The charge was to make a quilt inspired by a summer festival, and I had a week to do it. The only festival I attended this summer was Inti Raymi (Inti- Sun, Raymi- Festival) which was celebrated when I was in Cusco, Peru with my granddaughter.
The Inti Raymi dates back to Inca times when the Sun was worshiped and offered sacrifices. The festival coincides with the winter solstice, when the Incas, and Peruvians today, gather at the Temple of the Sun at sunrise to welcome and celebrate the “return of the sun” and longer, warmer days.
In earlier times, the celebration lasted many days. When the Spanish conquered the Incas, the celebration date was changed from the actual solstice to June 24th to continue the celebration in hiding by coinciding the date with the Catholic feast of John the Baptist.
I started my quilting journey using the Chakana as a backdrop. This Inca Cross incorporates the cardinal points of the compass with a super-imposed square. The three points at each corner represent “steps” that symbolize the three levels of existence: the upper world (inhabited by the Gods,) the world of everyday existence, and the underworld (inhabited by the spirits of the dead.)
My Chakana looked staid, so I tilted it to reflect the activity of the festival.
The quilt needed a sun, of course. I tested the motif with paper.
When I auditioned fabrics for the sun, I found one I liked, but, of course, didn’t have enough. So, I had to revise the design.
The sun rising in the dark, early morning sky, finally became the focal point of my quilt. I used the spiral to represent the sun as it represents unity, wholeness and completion to the Incas. They see it as the never-ending cycle of life and a path to the Creator.
Enough tinkering, time to get this thing quilted. I just started expanding my long arm skills beyond edge to edge, so this was an adventure. With the deadline approaching, I didn’t have time to sweat the small stuff. Here are some close-ups of the quilting.
The quilt finished at approximately 36 inches square and is completely machine pieced, quilted and bound.
Every quilt is a learning process. All done, there are several things I would have done differently. I’m not going to point them out here, as I have decided that, I will give this quilt to my granddaughter and will be making another for my gallery….as I was the older person on our trip, my quilt will be the wiser version.
Live well. Quilt Well.