Hooked on Needles

Monday, October 13, 2008

Fabulous Fabric Art -- Tuba Player Quilt

My older daughter has been in her high school marching band now for almost four years which has provided the whole family with some fun times. We love to go to the home football games and watch the band entertain the crowd, not just with their half-time show but also during the game in the stands with their pep music. Competitions are fun and all the civic events at which they perform are very proud moments for us parents.

For the most part, there are several of each instrument being played in this band, but this year we have only one sousaphone, which most people call a tuba. Laura is our only tuba player this year and we are all very proud of her. She seems to love her job and she does it well. I think she is the only one who dances to the drum line's beat while leaving the field in formation after competitions. It's kind of hard to miss the only tuba swaying back and forth.

Anyway, since this website is not about all things musical or marching or high school band, I really should get to the point. That would be the point of a needle of course!

Laura's mother, Karen, is quite an accomplished quilter and she is a member of our local quilter's guild. For a guild challenge, Karen decided to render a likeness of Laura, the lone tuba player, in uniform playing the tuba. I got to see this piece recently and asked Karen if I could share it with you here. And here it is:

Tuba Player QuiltThis is the cord which is worn by all the band members as part of the uniform. Most wear royal blue, but depending on year and position in the section, they may also or instead wear white or silver. To make this cord, Karen took two pieces of large ric rac and put them together so they would appear to be one twisted cord. I think it really makes the shape of the shoulder look sharp too.

Tuba Player QuiltHere you can see all the little pieces of fabric Karen used to make up the details of Laura's face and the mouthpiece of the tuba, reflections and all. I love the choice of fabric for Laura's hair. It captures the essence of all those lovely natural curls! The zipper pull is real and sewn on to the top of the zig zag stitch zipper.

Tuba Player QuiltSwirling out from the bell of the tuba are the notes to one of the songs the band plays. Notice the quilting lines coming out in a wave from the center of the bell.

Tuba Player QuiltLaura must have been looking at a lovely garden of purple flowers because that is what is reflected in her leather-looking sunglasses. Very clever.

Tuba Player QuiltKaren said she wanted the bell of the tuba to look like it was standing out from the rest of the quilt, so it is bound separately from the lower part of the piece. Notice all the different fabrics and shapes depicting the reflections and shine in the brass bell.

Tuba Player QuiltThis shows the binding on the edge of the bell, going from bright to dark and then at the top in the next picture you can see it goes to a medium brown just like the shadings in the brass. In the picture above, you can also see more of Laura's curly brown hair peeking out from under her beret and tuba.

Tuba Player QuiltAnd here's the whole piece showing Laura in her snazzy uniform and black beret playing her big beautiful sousaphone. The detail Karen captured in this piece is really quite amazing. I know Laura will treasure this quilted wall hanging long after she has stopped playing in the high school marching band.

Karen, thank you for letting me share this inspirational piece of artwork with my readers.

If you would like to share in a little piece of my not-nearly-as-inspirational artwork, hurry to my Fall Giveaway and sign up before it's too late. The last day to leave a comment and have a chance to win a pretty little pincushion bag with matching needle book along with some other fall goodies is Tuesday, October 14th. Good luck!

Happy Stitching!

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