A couple of years ago, while sorting through an assortment of past quilting projects, I came across a wall hanging I made in the early 1990s. It was a pretty decent version of Burgoyne Surrounded. Not yet ready to donate it to Goodwill, I wondered if there was some way to update it and make it a part of my “Inside the Box” series.
My first thought was “Burgoyne Surrounded….by what?” Having tossed around several ideas, I decided to surround him with an army of people. Off to my good old reliable graph paper I went to design my army. That completed, I chose a black and white color scheme because I feel the red/white/black combo is most effective.
Problem #1. I wanted the background to be white, which meant my army would be black. In this day of political correctness, I was certain someone in this vast world would find that offensive. What then? How about black with white polka dots? Nobody could be offended by polka dots!
Problem #2. How do I get my polka dot people running around the corners of my piece. Try as I may, I admit to utter failure. For once, my graph paper method of design just didn’t work. None of my people wanted to run around a corner. Think, Nance, think. Well, all armies need flag bearers, so into each corner went two single dot flags. To my eye, that worked.
I gave each member of the posse a brass shield, once part of a 1950s stretch belt, attached the border with brass rings to the Burgoyne center, stood back and smiled. Yep, vision achieved. Burgoyne Surrounded by the Polka Dot People’s Posse
I’m happy to report that this piece won the Best Use of Theme at VQF in 2011. The theme that year was Yankee Ingenuity. This year’s theme is A New Twist on an Old Favorite.