Sunday, July 26, 2020

Golden Orrery Redux

When Golden Orrery was in the planning stages, I was going to have it finished before the autumn fairs.  Then life intervened; I finished it just in time for Christmas.  In those blissful days before 2020, I planned to submit in this year's fairs... and obviously that's not going to happen. 

Plan B:  submit it online.  But the original photos were taken off our front porch, not a blank, uncluttered background that online competitions require.  So the search was on for a well lit, uniform background that could handle a nine-foot tall quilt.  That was a tall order (pun intended).  I received several offers and suggestions including contacting Greenfield Community College's art department (they were very nice, but unable to help at this time), photoshoping the original photos (thank you!) and an unexpected offer to hang it off the side of a friend's house (which was looking pretty good).

But then, Rob located a possible wall at the UMass Amherst campus.  Let the adventure begin....

There is construction going on all over campus.  It's nuts!  We discovered access to the wall from the parking garage was blocked by chain link fence and lots of construction workers.  We must have looked terribly suspicious scrutinizing the situation because the security guard made a beeline towards us.  We bailed like a pair of guilty teenagers.

We found another parking spot and lugged quilt and equipment to the campus center.  The section of wall we intended to use was also blocked by construction, but right next to it was big enough and accessible.  We got a few odd looks as we unpacked and set up.  As I hooked up the last bit of the quilt, two men stopped us:  did we have permission to hang that up there?  I turned to them and blurted, "OMG, I only want to hang it long enough to photograph it!" 

"Oh.  Okay."  And they moved on.


I photographed.

The rig worked great!  The pole is part of a massive quilting frame I have.  My design-wall hooks hung perfectly on it.  The rope was long enough lower the pole down so I could attach the quilt from below.   

I am pleased with the result.  The photos aren't perfect, but they're quite suitable.  Turns out I didn't need to bring the step ladder - there's a short wall and bench in front of it just the right height.  So less to carry if (when) we do this again.

The wall is south-facing (so good light) and the quilt itself hung wonderfully flat against the wall.  I'm glad it wasn't windy - one good gust of wind and it wanted to take off like a sail. 

Rob picked a great spot - I will certainly use this wall again.  Maybe as soon as I finish the twin-sized braided quilt?


  1. did you get close ups of the piecing and quilting? The pics look good!

  2. Sounds like quite an adventure! Your quilt looks great against that cement wall, too!

  3. What a great solution! Good teamwork :)
    I had thought I might ask the recipients of the Hansel Hap if I could borrow it to enter in this year's Hardwick Fair, but of course there IS no "this year's Hardwick Fair" so...oh well!

  4. Oh, I love that you and your husband went to the extreme effort to photograph with most amazing quilt. I did smile, as my husband and I are sometimes bailed up by the 'powers that be' who think it a little odd that we seem to be up to 'no good'. Fabulous photos shoot! I love your husband's head peeking from behind that fabulous wall. It's been a delight to re-visit your sublime quilt. You have my vote, Sally!


I enjoy reading your comments and I strive to reply by email (if you're not set to no-reply).