Thursday, February 25, 2010

Starting from Here

This is my long-saved-fave hand dyed pima cotton PASTEL piece. 90" long by 43" wide. It has been waiting in the wings for EVER for something just right. It is very light and therefore never seemed to work itself into my art quilts. But it has everything I love colorwise, only in lighter values. Here's a close-up of one section.

Proof it is pastel. The smaller piece is placed on top of it to show the value contrast. I might have to use that smaller piece too in my new quilt top.

See how the big piece is really pastel?

I made this nap quilt sized piece back in December of 2008. It was inspired by the work of Malka Dubrawsky. I love it and sit on it everyday while I blog. It is a little too small to keep on my bed. But I enjoyed making this sooooo much. It was pretty close to an art quilt because of the no-plan plan that I used.

These are my sketches, which I kept nearby, only to ignore once I started working. For me, designing on the fly is preferable to knowing exactly what comes next. Perhaps I rediscovered this earlier this month, when working to a plan was comforting and productive but not what I would call exciting. Now that my confidence is restored I am ready to risk PERFECTLY GOOD FABRIC in search of making a quilt large enough for my bed. Which is twin, so no biggie.
Here is the full picture of the quilt above.
 If this were smaller I would definitely consider hanging this on the wall, which is where my mind gets all muddled.
My brain works like this:
Art quilts hang on the wall.
Traditional quilts go on a bed. Simple.
Of course I know you can hang a bed quilt on the wall, but sleeping under an art quilt is dopey, for the most part. Because the intention is to make it viewable from the wall. And putting it on the bed puts the art in a funny position. Will you agree that looking at this quilt full on is better than looking at it on the bed above?

And here is where I get really nutty. I much prefer the solid clear colors of this work over the patterns of the fabrics I JUST BOUGHT.  The clear solids make the design of the quilt immediate. Which is what one wants when one looks at art IMHO.
But on a bed it is not so absolutely necessary to see the pattern happening. It is more desirable to see an all over ambiance such as this:
Martha sent me the photo of her QAWM piece and I LOVE LOVE LOVE IT. Is it the pattern or the colors or the way they interact that makes this so enjoyable on the bed? Yup. All of the above. So much nicer to see this when walking into the room than the screaming mimi of a quilt like I made. That tells me a lot.
I want to start this new piece today so that it qualifies as part of Quilt Along with Melody month. I am scared but excited. A good combination. And it is snowing again. Stinkin' February!

OOooohhhh.  I just went to see Malka's site again and found this block...I may have to change my whole approach! I am so easily seduced. Simple block. It really shows off the fabric. Oy. I am sunk.


  1. Judy Ireland8:35 AM

    Good Morning! Love the art quilt on the bed! Question: To get the "wiggly" stripes in the striped blocks, do you do anything special to get the irregular wavy seamlines? I appreciate the sketches you include. I love quilting "by the seat of my pants" as I call it. Make the "modules" and fit them together, sort of like Yvonne Porcella or Priscilla Bianchi.

  2. I don't use a ruler when I cut. I do use a rotary cutter, and fold the fabric in four layers, but then I just cut the strips. Everything works, sorta, with this method. And sorta was what I was going for on that quilt.

  3. I like the quilt on the bed especially with the polka dot accessories. Fun.

  4. Speaking of the polkadot accessories, where did you get them? Is this a sheet set? Hubby would gag, but I'd love to have a sheet set like that! PS Love the quilt as well.

  5. Bed or wall - I just like the quilt. I do love the long-saved pastel fabric. I want to see what you do with it.

  6. Mel.....I love, love, love that piece of fabric. I too, would have a hard time cutting into it.

  7. Anonymous1:35 PM


  8. Anon...In My Humble Opinion

  9. The quilt on your bed is so bright and happy! I think art quilts can be on beds, really. My challenge is to make art quilts for beds, for cuddling, for sitting on them or rolling, folding and squeezing and kneading them and feeling the quilted surface.

  10. You've hit the nail on the head! I too get stymied with this...what I've been thinking about as far as quilts to be used are concerned is less pieces that are larger, to allow more emphasis on the pretty pieces of fabric...

  11. Repeated simple blocks in several sizes is the perfect for using your prints and hand dyes together.

  12. Just love that quilt with the polkas. Must have a go at this.
    Fabulous blog, love it !

  13. Hi, I love your blog, it is beautiful, I am from Brazil, I have got a crafts blog, kiss


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