Monday, May 17, 2021

Chernobyl

Fini~ 
 Nuclear Disaster occured 4/26/86 at 01:23.4 am
I have had a lot of questions as to why I made this Chernobyl themed quilt.  The short answer is I wanted to make a tribute to the people who were killed during the accident and in the months and years after working to contain the disaster.
I used many different themes within the quilt from wildlife, snow, flowers, art, architecture and yes; death.
I used Jen Kingwell's steampunk templates because the propeller design reminds me of a radiation sign.
The disaster was the result of decades of cost cutting and cover up by the scientific community and the Home Office in the USSR.  Ultimately the accident happened during a safety test of the back up power generator.  
RBMK is the Reactor that was housed in building #4 in Pripyat,  Northern Ukraine SSR in Soviet Union.   Here is an aerial view of the wreckage.
After machine appliqueing the letters, I  back stitched embroidered around them to give them more dimension.  It is not perfect on the back, but the sleeve hides most of it.  Needs Must.
For the backing I used this beautiful collage of flowers, birds, music and architecture.  Russia has such a rich tradition in the arts.  It seemed an appropriate contrast to the sciencey nature of the front.
I considered several binding options but the simple black frame seemed best.
The straight and ripply quilting is how I imagine the radiation that is still and will be detected in the exclusion zone for hundreds of years.

Mr. Fun and I have been scouting out photo locations for a while and we ended up using a old forestry shack on the edge of a wooded area near our home.
and a old school building that is right off the Boston Post Road here in Madison, CT.  It was the original school for the town but has fallen into disrepair.
Both seemed fitting somber locations for this quilt.

Thank you for your interest in this quilt.  If you would like to learn more about Chernobyl here is a good link from the World Nuclear Association.

The HBO mini series is what first piqued my interest.  The attention to detail was incredible.  There is also a companion podcast to the series.

I also listened to the audio book "Midnight in Chernobyl" by Adam Higginbothom, which offered more details about the disaster those involved.
If you are still here, thank you for stopping by for the full story of my Chernobyl Quilt.
xo


35 comments:

  1. Wow, Barb, what a beautiful quilt just as a quilt (the color and pattern combinations, the movement) but when you read its story it just becomes such a powerful meaningful quilt. The lettering is perfect for it and leaves no doubt of the theme. It has been interesting to see this quilt progress. You really captured so many themes and created a serious and yet so beautiful quilt - it's truly amazing. You sure found perfect places to photograph it, too. I've seen the mini series and it was so excellent. In the back of my mind I was thinking of the Fukushima disaster of 4/11 too.... Anyway, congratulations on another simply amazing excellent quilt! I hope you get to show it around officially in quilt shows.

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  2. Excellent locations for your photo shoot! What a beautifully powerful quilt - congratulations!

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  3. Such an amazing quilt and so poignant. Ever since I read Midnight in Chernobyl I have been fascinated by the story. Well done!
    Kathy B
    Northern CA

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  4. I came right over from Instagram to read more. It is a beautiful quilt with great thought, design, fabric, and construction. I am in awe.

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  5. Great quilt, Barb! It's ironic how history keeps repeating itself: cut costs, ignore science - disaster inevitably happens (see: Pandemic 2020).

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  6. What a thoughtful piece of art! Honoring those lost and the need for the rest of us to pay heed to our earth and its inhabitants. It's a lovely piece as well. I do like that Steampunk pattern. You're work is so inspiring...to quilt and to do better!

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  7. Ohhh congratulations on this beautiful finish !!
    I love all the fabrics you used, and the back one considerably softens the whole !
    Bravo and.... yes, fini ! :))))

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  8. I LOVE this! Thanks for the history lesson and pix of your wonderful quilt!!!

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  9. This has been an interesting journey to follow on your blog. What a fabulous result! Love the wavy quilting. Great photo shoot :0)

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  10. What an amazingly poignant quilt. I just shared your photos with my DH and he loved your fabric choices. This really needs to be seen by the public at large as yet another reminder that we need to keep the memory of our collective history alive, both the good and the bad. Both are necessary to teach our children how events and choices impact the world we have inherited and the one we ultimately must pass along to them. I do hope your quilt receives national and international attention at some major shows.

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  11. What fabulous photos! The absolute perfect settings for this remarkable quilt. I am so proud of you for keeping this disaster in our minds and hearts so that we may help to see that it never happens again!

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  12. Amazing job on a stunning quilt for a ghastly event in the history of mankind. Very well done, down to the backing, to the places the pictures were taken, everything is so well thought out. Bravo! May those poor souls rest in peace. ♥

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  13. Congratulations on creating and completing this excellent quilt!! I don't think I've seen any other quilt that refers to this nuclear accident so it seems to be one-of-a-kind - unique and special!! And meaningful. I read Midnight In Chernobyl and it was a GREAT and sobering book and a real condemnation of the soviet government for cutting corners, lack of transparency, and incompetence. As with some of your other quilts, I'd love to see it in a show some day! :)

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  14. You did so well with this quilt..... So much thought which I am glad you explained in this post about your quilt......I may listen to one of those postcast.....I remember Chernobyl being as big disaster.... Only as I got older knowing the true effects that last for so long......

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  15. Chernobyl was just in the ness this week. It's not going away! You are part of a long tradition of women raising social and political issues with their quilts.

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  16. I was interesting to follow the progress of this quilt. Very powerful and a good documentation of an awful event! You always do something that is interesting!

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  17. This is a fitting and beautiful tribute. Thank you.
    Abby in MN

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  18. Your quilt is a fabulous commemorative quilt to a horrific disaster. You put a lot of thought into each aspect of your design and how it relates to the event. Great photo ops. It does reflect this somber catastrophic page in history.

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  19. We watched the miniseries on this disaster. Hard to believe it was more than 30 years ago. Great fabric choices and meaning in this quilt!

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  20. I remember when this happened. Your quilt is a fitting tribute to the people who died in this disaster. Beautiful quilt.

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  21. Thank you for the whole story of this quilt. Your photo shoot locations are perfect.

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  22. Thank you for taking us through your process on another stunning quilt. Every piece and stitch has a special meaning, and it all comes together in a very cool and modern quilt.

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  23. Thanks so much for sharing the story of your quilt! I am one of those who wondered, why a Chernobyl quilt? But I totally understand now - and how you turned this event, and your feeling about it, into a quilt, is amazing and beautiful. Love the photo shoot, perfect backdrop to the story, and the quilt. Thanks for sharing.

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  24. Your quilt is the first one that I've seen to commemorate the disaster. A beautiful but haunting reminder to us all.

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  25. Great post. Love how the quilt turned out. It is evident that you put much thought into it.
    Kathleen -- kakingsbury at verizon dot net

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  26. Beautiful quilt!
    Thank you for sharing the history of Chernobyl.

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  27. What a fantastic commemorative quilt. Thank you for sharing your thought-process for making it and for bringing this disaster to the forefront. Love all the fabrics you've chosen and the lettering at the top sets it off perfectly!

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  28. Congrats on finishing up this special quilt, Barb, and for sharing more of the story. You and Mr. Fun did a great job with the photos!

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  29. The mini series was so intense! Love the settings you chose to photograph your awesome quilt!

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  30. I spent 30 days in Europe in June of 1986, it was the first date with my friend Henry who is now my husband of 34 years :0). It was the quietest time traveling around to all the countries, we saw no other Americans that summer either. This is a fabulous tribute to those who died in this horrible accident. The entire world learned from this disaster.

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    Replies
    1. Hi Kim
      I don't have an email for you and you are no reply setting.
      Thanks for sharing such nice comments. It must have been interesting to be in Europe at the time. The radiation cloud went west (good thing for you)!

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