Quilters Lead Pieceful Lives.

Monday, September 29, 2014


...or what I did on my summer vacation.

I finished my previous quilt right before we left for Greece and Turkey. And, for one of the few times, I had nothing else in my queue! So when we got back I looked around for a good project to help pass the summer away. Stumbled across the work of Emiko Loeb, a Japanese textile artist who does some amazing things. I found one that I liked and adapted it into the piece you see here. Thus the name: "Lines".

It is a simple piece which features the interplay of the 4 shades of blue and the 5 shades of gray, spiced up with the "woven" black strips as a counterpoint.  Trying to find five shades of gray that worked together was a real challenge (good thing I wasn't looking for 50!). For this piece, I felt I needed fabrics with a very minimal pattern so as not to distract from the design itself.  

I designed the construction using the 5 grays as the vertical sections. Within them are squares and rectangles and strips that build up into bigger sections. Of course, no set-in seams. There are only 118 pieces, so it did not take very long to do the cutting and finish the piecing. You may be able to see some of the seams if you look really closely.

One oddity is the dark gray band in the lower left side that looks like it is a shadow from the black strip. It really is the same color gray as the rest of the section, but even in person it looks darker. No idea why. Maybe one of those eye vs. mind things.

Coincidentally, as I was putting it together, I saw a write-up on matchstick quilting. This is a technique where the quilting is done in 1/4" lines over the entire quilt. I jumped up! Lines! This seemed like the perfect approach to take for this piece. Oh...If I had only known.

I have done pieces with shadow quilting before (which is similar), but this was a different beast altogether.

For the quilting, I decided to match the thread colors in each of the 5 gray sections. And there would be no quilting on the blue or black strips, so that they would "pop' a little (actually, I did ditch quilt around all of them using clear monofilament thread).

And off I went. And went. And went.  OK....1/4" lines....on a piece that is basically 34" x 42". Start...stitch...stop...jump...repeat.  When it was all done, it took nearly two months of work, and there are a total of 773 individual parallel lines of quilting!  Easily, the most extensive quilting I have ever done.

Like many of my other "art" quilts, I put this one on stretcher bars, like a painted canvas. So no need to bind. 

And since I did this just for fun, I am offering it for sale!  The price is $150 (plus shipping if you are not local) or free to relatives.  If you're interested, send me an email.