Wednesday, October 17, 2018

The Journey #7 My Artsy Period

When I started making quilts more than 35 years ago there was a bit of divide between those who made "Traditional Quilts" and those who made "Art Quilts", similar to the Contemporary vs. Modern quilts of today.

While I am most known for traditional quilt designs, over the years I have played with more "artsy" designs. Here are a few of those:

Batik Log Cabin, 1997, an early foray into "artistic" design simply with the use of batik fabric, which were just starting to hit the market with a bang at this time. It was featured in McCall's Quilting, February 1998. Today it resides in the master bath where I see it every day:

 McCall's Quilting February 1998:

Off-Center Mariner's Compass, 2001, original design, machine quilted. I am not crazy about this one, there is something "off" about the design. I do love the batiks. Finished is better than perfect:

Oriental One-of-a-Kind, 2002, begun in a "design your own quilt" class. It has both new and antique oriental fabrics, the beading is the first I ever put on a quilt. This one I like a lot, I hand quilted it with large stitches, another first. Today it lives on a guest room wall where I see it often:

Snake Doctor in Motion, 2003, begun in a Beaded Dragonfly class with Nancy Eha, "Snake Doctor" is a slang term for Dragonfly, my favorite insect. The two rows of hand-made beaded fringe took far longer than I expected. Machine quilted with variegated thread. This hangs in my kitchen where I see it every day.

Beaded Dragonfly Detail:

Fringe Detail:

Circle Play, 2004, based on quilts in a book by the same name by Reynola Pakusich. I used some of my beloved oriental and batik fabrics, learned to do machine applique' with decorative stitches, and played with pieced borders as a design element. I have taught this several times, students enjoy the freedom to "play" with their fabrics. One of my favorites and it has the honor spot above the mantel in the living room: 

Strips 'N Curves top that was started in the early 2000's in a class with Louisa Smith. It hasn't come out of the drawer for many years, some day I will finish this, it is about 42" square at the moment:

Black and White and Red All Over, 2007, this pattern was featured in McCall's Quilting June 2007, called High Definition by Beth Bruske. I knew it was the perfect quilt for my photographer/musician son, Joshua--who most often shoots in black and white. Many of the prints have musical notes. The back is deep red. Queen-size. Machine quilted by Lisa Marshall. Here it is at the HQH 2007 quilt show, with a ribbon:

 Color Play, 2011, the pattern was in McCall's Quilting, February 2006 where it was called Art Affair, designed by Jan Douglas. I made two of these, the first with 10" blocks (62" square) and the second with 5" blocks, (35" square) from the leftover fabrics. The large one was longarm quilted by Deanna Plotts:

The smaller one I quilted by machine myself. Both of these are favorites just for the big, bright, bold use of color:

That's about it for my "artsy" quilts. Today I focus on traditional quilt blocks and designs, using different types of fabrics. I still love batiks, Oriental designs, 1800's reproductions, and today's bright, happy prints.

I think having a granddaughter to quilt for made me look at contemporary fabrics in a new way. I am already planning a bed-size quilt for Sam--which he won't need for at least three years, of course. Good to plan ahead.

Let's Quilt!



  1. Beautiful quilts. I love walking through your "gallery"

  2. Is there nothing you can't do in quilting? You are amazing, Barbara!
    Though the 1800s prints are my favorites, I love the saturated colors of batiks, and have to dabble in them now and then. :)