Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Make Me a Quilt : Janys

Stack for Janys
Hand dyed cottons, fused,  
hand embroidered, machine quilted. 15.5 x16"

Janys requested dark and murky, with touches of vivids. I began by pulling the richest purple and darkest green and then went for more subtle values of the same two hues. Making the striped fabric first gave me extra skinny strips and I inserted the strips under the squares.  The fabric patterns denoted the start for the stitching and of course dots had to appear. The orange is the perfect foil for the deeper darker tones. 
I have recently heard the term low volume in reference to the Modern Quilt Movement, and it means low contrast, which was always a good descriptor, so why the change? Who knows, but I got the idea of doing low volume/contrast alongside the brighter hotter contrast and I think it is a good balance. It's feels good to be in control of the values as well as the colors.

The title Stack for Janys refers to long time series of collage type quilts called Stacks that I have been making for lo these many years. While it looks like a bunch of pieces piled on top of each other, in reality, it is always only one layer deep. I cut away whatever is covered, since it would be wasteful to cover up the pretty colors.

Thinking ahead, I made the top larger than requested and cut the batting to the suggested size, allowing the top to be folded over the edge to finish the sides. The hand stitching was then accomplished, and a backing fabric was fused over the back, hiding the knots. Then machine quilting finished the piece. 


  1. That's a great idea to do the hand stitching without the back, and then do the machine quilting with the back on. You are brilliant as usual!

  2. Anonymous8:31 PM

    Melody - Thanks for the extra info on construction -- it's always so helpful. Could you please post a picture of the finished back (on this one or another)? I'd sure like to see how it lies relative to the folded edge. Did you turn under (stitch?) the backing's edges? Fuse all or just around the edge? etc. I'm still struggling to find a quick, easy and tidy way to finish - it really holds me back from getting on with more projects. Thanks!!

  3. I agree with Leann here - a great idea with the backing fused on .

  4. Hey Mz Melody,
    Another masterpiece!! Before showing us a finished back, how bout showing us the pieced/fused flimsy back, too? So we can see how you cut away. Thank you again for your generosity in your methods, techniques, thought process, etc.
    Maggie in Arizona

  5. Love seeing your the various combinations of your work. They always amaze me how different they all are. I have a question similar to Maggie in Arizona's. Can you explain how you do the stacks and then cut away. Thanks. Sally

  6. This quilt is WONDERFUL!

  7. http://fibermania.blogspot.com/2012/02/qawm-make-something-small.html
    shows my process

  8. I love the Stacks for Janys quilt. I wasn't following your blog when you began the 'Make Me A Quilt' thing apparently, so I don't know the background to this, but it is great! Thanks for the detailed pics too. As an aside, I took 'low volume' in the Modern Quilt Movement to mean something entirely different. I though it meant less pieces of color and more neutral background fabric - negative space. I hope you continue to settle in to your new home comfortably. It is lovely and so appropriate for our age group. Less is more.

  9. Loving the dark and murky contrasting with the brights! The greens against the purples are striking.

  10. Good question. Low "volume" = low CONTRAST. Why change the terminology when it sufficed for centuries?

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