Saturday, November 10, 2012

Quilting the Map of Oz

Emerald City: greens -- check. Winkie Country: yellows -- check. Munchkin Country, Quadling Country, Gillikin Country: blues, reds, purples -- check, check, check. One gigantic quilt for the backdrop for the play - Check it out!
This summer I adapted the book The Lost Princess of Oz into a play for daVinci Arts Middle School. The Lost Princess is one of my favorite Oz books; Patchwork Girl of Oz is a close second. I worked with a friend of mine, who is the school's costume designer and show director, to help shape the play into a fun performance piece for the students. During our working coffees she talked about making a Map of Oz quilt for the backdrop of the play. I loved the idea and offered to quilt it for her when she got the top put together.
For you Ozites out there, the map of Oz first appeared on a glass slide for L. Frank Baum's traveling show, Fairylogue and Radio Play. When it landed on the pages of the Oz books, it was illustrated in reverse: West to the right and East to the left. There is speculation that the glass slide was reversed, which led to the switch.
When the quilt top was finished it was 170" long and 118" wide. I called up a friend of mine, Jolene who just opened her long arm business, Good Knight Quilts this summer. She wasn't sure it would fit on her set-up, but she was willing to try and also willing to let me drive her Gammill! I was so excited to get to work on a long arm machine and Jolene was super generous to give up an afternoon (six hours, to be exact!) to help with the quilt.
The show opened last night and it was a blast! The kids were brilliant and the quilt looked amazing. Such a fun and rewarding project. My daughter Lili was cast as Scraps and I got to make her funny bloomers. She loves being the crazy Patchwork Girl and I am super proud of her. (Mushy mommy moment, but that's the way I roll!)
I also hand lettered this sign for the Truth Pond. I went to see Faythe Levine talk about her new book and documentary, Sign Painters, and was inspired to paint the sign by hand. Not too shabby for 'winging it!'
If you are in Portland and have young kids come and see the show! It runs this weekend and next, Shows at 7pm Friday and Saturday and a 2pm matinee on Saturday. Let me know if you are going to be there so I can be sure to say 'hi!'

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