Friday, March 20, 2009

Finding People of Like Minds


Imagine my delight when this quilt by Vista Mahan was shown at the last meeting of the Choo Choo Quilters. This is my favorite kind of design, elegantly simple, with yummy colors, in a size that would fit nicely on a wall in a person’s house. I would guess it is around 40” square, which was the size requirement for the Crayon challenge the group was doing. The idea is to reach into a bag of crayons and draw out three colors and make a quilt using those colors.

Vista dyed those fabrics, machine pieced and machine quilted it. My kind of quilter.

I must admit that I reserve my opinion of a quilter until I see what she (or he) produces. Is that awful of me? Maybe, but it is the truth, and I am all about telling you the truth. When I see the work a quilter presents it says so much about that quilter. Scary isn’t it? We are telling the world what we do, almost who we are when we make and show our art.

OK so I admit I don’t think that much about what I am going to make and bring to a guild meeting. I just wanna play with fabric and color. But I am semi-aware that I will be saying that this is what I am like when show a work. For example: I am in a hurry or I am not concerned about rules, or I have run out of fresh ideas and am recycling things from my past successes. eeek.

Anyway…this quilt by Vista (isn’t that a great name) is so inspiring to me, on so many levels. 1. The impact is in the color, but also the repetition of the shapes. 2. It tells me that one needn’t do something intricate and difficult to have impact. 3. It makes me want to quilt. 4. And it makes me ask myself the question: Why don’t I make quilts like that?


  1. You don't make quilts like that b/c you have your OWN inimitable style, woman! But it's always nice for the brain to receive an infusion of fresh ideas, don't you think?

  2. Vista's quilt is beautiful, Melody, and a great response to the crayon challenge. Your style is different from Vista's--unique, creative, and the fabric colors more brilliant (at least from what I can tell online). As for getting your opinion about a quilter after seeing what they do--it's all a process. And people are in different places in their process. Perhaps a person hasn't found their "style" yet. Maybe they are still learning to quilt. After years of experience the style and confidence evolves. It doesn't start at ground zero. So seeing the quilt of a beginner would be very different from seeing the quilt of a seasoned, experienced quilter or artist. Being exposed to others' works gets the juices running...that's what's good about it!

  3. Even though red is my least favorite color, I think it is really beautiful. Nice clean lines, lovely color balance. Yes, tis lovely!

    And I like your little fishies! I fed them for you, I wonder if they grow?

  4. Hey I have fishies too. We lost 1 over the winter.

    I love the Vista. I wish my brain worked in that fashion but it just isn't creative. I assume she made the pattern up herself.

  5. Teresa9:43 AM

    I love the quilt. I would never have thought to put the touches of red/purple in the green squares, but that makes it so much more interesting.

  6. Yes! That is why it can be so scary to put your work "out there"'re showing people who you are! And of course, that means if they don't like the work, they don't like you! (At least, that's where my mind goes with this...)

  7. You will think I'm trying to flatter, but I'm being honest: These colours concur. Yours sing in harmony. I very much prefer yours, Melody.

  8. Beautiful, simply beautiful!! I love it!!
    What colors came out of your box? I probably just missed that post.

  9. Anonymous4:48 PM

    I was just looking at the dyed fabric drying in the sun you posted a few days back. I can see you have the fabric on plexiglass or some kind of board to dry, but i was wondering how you manage to do that without getting dye everywhere? When i have tried dyeing like this, i end up with dye pooled everywhere. Do you thicken the dye at all? Give up your secrets, girlfriend!

  10. You know I just spent 10 minutes feeding the fish, don't you?

  11. Anonymous6:43 AM

    That's a pretty quilt, nice use of shades as well. The idea of choosing crayons is quite clever.

  12. Melody, you quilts are what me say "Why don't I make quilts like that. I love your contemporary style and the colors. I also very much like vista's quilt that you posted. I need to play more with my quilts. Somewhere along the way I have lost that.

  13. Patricia Stringer4:25 PM

    Melody, thanks so much for mentioning and picturing Vista's quilt made for a "crayon challenge". I loved the quilt's colors and design -- and your musings about art and the artistic urge. You have an excellent blog with great photos.

    Vista is, by the way, my cousin, whose other artistic efforts (silk scarves, stationery, etc.) have enriched my life for years! Thanks for letting us see this particular quilt!


So nice of you to drop by. I love your comments, and if you would really like a reply, please email me at fibermania at g mail dot com