Monday, March 03, 2008

"3 1/2 Order Fresnel Lens"

The quilt is finished and waiting to be judged at the Midland County Historical Society Museum in Midland, Michigan. You have no idea what it took for me to get it there. Besides the fact that it was snowing really hard all day and I was stopped on the highway for over an hour due to a major accident, oh, and a detour later's a miracle it got there.

While I was registering the quilt I found out I was only the fifth entry. Wow. I might stand a chance of winning something. Probably nothing for workmanship but execution of theme would be nice. Oh yeah, there was a theme. And size restrictions. Here, let me explain....

The historical museum in Midland is having an exhibit this summer about Great Lakes Shipwrecks. To go with the theme, the local quilting guild set up an quilt contest with a similar theme- "Great Lakes Nautical". "Nautical" would be easy peasy, but "Great Lakes Nautical"? Now I'm intrigued......another stipulation is that the quilt can be no bigger than 30 inches by 40 inches, which is basically a wall hanging. So, a wall hanging with a Great Lakes Nautical theme. Hmmm....I love a good theme. And because I'm a history geek, I may have gone overboard. Here's what I came up with-

I found these pictures of a fresnel lens. (Fresnel lenses are the prismatic lenses used in lighthouses to project the light out and across the water.) The picture on the left is of the Bonita Lighthouse in California. The picture on the right is a 3 1/2 order fresnal lens which was made specifically for the Great Lakes.

So I combined the two to create this-
fresnel lens quilt

Here's an upclose view of the quilted lens-
close up of fresnel lens quilt

I know, I know, they are crappy pictures but they are the best I could do considering I finished the quilt that morning. I took a prismatic, sheer fabric and sewed it on top of a light yellow fabric to create a kind of 2D prismatic effect. I'd like to say it worked but you couldn't tell from this picture. It's suposed to look like a framed picture, the brown border around the quilt is wood grain fabric. I have the same fabric for the back, too. Here's another "Great Lakes" touch I added for bonus points-
copper close up
I ran some shiny copper fabric throught the rock cliff in the background. ;-) (For those out-of-staters, copper is found all over upper Michigan and Lake Superior.)

Here is the text from the label I made for it-

“3 ½ Order Fresnel Lens”
by vintage lilac 2008
This “portrait” quilt is an up close view of a 3 ½ order Fresnel lens. Fresnel lenses are the prismatic lenses used in lighthouses to project the light out and across the water. They range in size from 1st order (used in rivers and canals) to the 12th order (for use in large ocean harbors and bays) with the 3 ½ order designed specifically for the Great Lakes.

So there you have it. My first entry in a quilt show. Judging takes place on Thursday night and all quilts will be exhibited through the end of August. I plan on going back over the summer to get better pictures of it. I'll let you know if I win anything.


Blogger Happy Housewife said...

I am OVERWHELMED!I'm not kidding!
That is so brilliant!
You are so freaking talented!
Great job! I can't wait to hear that you've won!

Tue Mar 04, 10:26:00 PM EST  
Blogger Happy Housewife said...

Ohhh judging is tonight!

Let me know!

Thu Mar 06, 06:49:00 PM EST  

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