The Endeavourers’ Reveal Day – Quilt Quest

It’s time once again for the quarterly reveal day for the online art quilt group, The Endeavourers.

This time the theme was “Boustrophedon,” and I had an idea what that word means. It is from the Greek, and it means to write each line in a reversed direction from the one before. (Bous means ox, and strophé means turn, so it is like an ox plowing a field.)

So the first line goes left to right, and the second right to left. Because after all, your hand is already on that side of the page, why waste the motion of lifting it all the way across to the left again just to start the next line? How inefficient!

To portray this theme, initially I was going to do a grocery store, the only place I can think of where I walk in boustrophedon fashion.  But then the piece I did for our Memories theme caught my eye, and it reminded me of the game of Chutes and Ladders.  So I decided to create an art quilt game.  Allow me to present “Quilt Quest!”

The complete game board.

As you can see, there is a little envelope labeled “start here” on bottom left, and a spinner on the bottom right.  You choose one of the playing pieces, start at “accept challenge,” and then spin to determine how many spaces to move.

Playing pieces, made from a Greek blouse from the 1960s.

The spinner incorporates vintage linens, a bobbin, and buttons.

I don’t have an embroidery machine, so I did all the writing with free motion quilting, and outlined the spaces with some decorative machine stitches.  For the background quilting, of course I used boustrophedon matchstick quilting.  🙂

In normal play, you proceed in boustrophedon fashion, but as in Chutes and Ladders, there are some spaces that either give you a shortcut, or send you backward.  There are also some spaces where you miss a turn, and three spaces to just relax with a soothing hot beverage!

The list of spaces is:

  • accept challenge
  • ponder
  • consult notebooks (and you can see I need to cross the t in notebooks)
  • Eureka!  (shortcut up to “pull fabric”)
  • walk around
  • beverage
  • consult Internet
  • pull fabric
  • cut pieces
  • visit quilt shop (maybe this should be before “pull fabric,” but for game board spacing it had to be placed here)
  • beverage
  • tension problems (go back to “consult Internet”)
  • MESSY MIDDLE/spin (here you take an extra spin; if you spin 1 or 2 you have to start over!  If you spin 3 or 4 you can power through)
  • embellish (miss a turn)
  • beverage
  • in the zone
  • fabric avalanche
  • SQUIRREL! (miss a turn) (it should have been miss 3 turns)
  • out of fusible (go back to “visit quilt shop”)
  • bind
  • touch up with Sharpie
  • photograph strategically (you may notice a “hurry-up” theme to the last few spaces)

“Eureka!” lets you take a shortcut.

As in every project, when you get to the Messy Middle, it is tempting to just give up, but if you are lucky you can power through.

At the end, there is another red envelope that says, “celebrate, then open!”

And when you open it to see your prize, it says, “Repeat as needed.”  Because to me the best prize for finishing a project, is getting to do another one.

The prize for finishing is to do it all again!

I made the game name by photographing a vintage Dresden plate block, and then using Photoshop to make the text with those fabric patterns to fill the letter forms.

One thing I had totally missed about true boustrophedon, is that all the letters should be reversed in alternate rows too! Well that is where I applied my artistic license.  🙂

I enjoyed working on this so much.  The stitched cursive is shaky and the piece needs lots more embellishment, but I had so much fun thinking of each step in the game.  It would be fun to make little cards to pull, with even more permutations.

I hope you can go to The Endeavourers blog today, and see what everyone else came up with for this challenge!