Unlocking Our Common Past was designed as a donation to the 2012 Association of Pacific West Quilters Auction. I was intrigued by the criteria that the Spirit of the West quilts should be designed to represent the western region of North America. As I brainstormed, I realized that I had visited and photographed most of the APWQ provinces and states. Looking through my photos, it occurred to me that the pioneering spirit was a common thread, in fact, the images of 'old ' dwellings and paraphernalia could have been taken anywhere in the 'Old West'.
I used two methods for printing the photos...some were transferred directly on to the background fabric while others were sewn on. I surrounded the photos with a burlap texture treatment to further enhance the aged appearance and leather was used for the binding. The quilt was embellished with keys and locks to represent the title Unlocking Our Common Past.