By Rhonda Rosales, Vice President


We found the theme of “small piecing” to be very open-ended, which was both difficult to nail down and completely freeing. There were many options we considered from improv two-color blocks to an intricate all-over pattern.We always try to tie our annual charity quilt into our local area; something that reflects or refers to Silicon Valley. One of our members had the idea to make a quilt top that looked like a smartphone, a Silicon Valley invention. This would surely lend itself to small piecing, and would allow each member to provide a stand-alone block that could be integrated into the overall top.


Each block would represent a common app that could be found on any of our phones. To ensure that we didn’t get repeats, we came up with a list of some of the most common apps and members signed to interpret a specific app, into a unique 8-inch block. One of the neatest things about the challenge was to see how members communicated the essence of a phone app, without copying a logo or image directly. Some apps were translated very literally, while others were more interpretive and subtle. It was a fun game to receive new blocks and see if we could guess which app each one representedMembers were advised to leave space in the corners as they would be rounded in order to mirror a phone app icon. This proved tricky and we had to make some decisions about what elements might be lost if blocks were too big.


We chose to reverse applique the blocks into the background to avoid having to piece curves that could interfere with the flow of the background design.We wanted the background of the quilt to appear like the wallpaper on a phone, to sit behind the app blocks, and what better background than a quilt top? We chose bold solid fabrics in the color palette provided to better represent the graphic quality of a smartphone home screen. We held back one color from the palette to be used in the background only, to further set it apart from the app blocks.


For the quilting, we opted for simple diagonal lines using monofilament on the “apps” so that it would not stand out against the sometimes complicated designs. On the background, we echoed the quilt design using a sashiko stitch for a handworked effect and to accentuate the look of a quilt.This quilt will be donated to one of the many charities supported by our guild, most likely to benefit the victims of one of the California wildfires.