We were delighted to be in the Austin audience several weeks ago when Rachel Kerley of 2nd Avenue Design snagged second place in the appliqué division of the QuiltCon 2015 quilt competition for her The Dishes Can Wait quilt (pictured above). We have loved Rachel’s work since we first saw it in Portland in 2013 and we were honored to publish Dishes Can Wait last fall. Frankly, there’s no shot to a magazine’s ego like having your collective taste confirmed when a published designer subsequently wins an award.
And when GenQ contributing writer Linda Hamlin whipped up her own version of Rachel’s award-winning design to display in an Albuquerque LQS, we decided we’d share the whole thing with the q-niverse again.
You can find our pattern for Rachel’s fun design at this link.
And we asked Linda to say a few words about dabbling in Dishes:
I fell in love with the pattern when I saw it in Generation Q back in September 2014. I remember flipping through the magazine at Hip Stitch, one of our local stores in Albuquerque, and showing the pattern to the store owner Suzanne Kelly. I said, “We have to make this as a store sample.”
Then I got waylaid — as usual. Waylaid for nearly six months. When I saw that the Rachel’s quilt had won a prize at QuiltCon 2015, (BTW, “Congratulations, Rachel!”), I retrieved the magazine, poured over three bags of fabric scraps, wound a bunch of bobbins and got cracking (not cracking as in china cracking, though).
I wanted instant gratification so I followed the instructions for the fusible applique method. I started the quilt top on a Wednesday night and finished it Sunday morning. Quilting took just another few days. It’s now hanging in Hip Stitch, helping to sell kits Suzanne made of background fabrics and fusible web, plus copies of the GenQ issue with the pattern.
With the exception of two new fat quarters, the wall hanging is mostly a celebration of what’s possible with scraps. And if I used mostly remnants of past projects, why do I still have so many scraps leftover? I know! Because I can make another version of the Dishes Can Wait wall hanging for a friend! Somebody’s in for a terrific surprise.
In selecting scraps for the dishes, I went through my china cabinet.
The green plates were inspired by the vintage green Bauer bowls my mom gave me. (Actually, she gave them to me after I asked why expensive collectibles were in the dishwasher. That’s the only time snark has ever paid off for me.)
The boomerang-shaped bowls resemble the vintage Laguna Pottery planter that my husband inherited from his grandmother. He thinks she scored it along with matching candlesticks at a Saturday morning garage sale.
The green bowl with the satellites was inspired by “Starburst,” the 1950s pattern from Franciscan Ware. It was cool in the Cold War and it’s cool today.
The other pieces were inspired by odds and ends my husband I picked up in thrift stores antique stalls and the pottery fairs. None of it matches, some of the pieces are chipped, but they all look great together. (And I’ll be honest—I loved Rachel’s palette, but I opted for higher contrast and more saturated colors because my eyesight is just a tweak off, and the contrast made it easier to the outline stitching.)—Linda Hamlin
Now, Rachel herself has had some fun with Dishes since her big win. She’s re-made the design in new tones and shapes for a local Portland shop, entitling this version Cups and Shalo Bowls. Follow her on Instgram at 2ndavestudio to see more of her quilty explorations.