I haven’t had any quilts to share for awhile, but that does not mean I have been idle in that area. Just head down and working. I’ve been trying to limit my online time a bit…it is very time consuming and I’d often much rather be making something or doing something else my life might need at the moment – keeping my house decent, cooking, visiting friends, getting out of doors for some exercise.
But I have recently joined a local art quilt group and am trying to respond to two challenges from them. The first challenge has a longer deadline (next fall) and is to do something using only black and white and one color. I’m still rummaging my stash for fabrics and trying to decide on JUST ONE COLOR, which as you might imagine is a challenge in itself, for me. I’m trusting that the answer will come eventually from my night shift workers (those chatty little beings inside my head). Meanwhile, for the more immediate deadline at the end of July, I was to make an abstract quilt. The only constraint is that it could be no more than 24″ high.
I started out sort of channeling Kathleen Loomis who blogs at Art With a Needle. I have seen some of her work in person and find her reportage from the ART side very thought provoking. I really like the work she does with striped fabrics. I have quite a large bin of stripes and love to use them. I also am drawn to her extremely detailed piecing.
I chose a bunch of stripes that looked interesting together (to my eye) and began by cross cutting them into 3/4″ strips. And yes, I used my ruler for this, because I wanted to preserve the effect of the fine line piecing, and I wanted the stripes to run at right angles to the seams.
Then, I sewed four strip sets. The first two were very similar, except that I removed most of the cool colors from the second one.The third had more cool and less warm. And then I made a set of mostly different fabrics, using similar hues, but in darker shades.
Then I cross cut the strip sets into roughly equal rectangles and began assembling them together with some strips cut from the remains of a precut jelly-roll of Caryl Bryer Fallert Gradations solids. As I did this, I began to realize I was doing something like the Rythmic Grid score in the Improv Handbook. Kathleen Loomis meets Sherri Lynn Wood on my design wall. And thus did worlds collide. I cropped it on a diagonal and did some pretty minimal quilting, free-form with variegated thread (what else?). I will also mention that this quilt was entirely pieced and quilted on a 1911 Singer 66-1 Treadle machine, situated in front of a window with an awesome view of the roses in my front yard.
Here it is, all done.
My Favorite Color
24″ x 24″
I contend that this was an improv quilt, in spite of my use of rulers. Some people seem to consider it “improv” only if it is “wonky”. That’s been a hot topic discussion in some other places I hang out. In my view, improvisation is working with whatever tools are at hand to create something unique (as opposed to working from a pattern). I do not consider planning and straight lines and even measurement antithetical to improvisation. What do you think?
But, will my group hang it in the next show? Is it art? That’s another discussion entirely.
Linking up with AHIQ.