People wouldn’t describe me as a crafty person. I don’t have a Pinterest page, I’m scared of hot glue guns, and I’ve never gone to a Home Depot without having an anxiety attack. In fact, the closest I’ve come to creating “art” is when I photoshop myself in pictures with Andrew Garfield. Basically, I’m all thumbs, and that’s only considered a talent if you’re switching channels between a Real Housewives marathon and a Lifetime movie.
But just because I am not particularly apt at designing or creating doesn’t mean I don’t appreciate those who are innately, undeniably talented, which is why the 6th annual International Interior Design Association (IIDA) New York Sustainable Quilt Auction last week was so amazing. Held at the Open House Gallery, the IIDA quilt auction showcased designers who otherwise work on furniture, wallcoverings, textiles, etc., and had them crafting colorful quilts. The 270 guests were drawn to depictions of the New York City skyline, Coney Island, a Yellow Submarine, or Lady Liberty.
Designers and vendors, working outside of their normal designer box, joined teams to create quilting masterpieces out of leftover fabrics, logging in hundreds of hours on the volunteer project. What’s more, the money raised by the auctioned quilts went to the Fiver Children’s Foundation, a youth development organization that offers year-round and summer programs to children in underserved communities. Great work for a good cause—you really can’t beat that.
Participating firms from the nine quilting teams included: Perkins + Will, Gensler; G3 Designs, Izzy+, J+J Flooring Group, IIDA NY, Ted Moudis Associates; C3 Designs, the Pepperland Designs, Momentum Group, Kasthall USA, and Paolli. In fact, the team behind “The Lady Hangs it All,” which included members from Spacesmith, Davis Brody Bond, and M Moser, noted they logged 900 “priceless” hours making their Lady Liberty quilt. Included in those hours:
“12 bottles of wine
3 six packs
4 bags of popcorn
6 bags of hint of lime tostitos
3 hummus bowls
3 jars of salsa
2 lbs of cheese 19 stab wounds
900 hours spent on quilt: PRICELESS”
Although I may lack the sufficient skill level to design, create, and understand color schemes, I know how hard and thoughtful quilting can be. My boyfriend’s mom is an avid quilter and even owns a quilt shop in Illinois. When I went to visit her last year, she showed me her quilting room, we looked through her fabrics, picked out patterns, and she even had me at her machine where it took me an hour to follow an embroidery pattern that ended up delightfully off center (and eventually discarded). It’s not easy work.
Unlike me, these participating teams were able to thrive creatively under time constraints, fabric limitations, and working outside of their design comfort zones. The quilts were amazing, beautiful, visual, and certainly inspired me … to want someone to make me a quilt.