Make it New

Renovate, dod gast you, renovate! — Ezra Pound

I love the traditions of quilting, but I want to do something more uniquely my own.

When I first began being interested in quilts, many many years ago, and before I had time to make them, I had the idea to take the traditional old blocks and blow them up, that is, to make them very large.  I think that this was partly my answer to the time it took to make a pieced quilt from start to finish, but it was also a way to honor the very patterns themselves.  I made a giant “four rail” quilt for my brother on his wedding.  I think the blocks were about 15-16″ square, so the piecing of the top went very fast, and I assured speedy completion of the quilt by tying it, rather than actual quilting.  I also made a “Robbing Peter to Pay Paul” style with some very large blocks, also tied, out of some variously colored satin scraps left over from a project of making costumes for a Moliere play, during one of my very early employment episodes.  I still have this quilt, but am planning to renovate it thoroughly, starting with the removal of the pieced top from its totally inadequate border, batting and backing.  That is for another post.

More recently, I’ve been thinking about how I might make a transition from traditional quilting to a more modern, and individual aesthetic.  I’ve been reading Visual Guide to Working in a Series, by Elizabeth Barton where I’m encouraged to determine a unifying theme for my work (for a series, that is).   I think this notion of taking the traditional and making it new (and my own) may have some merit still.  I’ve been working on an idea for creating a quilt almost in the spirit of the pun.  My first attempt is a pun on the “dissappearing” quilt block.  Of course, dissappearing blocks aren’t really dissappearing at all, they are carefully constructed in the normal fashion, and then dissected and reassembled so that the original layout is altered.  I thought maybe it would be interesting to pursue a dissappearing scheme where not only the shapes, but also the colors would dissappear.  I chose the Dissappearing Nine Patch.

First, I set up some various layers for a dissappearing nine patch in my drawing program.

Diss Nine Patch Layers copy

Then I printed out a few of these blocks on paper and cut them apart and reassembled I think this idea is worth following up!