Aside from the theme, the only other requirement was the size: 18 x 45 inches, a long narrow quilt, but I wanted to suggest the climb up to the tomb--it was a forty-five minute hike up the mountain; you had to work to get there--and I also wanted to emphasize the sky, one of those memorable Irish skies that you can lose yourself--or find yourself--in. The length gave me the space to include both of those.
So I had a general sketch of where I was going with this piece and my first hands-on decision was how to suggest all those thousands of stones piled by other human hands so long ago. I finally decided on hand applique, which took longer than other methods I considered, but gave the look I wanted. I still had some gray fabric left over from the chickadee quilt, but ended up dyeing another round, as I began to run out of a couple of the gradations. But, aside from the black and white fabrics, I was able to use all my own hand-dyes.
This was one of my major projects during the past year, but finally I put the last of the pearl cotton quilting stitches in, and the photos of "On a Sligo Hill" were ready to send off before the May 1 deadline.
And so the waiting began. Actually, I was so busy that I didn't have much time to think about it, but left it in the hands of the quilting gods and Larkin and her panel of judges to decide its fate. And finally the news came and it was good. The quilt was accepted!
"On a Sligo Hill" now goes to the state of Washington and will travel over the course of a year to three different venues. A catalog of the full exhibit will be available this fall, and the proceeds will go to a very worthy cause, Doctors Without Borders.
And, if you are still with me, thanks for the company.