When your old life intersects with your new…

When the Modern Quilt Guilds of the Pacific Northwest were recently invited to submit quilts for a Quilt Show in August I was a little apprehensive.  The guild lines were that the quilts could use black, white and the shades of grey in between and as you can tell from my quilts I love colour.  We were allowed, if we wanted, to add one colour in one place but that was it.

I pondered this challenge for a month or so and then one day, as I was talking to an old friend it hit me what I could do.  You see in my previous life I was in film and a key essential tool in the camera kit was always a grey card.  This card was used to white balance and focus the camera (back in the old days before digital took over!).  A grey card would make the perfect quilt for this project….

So I found an image similar to the cards I used to use…

greyDid some crazy quilts maths… not something I usually do and not something that comes easily to me…

quilt mathsPulled some greys from my stash…

grey stashAnd went to work.  The end result was this…

WQ grey card quiltI am thrilled with how it turned out.  I was really impressed with the depth of my grey stash, which allowed me to do some fun colour graduation….

graduating greysI cheated a bit and used some black and white stripes for the focus bars… I was not going to be able to get that kind of sharp precision with piecing… (but it is driving me crazy that photos in this post seem out of focus unless you click on the image to enlarge it….@%*$#^! WordPress….AUGH!!!!!

grey card detailI also managed to get my favorite prints, Mirror Ball and Pearl Bracelets into the mix.  Now all I have to do is work out how I want to quilt it.  I was thinking of echoing the circle on the card in the quilting but that is as far as I have gotten so far.  I do know that I am going to add one tiny splash of colour in the binding.

I am really thrilled with this mini quilt (it is 36″ long by 28″ wide)… not because it is amazing or beautiful or revolutionary.  I love it because it has such meaning for me.  As I stepped out of my film career I stepped into quilting… and this quilt represents that life change for me.

24 thoughts on “When your old life intersects with your new…

  1. What a delightful inspiration and a wonderful memory quilt for you. I really like the little quilt and hope you enjoy it for years to come. Thank you for sharing the quilt and your story.

  2. Ohhhh, I really like your quilt!! The story that goes with it makes it make perfect sense!!! I can’t wait to see how your quilt this AND what color you are choosing for the binding!!! For some reason, lime green pops in my head! Wish my gray stash was as deep as yours!!!

  3. Wow! That is super cool!!!!! Love the story how your history and that quilting project go together. And the “test card” reminds me on my childhood – when I was a child (in the 70th) we had only a black&white TV and the programm was not going on around the clock like nowadays but it only began at 10 o’clock. The only thing you could see between program closedown in the evening (do you remember that sth like that existed???) and program start in the morning was a testcard screen… and we often were sitting there few minutes to 10 waiting… and watching the time until program start passing (I remember there was a time display on the card too.) 🙂

  4. What perfect inspiration! My husband still uses the cards with his digital setup to check the focus compatibility with different camera body and lens combinations, so I knew exactly what this was! Well don and what a perfect use for the black and white stripe fabric.

    Oh, and the WordPress compression of images drives me nuts, too…

  5. Great story. I’m assuming you’re calling this lovely Grey Card? If I were to produce a quilt where my previous career intersected with quiliting, it would be called Pantone Fan, only not even your amazing stash would have enough colour variations for that one! But hey, that gives me an idea…

  6. Hi! I love your idea and this quilt! Can’t wait to see it finished! Surprised that you found enough greys from your stash. Also the story behind your quilt and idea is great. x Teje

  7. I zoomed in and had a close look at the materials and saw a pattern that took me back to my past life in biology. Been so long I had to double check my biochem textbooks! Yep, good old thymine, guanine and cytosine (the building blocks of DNA and RNA). Where did you get that fabric? And I remember the good old test pattern ( and black and white tv as a kid).

  8. I am totally blown away by your array of grey stash! How lucky you were to think of your film key and it just is totally the thing to use for the quilt. How meaningful and how nice that you can now enter your quilt in that quilt show. Best of luck!

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