thread are our paint.”

Though the project was extensive, Read said it wasn’t as difficult to complete as it appeared.

“The organization in the beginning, getting the photo to the printer, and getting it sliced, took time,” Read said. “But overall, the project came together very smoothly.”

Karen Harris of Fairfield agreed.

“I absolutely enjoyed the project,” Harris said. “Though there were challenges, I really had a great time doing it. It was a good outcome.”

The slice quilt is now hanging on display in Marshalltown and will subsequently hang at the Drake Library in Grinnell in September.

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