Pomegranates = Creative: A Challenge Quilt

Back in the day (more than ten years ago), I was a member of the Quilt Divas. A group of fiber artists based in the Finger Lakes region of New York, we met monthly to share our work, our discoveries, and our enthusiasm for art quilting. At one of our rowdier meetings, one of our members told how she’d put pomegranate seeds on her salad that week and been harassed by her family for the unusual ingredient. “It’s not wrong,” she told them. “It’s creative.”

We laughed at her story, but for the rest of the meeting, any creative suggestion was labeled “pomegranate”. Another member was so struck by this new code word for creativity that she showed up at our next meeting with a hand-sewn silk quilt showing pomegranates in a bowl.

When I was invited to be part of the Quilt Divas’ anniversary show Fifteen, I read the guidelines for the challenge quilt and thought immediately of pomegranates. I’m glad a topic came to mind so quickly, because everything else about this quilt qualified as a challenge. I usually avoid square formats and had to play around to get a composition I liked. The small size (15 inches per side) meant that it was tricky to construct, especially since I decided to include the theme of “Fifteen” by breaking the image into fifteen different sections. While this design didn’t break the record for the most pieces I’ve ever had in a quilt, it did have the smallest ones I’ve ever sewn.

My reference photo and my design overlaid with a fifteen section grid.
My freezer-paper pattern with pieces missing as I beging to choose fabrics.
Fabric selection is under way: I audition fabrics to get the right color and value before I do any sewing.
I’ve chosen my fabrics (and made a big mess in the meantime)
Here’s how it looked once I’d sewn it all together. Now… to embellish it!

I finished the quilt by adding embroidery, beading, and machine quilting.

Pomegranates by Kit Dunsmore

You can see Pomegranates in person at the Community School of Music & Arts in Ithaca, NY from June 3 through July 29, 2016. It’s part of the show Fifteen: Celebrating 15 Years of the Quilt Divas. You can also Meet The Artists, June 3rd and July 1st from 5 to 8 pm. I’ll be there for the one tonight, and hope to see you there.



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Kit Dunsmore

Kit Dunsmore has believed in the magic underlying the muggle world since she was a child searching for the Shetland pony pooka she was sure was hiding in her back yard. She learned early on that books were magic doors into other worlds, and that she could revisit a beloved character or place by opening the right book. As she grew, she decided she wanted to make magic with words, too. Today Kit writes about things she loves: poodles and dragons, witches and artists, quirky underdogs and loyal friends. Whether her setting is 6th-century England, the imaginary Twelve Kingdoms, or an art-obsessed version of modern America, magic always finds its way into her story. She enjoys turning fairy tales inside out and watching characters sacrifice everything to reach their goal, but she also believes in happy endings. When she isn't writing, Kit experiences magic by making things with her hands. Over the years, she's made quilts, fabric sculptures, collages, sweaters, and blank books. Her newest interest is learning how to spin her own yarn, a skill guaranteed to strengthen one of her many delusions: that she is a self-sufficient pioneer woman. She also thinks she is a hobbit, a witch, an artist, and a good cook. Living in the foothills of Colorado, Kit enjoys the giant skies and prairie landscapes which suit her need for wide open spaces. In addition to hiking through glorious scenery with her husband or imagining herself living in the Middle Ages, Kit works as a pillow for her miniature poodle and polishes the next small piece of her handmade life.

11 thoughts on “Pomegranates = Creative: A Challenge Quilt”

  1. Congrats on your show, Kit, and your latest quilt. While I no longer live in upstate NY, I did for several years, and there really aren’t many places w/ such thriving “guilds” of artists/craft “divas” as NY state has. First visit to your blog today – I’m enjoying it!


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