Shaft Mines: Pantone Quilt Challenge 2023

Shaft Mines

49” x 37”

United States

The 2023 Pantone Color of the Year is Viva Magenta. Elizabeth Ray and Sarah Ruiz are hosting this year’s Quilt Challenge. I knew I had a box of scraps in this color and similarly-colored scraps. I wanted it to feel moody like the artwork from Pantone. Half way through the process it began to look like a geological dig. I started calling it Shaft Mines.

I grew up in the mountains of Southwest Virginia. My father and brother are coal miners. They haven’t worked in shaft mines, but drift mines. In a shaft mines, there is a vertical entry from the surface into the coal seam— think elevator. In a drift mines, you enter the mountain at an incline— think tunnel or mouth. This quilt feels like both.

Because I was using black, I worried it wasn’t magenta enough. I worried it was too chaotic. I worried my worries would prevent me from finishing it. I tinkered until I gave up. The quilting in straight lines rescued it for me. I love how the dark pink stitches give order to the chaos. I used 8 weight thread in part of it. My machine didn’t like it so I switched to 50 weight in different pinks.

I’m linking this post to the challenge link up page. Go here for the other entries


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