On April 9, 2020, the San Antonio Food Bank held a food distribution for those in need of food due to this pandemic.
The response was more than expected. There were 10,000 cars representing 50,000 people. We have a great Food Bank in our city, and they continue to service those in need, thanks to our community donors. The event of this day was described as a “mammoth, multicolored quilt from the air”. Here is a link to the article and photo of this distribution.
The color palette of all these vehicles was a surprising to me. I guess I am remembering that in my childhood, there was more of a range of colors in vehicles. Turquoise, yellow, green, brown, and lots of blue.
Here is are some questions for quilters:
If you were making a quilt to represent the story of this event, what would you do to keep this from looking like just another strip quilt?
How would you keep this abstract and still add the differentiation between the trucks, SUVS, and cars?
Any ideas and input would be appreciated.
My friends and I are thinking we might want to make a quilt wall hanging.
We have a few ideas, but are not satisfied with what we have so far.
Thank you.

11 thoughts on “Questions

  1. My vote is to start with half-rectangle triangle squares to approximate the shapes and go from there. Maybe look at some of Gwen Marston’s books for inspiration? I look forward to seeing the design!

  2. Funny you mention car colors as my husband and I were just talking about the same thing. Prompted by not recognizing our black car in a parking lot of gray or black or white cars. As for the quilt, I guess I like the strip idea, I just do, but maybe more irregular where cars are out of line, or turn out or curve off? I know this is garbled- I’m not exactly clear what I mean. I like the simplicity of the strip image – compared to the complex problems that make this event necessary. I’m sorry I’m not helping, I’m just rambling. I love the idea you have of making this quilt.

    1. There have been many a times I have tried to unlock the wrong gray vehicle that I thought was mine. Thanks for your response. I am trying different strip samples but have not yet found the magic strip sizes that yield the aerial view I am trying to represent. Maybe this is not possible. I like the idea of curved strips, and I will have to play with that idea. You make a great point about the simplicity of a strip quilt in comparison to the complexity of the pandemic that caused this event. You have given me much food for thought, so thank you.

      1. For some reason I have been caught by your idea, it’s stayed on my mind. Maybe it’s just being exposed so much to this these days. I was thinking of a site near me at a community college, with the curving lines of cars going in and then disappearing into the white block of the tent, and then arranged in a smaller block where they wait. I had to imagine it from the air because I haven’t seen it but I know the college layout and for some reason it is very clear to me. Anyway, I think you have a cathartic project in the making and I predict it will be healing (no idea why I say this, I hope you do not think I am presumptuous). I have one more appointment to go to but mine is at a drugstore (where last time we waited in the parking lot, we got there early, having had to drive 100 miles to get this appointment, and we watched all the cars trying to cram into the parking lot, it was oddly shaped and people got mixed up, over and over, but that is a story for another day all of that!)

      2. I do not consider you to be presumptuous. Before this pandemic, my friends and I were actively involved in volunteering. Due to this pandemic, our activity and volunteering have been curtailed, leaving us feeling a bit powerless in helping, outside of donations. You are right that this is a cathartic project. We want to do it, but we want it to be just right, and we just haven’t figured this out yet. Planning is a made a bit more difficult because we cannot yet work together, in the same space, like we used to do. We have been planning on our own, and plan to meet n the park to see if this is actually doable. Thank you for your interest and input.

  3. The visual packs an emotional punch…your finding in it an inspiration for a creative piece is evidence of our innate desire to make something good out of something ‘bad’.
    I’m thinking maybe keeping with the row idea (which I know you wanted to avoid !) but focus on the **colors** and/or shapes of the vehicles in line to showcase the individuality of each of the occupants in the huge crowd – the diversity of the group needing something as basic as food.

    1. You are so right about focusing on the individuality and the diversity of the group. I have not been satisfied with all the samples I have tried. It may be because I am using scrap fabric on hand to make the models. I agree with you that it will be the fabric choice that will make the difference. Right now, I am trying to decide if I want to go through with this. I will be talking with my friends and sharing ideas we have come up with so far. Thank you for your input. It has been very helpful.

  4. Sorry it took me so long to give some input. I looked at the image in the link you provided and WOW – what inspiration for an art quilt!!!! I see what you mean not wanting to make another strip quilt but I could see how the design totally lends itself to a strip quilt. I read the ideas other shared and I like the idea of the Gwen Marston inspiration. What about thin piece strips which have multiple colors – groups and then spaced with solid bands of color?

    1. Thanks for your response. My friend and I took all suggestions into account and came up with a design that might work. We have done the math in planning our quilt, and our in the process of adding new fabrics to those in our stash. We found two great fabrics to use for the “pavement” on which we will applique vehicles. We made different patterns of the aerial view of the vehicles. It will be an abstract, strip quilt…we hope. We are still in the planning stage, but hope to get started soon.

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