18 November, 2014

There is Peace in Pattern

There is Peace in Pattern
53'' x 56''

It kind of says it all for us quilters, doesn't it? Well, it does for me. So, so perfectly. This might be a new contender for my most favourite quilt I've made ever.

This was actually the first quilt I made when I moved into my basement sewing studio. Well, the first quilt I started and the first top I finished. It all started with a bundle of Carolyn Friedlander's first line, Architextures. I pulled out the greens for another project and stared at the remaining fabrics for a bit. Then I picked and pulled from my stash some additional fabrics.

You know what I did next? I hacked it all up! Strips cut randomly from fat quarters, the scrap bin raided, chunks cut off of yardage. I created a giant pile of fabric pieces. One side had a few darker pieces in them, the remainder were all the low volume lovelies.

To make each letter I first sketched out the order of piecing. It was all improvised, but I needed a bit of direction. This is my Improv With Intention concept. Instead of choosing a single fabric for the background of each letter I went wild and grabbed randomly. As each letter, each word, came together I added more and more fabric.

And not a single one was a solid.

It didn't seem like it took a long time to get this top together, but it couldn't have been quick. If I recall I worked on it for a few weeks if not a month. That is, in snippets of time and a hour after bedtime or so. Once I got the words together there was a lot of extra piecing and puzzle work to get it all into a quilt top. When I do this kind of piecing I like to avoid totally distinctive grid lines so it gets fiddly at times. Just a personal preference of mine.

As soon as yardage of Architextures was available I ordered some for the backing and binding. But as the fabric and quilt top sat, I kept sneaking some of the fabric for other projects. In the end I was able to get my back together. And thankfully I'd made the binding already for a photo shoot. Phew. otherwise that awesome navy text print would have been long gone!

The quilting was done on the long arm, with Aurifil 2435. It is a great coral colour that worked wonderfully with all the fabrics. I free motioned a topography pattern. It fills the space wonderfully and totally echoes the main fabric on the back. Instead of doing any ditch work around the letters I actually just took the free motion pattern right to the letter edges, but not over. With the quilt washed the letters just pop now. Call it lazy trapunto. It works for me and I can see using this sort of pattern again.

In a slightly related note, I forgot to tell you something. Crystal from Two Little Aussie Birds interviewed me a few weeks ago. It was great to talk about modern quilting in a totally different way, and include a discussion of feminism in there. She is hosting a series of interviews called Modern Quilting Modern Women. Some great posts in there from some pretty spectacular and different quilters. I mentioned this quilt in my interview and that's what reminded me that I never photographed it. So, here is the quilt and here is the interview.


Leanne said...

I really love your quilt. I made one a little similar recently with some blocks and low volume fabrics, it is so fun to make them.

house on hill road said...

beautiful, cheryl! architextures is hands down one of my favorite lines. i find myself using every last tiny bit.

Carolyn said...

Such a lovely quilt!

Lauren said...

I cannot even tell you how hard I love this. My style is not yours, but the spirit is so the same. And really, as much as I adore it I have never bought any Architextures in part because I can't imagine using it in anything BUT an improve way without it seeming, I don't know, like actuarial accounting in quilting or something.
I was just saying to my husband that "women's crafts" are proof that small acts of love, repeated ad infinitum, create beauty. Doesn't every mother of small children need that reminder? That consistency and pattern build something substantial? I do, when I've said "gentle TEETH!" for the 7000th time in a day.

Lauren said...

Another thought: I wish I could deliberately pin this next to the quilt that says "always plan ahea

Have you seen it? Cracks me right up. I am officially a quilt geek.

SewPsyched! said...

I adore this quilt! and thank you for walking us through it step by step. You know, i thought all of that Aurifil stuff I kept hearing was just hype, but no! I've bought my first spool, and it is just heaven to work with! Keep on inspirin'! X!

Anonymous said...

Love this quilt. I want to make something like this some day! Thanks for the inspiration. :)


Kat said...

Love you color palette, and that quilting is just phenomenal!

Adrienne said...

This. Is. Brilliant.

Cindy P. said...

Just beautiful....what an eclectic creation! Thanks for sharing your talent!