Grand Lake: Quilt, melodrama share common thread
December 21, 2007
For the third year in a row, local quilter Linda Carlson has graciously designed and donated a piece of artwork that theatre patrons have a chance to win during the Grand Arts Councils annual melodrama, Dec. 26-31.This is my gift to the town, Carlson said. Although the donation gives her a lot of exposure, not to mention a few commission requests, she said she simply does it for the town and the arts council, which are near and dear to her heart. What they do is bring art to everyone, she said, and in letting me do this, they have really allowed me to call myself a quilt artist, not just a quilter.To be able to be part of the arts council and be involved in connecting with other artists, whether its music, painting, photographing, acting or whatever, I am in heaven. To be able to give something back is a joy. I love watching the reaction when people look at the quilt.Carlson has been quilting for more than 20 years and has won awards in national competitions. She said moving to Grand Lake allowed her the opportunity to pursue her passion of quilting.I love every process of creating a quilt, she said, from the designing to the selection of color, the search for fabric and watching the quilt take a life of its own. She said, as the quilt comes to life, it always changes and by the time its done its like a complete surprise.Her quilt, titled Ode to the Pines, is fit for a king, at king-size and 105×125. A row of flying geese surrounds the center, which features a traditional pine tree pattern. The outside highlights four more pine trees, feathering in a trapunto style. (Trapunto is a method in which extra batting is stuffed into the pattern to give it more dimension.)The border consists of a variety of pine trees with playful bears walking through the small wooded area.The intricate piecework in the next few borders is known as Seminole patchwork, she said. The origins of Seminole patchwork go back to the early 1900s when Seminole Indian women in the Florida Everglades developed the technique. Using hand-cranked sewing machines and cotton broadcloth in bright colors, the Seminoles created their striking patchwork garments. The technique is simple but yields patchwork that gives the illusion of complexity.Every quilt has a theme and a story to be told, Carlson said, and this years quilt is a reflection of her Ode to the Pines: Due to my companionship with the pine, the air off Shadow Mountain was always fresher, the seasons always more effective, and the isolation more pronounced. The pine kept the ground cooler, and the top soil moist. “The pine dusted us with pollen like clockwork. It stalled the wind, and covered the surface like a fine coat. The pine was there every day giving us an often-sought whimsy of the sun, the moon, the stars, and the fast glimpse of a flying object. The pine forest affects my every waking and sleeping hour, she continued. The pine has been my portal to where I am, and where my journey takes me. This is my ode to the pines. Putting it together is highlighted by the inspiration of the pines how to communicate their passing, to leave them a legacy in someone’s life (the quilt quality will stand the test of time) that might remind us of whence we traveled. Our Arapaho Forest has served us for well over 100 years. I hope this quilt will enjoy a place of comfort in someone’s life.Carlsons first quilt, also in Seminole style, was called A Walk in the Park and was reflective of her many travels in Rocky Mountain National Park. The 2006 quilt which followed showed how hummingbirds played a large part in her life. She said at least 20 at a time played havoc on her feeders during a summer. This years quilt is expected to be appraised at around $5,000. The Grand Arts Council is selling chances to win the 2007 quilt Ode to the Pines for $5 each or five chances for $20. The drawing to announce the winner will be held on the final night of the annual melodrama, Dec. 31, at the Grand Lake Community House.Tickets are also available at Cabin Quilts & Stitches in Grand Lake, or by contacting Linda Carlson at (970) 531-8296.