One hundred and one years ago, Grand Central Terminal opened in New York City. A double-level terminal for electric trains, it was the first of its kind.
With esthetic differences as far-reaching as the populations that travel through the station each year, the three quilts below celebrate the art of quilting combined with the architecture of one of America’s most famous buildings. These three, the top winners of the Grand Central Terminal Centennial Quilt Challenge, will be on display, along with nine honorable mentions and 18 finalists, at the New York Transit Museum in Grand Central Terminal from March 15 through July 7, 2014. Be sure to visit the museum if you find yourself in New York City.
Winners of the Grand Central Terminal Centennial Quilt Challenge
Grand prize winner: Amy Krasnansky, Baltimore, MD
Quilt name: TIME FLIES, BUT WE TAKE THE TRAIN
Quilt size: 34.5″ square
To commemorate the 100th anniversary of Grand Central Terminal, grand prize winner Amy Krasnansky, of Baltimore, Maryland, pieced two types of New York Beauty blocks, adding sequined arches and trapunto to recall the streaming light and carved frames of the windows in the Grand Central Terminal ceiling. In the quilt center, the information booth clock and a free motion-embroidered eagle symbolize the flight of time. The border’s hand-appliquéd figures represent people from different eras who have used the terminal over the past 100 years. Amy used two fabric colors in each figure, which creates a look of transparency.
First prize winner: Ligaya Siachongco, New York, NY
Quilt name: GRAND CENTRAL TERMINAL MANDALA
Quilt size: 35″ square
First prize winner Ligaya Siachongco of New York, New York, constructed a mandala-style quilt whose focal point is Grand Central’s information booth clock. The quilt is exquisitely filled with detail, including hand-appliquéd motifs cut from the challenge fabric; piping, ruching, and welting in the border; gold beadwork in the celestial background; and three-dimensional trapunto frames around the center clock and those in the corners.
Second prize winner: Beth Carney, Yonkers, NY
Quilt name: CHASMS 16: UNDER THE STARS
Quilt size: 24×30.5″
Second prize winner Beth Carney of Yonkers, New York, drew inspiration from the movement of all the people who have walked under the constellation sky in Grand Central Terminal. The skinny strips of cotton and dupioni inserted into background fabric, along with heavy machine quilting in wavy vertical lines, express an abstract view of the layers of tunnels and the intricate pathways that move into the city and beyond. “The similarity in line between the marble walls above and the dripping cement walls within the tunnels, define the line work as I connected the design of this terminal with its purpose,” she says. “Watching the patterns of the crowds as they moved through the space weaving in and out, I realized that for 100 years this magical dance has all happened under those constellations.”