If you followed my low poly quilt making tutorial you might have seen it, but I am so excited to share some more today about my Big Lebowski quilt now that it’s all quilted and photographed and done. I call it “That Quilt Really Tied the Room Together” and I just submitted him to QuiltCon while crossing all of my fingers and toes and stitches.
My amazingly talented friend Christine Perrigo quilted him up, and all photographs here are by my other amazingly talented friend Nissa Brehmer of Page + Pixel. (“And proud we are of all of them.”) Rule #1 of quilting: know awesome people.
Do you know The Big Lebowski? Of course you do. It’s a 1998 film by the Coen brothers starring Jeff Bridges, John Goodman, Julianne Moore, Steve Buscemi, and more. And it’s a cult classic. TBL has inspired three annual festivals in the US and UK, had two spider species named after it, and served as the cornerstone of Dudeism, a new religion/practice/what-have-you. People who love the movie really love the movie, and lines from it have become part of our everyday lexicon. Hell, I’ve referenced the movie three times already in this post.
I wanted the Dude quilt to pay homage to the film, but also to comment on the way that a lot of people have worshipped it specifically (and cult movies and pop culture more generally). So I decided to combine the Dude with the religious iconography of Catholic stained glass windows. The low poly construction echoes the glass facets, and I chose lots of metallic silver and gold to weave into the piecing.
Next, I gave the top lovingly to Christine with a general overview of my vision and three whispered words: “bowling pin halo.”
Holy smokes, did she deliver. I love the little details she included throughout the quilt, from the hair and beard and clothing details to the movie allusions. Rather than traditional Roman numerals on the bottom left, she quilted the Dude’s mantra, “ABIDE.” He has bowling balls “reflecting” in his sunglasses. The background texture is taken from the design of a Persian rug (an object which holds major importance in the film).
Then I sent the quilt to Nissa and Kristy Zacharias, who arranged these wonderful photos of the Dude in context, complete with a White Russian. I can’t even.
“I’m the Dude. So that’s what you call me. You know, that or, uh, His Dudeness, or uh, Duder, or El Duderino if you’re not into the whole brevity thing.”