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Second Place Winner, Precarious Times

Sharon Casey won 2nd Place at Road@Home in the category, What You Think You See, for her quilt, Precarious Times.

Precarious Times

Never a Quilter

If you had told Sharon Casey that she would be a quilter one day, let alone a winning quilter she would have replied, “I wouldn’t have believed it!”

Sharon hated sewing after a bad experience in Girl Scouts. She had to make a garment and wear it in a fashion show. Sharon recalls, “Just imagine a self-conscious 12-year-old who had never operated a sewing machine trying to make a dress. And then having to wear it on stage in front of a bunch of people. My dress kept puckering and pouched out terribly in the back. I was mortified. But the show must go on. And so I walked the runway in my lopsided dress and swore I would never touch a sewing machine again. Yet many years later I found myself sitting at a sewing machine almost every day! How did THAT happen?”

Sharon credits her sister-in-law, an avid quilter, for getting Sharon into quilting. She remembered peeking in her sister-in-law’s closet and saw the rows of beautiful fabrics in a rainbow of colors and exclaiming how pretty they all were. Her sister-n-law told Sharon to pick out three of her favorites. Before long, she had Sharon sitting in front of her sewing machine. Soon, Sharon was arranging blocks on the cutting table, “having the time of my life.” After that experience, Sharon said, “I took my little squares home with me and arranged them to my hearts content. I bought a Bernina and sewing supplies at a quilt shop near my home and began gathering fabric. Fast forward another 20 years and here I am!”

Making Precarious Times

Sharon entered Road@Home’s Quilt Contest because she didn’t want to miss a Road to California show.  She chose the category, “What You Think You See” because Precarious Times is a work of imagination.

What inspired Sharon to make Precarious Times? “I had the idea of balancing these shapes on top of each other like you see in rock cairns. I love rock cairns and I thought it was humorous to balance a huge rock on top of a tiny rock in a way that could not happen in nature! But because I chose a palette of black, white and grey, the tone became dark and foreboding. This matched the feeling in our country as the coronavirus pandemic had quarantined us inside our houses while our government floundered. With each news report of increasing hospitalizations and deaths, the tipping of the “stones” became more exaggerated as this double-sided cairn continued to grow upward. Day by day, it became increasingly off balance and topsy-turvy. It was as if the events swirling around us were manifesting in front of me.”

Precarious Times

The quilt took a little over a year to complete because Sharon kept switching back and forth between other projects. Precarious Times is a work of improvisational piecing. Sharon cut all the pieces at the same time using a rotary cutter, and then flipped one over to match it up. After, she would take it right to the sewing machine. Sharon never pins unless “it is a really menacing curve.” Sharon said that Precarious Times was “really tricky to piece, with some of the awkward shapes and my limited engineering skills!!!”

The Road@Home Experience

When Sharon found out she had won 2nd place in the What You Think You See category, she was “thrilled, of course!” She added that she was “very happy that Road to California was offered online while we were all quarantined at home. I enjoyed my experience at Road@Home. I took two classes which were very in-depth with information that was new to me, about improving my marketing and increasing my on-line presence. The teachers amazed me!”

After Road@Home, Precarious Times was accepted into an upcoming book — Quarantine Quilts: Creativity in the Midst of Chaos by Sandra Sider, published by Schiffer Publishing Ltd. The book will present chosen work by quilters during the Covid-19 pandemic. The quilts from the book will be on display at The National Quilt Museum in Paducah, Kentucky, June 4 – August 31, 2021.

Sharon’s “Word” for 2021

Focus is Sharon’s Word of the Year for 2021. She chose that word because she “like many creatives – have the tendency to lose focus and try to do too many projects.” She even wrote a poem about her word:

I landed on my tokus when I lost my focus

Was going to make one but started ten

The colors and the fabrics

I just can’t resist

And so I start a new quilt once again

Road@Home was glad that Sharon began her “focus” on making a winning quilt in time for the show’s quilt contest.

To learn more about Sharon, please visit her website.

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