Friday, July 22, 2011

Vote for Your Favorite Challenge Quilt!

If you live anywhere close to our Grandma's Attic brick and mortar store, you'll want to come vote for your favorite Color of Compassion Challenge Quilt. The entries this year are absolutely gorgeous! And since these quilts are judged by the general public, this is your opportunity to tell us which one you think should win!

Earlier this year, we created the The Color of Compassion Quilt Challenge entry packet using five pieces of fabric in shades of pink and brown; then challenged entrants to use them as the basis for a quilt. Entrants could include any other fabrics as long as they also used the packet fabrics. The only rule was that quilts had to measure 120 inches or less when the length of each side was added together.

Now that the quilts are back, it's your turn to tell us which one is your favorite. Prizes awarded are: 1st Place - $100 Gift Certificate; 2nd Place - $50 Gift Certificate; 3rd Place - $25 Gift Certificate. We also have awards for the best interpretation of the theme, and best use of color.

Voting takes place now through August 6. The Color of Compassion Quilt Challenge is a charitable event designed to raise awareness and funds for Sable House, a Polk County, Oregon agency assisting survivors of sexual assault and domestic violence. Grandma's Attic is strongly committed to the health and safety of women and children in Polk County and supports various local resources who share these goals. In addition, Grandma's Attic remains dedicated to raising awareness of domestic violence and sexual assault issues through the arts and crafts.

This photo shows the information board we've developed for Sable House. The red silhouettes in the photos are part of the Silent Witness National Initiative and represent victims of domestic violence and sexual assault. After you've finished voting for your favorite quilts, you'll want to take a look at our display to see how you can help as well.

Monday, July 04, 2011

July's Flower of the Month - Water Lily

Did you know that the water lily is July's Flower of the Month? Symbolizing rebirth and purification, the water lily is a member of the Nymphaeaccae family. There are approximately 70 different species of this plant. They like to live in temperate or tropical climates. Water lilies are rooted in soil in bodies of water, with leaves and flowers floating on the surface.

The portrait above appeared in Curtis's Botanical Magazine in 1801. Begun in 1787, by William Curtis, a botanist at Kew Gardens, each issue was filled with artist renderings of plants, plus information and descriptions about their properties. The magazine continues to this day, and is published by the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew near London, England. Kew Gardens currently houses the world's largest collection of living plants.

The French Painter, Claude Monet, liked water lilies so much that he painted them for the last 30 years of his life. He developed a series of paintings inspired by the plants in his own garden. Of them, he wrote, "It took me time to understand my water lilies. I had planted them for the pleasure of it; I grew them without ever thinking of painting them." Monet created 250 different paintings of water lilies, many of them currently residing in museums around the world. In 2008, one of Monet's original water lily paintings sold at auction for $80 million.

Quilters are also inspired by water lilies. In the 1930s, the Chicago Tribune published a quilt pattern column under the name of Nancy Cabot, pen name of Loretta Leitner Rising. With each quilt block illustration, Rising included a description or background about the block and how to purchase the pattern.

The description written under the Water Lily pattern is as follows: "The water lily design is a delicately realistic block with its soft coloring of cream, green and touches of light blue on a gold grown, with alternate blocks of white. The simple, clear cut lines in this floral pattern make it one that is particularly easy to applique. The quilted veins in the green leaves afford a pleasant variation from the less unusual quilt pattern."