Quilt Designers' Remix Challenge 2022 - March
Route 66 represented more than just another highway. “It became,” according to one contemporary admirer, “an icon of free-spirited independence linking the United States across the Rocky Mountain divide to the Pacific Ocean.”
In researching this block, I fell wayyyy down a fascinating rabbit hole reading and learning all about Route 66.
I was especially intrigued by the history of this famous highway connecting Chicago to Los Angeles because I live in Tulsa, Oklahoma which was prominent in establishing the road, was a popular stop along Route 66, and continues to celebrate it today.
Dubbed “America’s main street” by Cyrus Avery — a Tulsa businessman credited with championing the roadway’s construction until it became a reality — and “the mother road” by John Steinbeck in The Grapes of Wrath (1939), U.S. Highway 66 was commission in November 1925, stretched over 2200 miles, and was decommissioned in June 1985 as the interstate infrastructure we use now had taken over the country.
Route 66 was a major contributor to the growth, popularity, and commerce of western states and the Pacific region. It is an icon of American pop culture, and it has been memorialized with songs, museums, memorabilia, and literature.
I even allude to it and the mass “Okie” exodus of migration to California in my début novel, Grocery Girl, when we learn Miss Sadie’s backstory in Chapter 3.
It’s now 2022, thirty-seven years after it was decertified by the American Association of State Highways and Transportation Officials, and here in Tulsa, Oklahoma, we are still celebrating our small section of U.S. Highway 66 and all that it meant to be included on the route.
When you visit the 918 on your Route 66 roadtrip…
- Snap a few photos at Route 66 Rising, a 70-foot by 30-foot structure located along the original 1926-1932 alignment of the highway.
- Grab lunch at Mother Road Market, a phenomenal food hall that offers everything from amazing cuisine to unique retail shopping to pop up shops to up-and-coming music, at the corner of 11th and Harvard.
- Pick up your Route 66 souvenirs at Buck Atoms Cosmic Curios, also on 11th Street which was a stretch on the original roadway.
- Spend a few moments at the Cyrus Avery Centennial Plaza where East Meets West to see an incredible sculpture depicting a family traveling down Route 66 in a Model T when “They suddenly come across an oil field waggoneer whose team of horses are scared by the new sounds of a combustion engine.”
March Assignment: the Rocky Road to California
I told you that I fell way down the rabbit hole, and now you believe me!
Let’s get back to quilting and this month’s Quilt Block Remix Challenge.
The Rocky Road to California quilt block is another nine-patch block and a variation of the Jacob’s Ladder block pattern. It has three four-patch units, four half-square triangles, and two solid squares set to create the effect of two flying geese along the diagonal of the block.
I decided to honor the nine-patch foundation by sizing my block to 9" square. Then I turned the four-patch blocks into nine-patch blocks.
I liked it, but it still needed more mixing up, so I switched the solid squares for 9-patch units as well.
What I created was the need for 1" half-square triangles — a first for me — but I love the way it turned out:
You'll notice that I also incorporated two additional color ways to use more fabrics.
(Remember, I'm going for a Roaring 20's Art Deco feel for this project.)
I pulled an icy blue and glamorous gold prints to go with my ivory background. They are stunning:
- Whispers Metallics in Gold Trellis by Moda
- Speckled in Polar by Ruby Star Society
- Grunge in Harvest Gold by Moda
- Bella Solids in Porcelain by Moda
Throughout the month, I shared progress pics on my Instagram page:
And today, I'm sharing the final product...
I had a lot of fun layering elements to create my new design, one that I hope depicts the glitz and the glamour of the Gilded Age!
Stay tuned! Up next is the April remix...I'll share the fabric pull on Monday 🤩
With love and hugs,