Wednesday, October 28, 2015

Peace Be With You: Bloggers Quilt Festival

It's time once again for the fabulous Blogger's Quilt Festival. It's always a great opportunity to find new quilty bloggers and see everyone's lovely work.  Many thanks to Amy for hosting it!

Peace Be With you is my entry in the Art Quilt category, and you should click through to see all the other great entries.

I worked on this quilt for most of the spring and summer, but was unable to show final pictures of it because I entered it into a special exhibit called "Festival Gallery of Quilt Art: Just Sayin" at the International Quilt Festival in Houston and they had a rule about not showing the final quilt before the show opened.  Well now it's opened, so I can finally share it!!  For anyone who's able to actually go to the show, you can see it there in person.

Peace Be With You, 48" x 50", c. 2015 Shannon M. Conley

This piece is another one in my series of liturgical quilts, many of which are stylistically linked to illuminated manuscripts or texts.  The composition of this one was inspired by a really glorious piece of Arabic calligraphy.

It started with four tiles I designed earlier in the spring while at a workshop with Jenny Bowker. Once I settled on a composition for the whole piece, I made two more partial tiles to fill in the gaps.

Designing the text to fit in the circular piece was fun.  It's a bit hard to see at first glance, but there are two interlocking rings of text.  The outside of the circle reads "Peace be with you" while nestled along the inside is the response "And also with you".  This is the greeting parishioners exchange with their neighbors during an Episcopal worship service.  The letters are all cut from different synthetic gold fabrics and then appliqued down using a tiny zig zag.  While quilting, I then couched down the Ricky Tims Razzle Dazzle thread to give a little more definition.

One of my favorite parts is the border around the circular/tile parts.  I foundation pieced it using all my shiny gold fabrics and between the foundation (a leave in stabilizer) and the seam allowances under the piecing, it really puffs up nicely.

The background fabric is some sort of slightly stretchy heavyweight polyester apparel fabric, and up close it has a really nice sheen.  Unfortunately, the stretch made it a bit difficult to work with while squaring up/quilting.  The quilting was done free motion, but I did mark some of the patterns first, especially those along the very outer border an in the bottom.  In order to echo the dragons hiding in the tiles, I quilted a dragon in the bottom part.

Though I struggled a lot with this piece (from a practical-accomplishing-it) standpoint, I'm pleased with how it turned out, and I hope the message can serve as a reminder, to me at least, to reach out with kindness to those around me.  I feel like society at large is becoming increasingly polarized, and that my life in particular has been filled with stress and conflict, so that a little patience and peace might serve me well.

Thanks again to Amy for hosting the Bloggers Quilt Festival, and make sure to click through to see the other entries!!


  1. This is indeed glorious, in workmanship, creativity and sentiment! Thank you for sharing so many up close details...this design requires/deserves a close look :) I spotted the "also with you" , but may not have seen the "peace be with you" without your help...and still the name was perfect :)

  2. Congratulations on getting your piece into the International Quilt Festival in Houston. What a beautiful piece.

  3. Your work is amazing. This is a very cool quilt.

  4. I saw your quilt at Houston. It looked wonderful!