The Peach Orchard, Modern Quilt Challenge

The Modern Quilt Guild released their third quilt challenge, which was to design and execute a quilt inspired by the word "organic." I decided to make a quilt in honor of the Japanese quilters I met in April of 2008 at the AQS in Paducah, KY. This group of quilters travelled from Japan to showcase their quilts, which were pretty much abstract expressionist paintings in fabric form. The quilts were amazing representations of sunsets, cherry blossoms, views of rooftops, and night skies. The quilters were amazing, too! One of the women greeted me and gave me an oragami crane. They were all so excited to watch the American quilters come to their exhibit and look at their quilts. These quilters have been on my mind a lot lately since the disasters in Japan.


I've always wanted to make an abstract expressionist quilt (and when I met these quilters I was filled with that mix of awe and depression that comes when you discover someone has beaten you in executing your own inspiration). I chose to make a quilt based off of Akira Kurosawa's movie "Dreams." There are tons of "organic" images from that film, and the entire movie is a series of films based off of dreams the director, Kurosawa, had. Dreams, to me, are extremely organic! One of the most beautiful images from the film is from the segment called "The Peach Orchard."

On "The Peach Orchard," from Wikipedia: "Hina Matsuri, the Doll Festival, traditionally takes place in spring when the peach blossoms are in full bloom. The dolls that go on display at this time, they say, are representative of the peach trees and their pink blossoms. One boy's family, however, has chopped down their peach orchard, so the boy feels a sense of loss during this year's festival. After being scolded by his older sister the boy spots a small girl running out the front door. He follows her to the now-treeless orchard, where the dolls from his sister's collection have come to life and are standing before him on the slopes of the orchard. The living dolls, revealing themselves to be the spirits of the peach trees, berate the boy about chopping down the precious trees. But after realizing how much he loved the blossoms, they agree to give him one last glance at the peach trees by way of a slow and beautiful dance to Etenraku. After they disappear the boy finds the small girl walking among the treeless orchard before seeing a single peach tree sprouting in her place."

Here is the image I worked off of:


This is what I was able to come up with:


I am happier with the idea of the quilt and the creative process I went through to make it than I am with the end result. Maybe that's the point. Anyway, I am not submitting it for the contest and will wait to do the quilting and binding when I'm ready. I want to make sure the quilting job does justice to this amazing tea stained and baked backing I made!!! Check it out: