Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Quilt National report 9 -- modules

I've whined in the past about how hard it is to quilt huge pieces, and how my solution these days is to finish quilts in separate panels, then join them with hand stitching.  Here's a detail shot of my Quilt National piece(76" square), showing how I did it.

I was interested to note that other QN artists took the same approach, quilting their work in modules and joining them later.  But the methods of joining were widely divergent.

At one end of the spectrum, Pat Pauly quilted her large piece (77 x 65") in two sections and joined them invisibly.  I believe the join goes along the spine of the big pink leaf, but even from up close I couldn't see exactly how she did it.  Great workmanship!!

Bonnie J. Smith made her piece (48 x 51") in three modules, each one with traditional quilt binding, then butted the edges and affixed them invisibly to a single backing fabric. The heavy black bindings made an obvious division of the composition.  Here are detail shots of the edges.

(Please imagine that the top part is black and the bottom is red.  My camera was having a hissy fit and refused to produce accurate images.)

At the other end of the spectrum, the modules and the interesting fracture pattern were the design focus of the entire work. Wen Redmond made a fascinating piece through a process that I don't fully understand, described as "photograph melded with painted canvas, digitally fused and printed, mounted with heavy stabilizer, hand tied book binding."  The modules are of different sizes.

Here's a detail of how she joined the modules. 


  1. Great Post! Modules were inspired by the work of Matthew Harris and the photography of Mike and Doug Starn. I will continue in this vein until I think of something else.

  2. Hi Wen! I had never heard of Mike and Doug Starn until I read your comment -- but then a few minutes later I was paging through an old art magazine and found an ad for their work. Synchronicity strikes again. I will have to look for more -- thanks for the mention.

  3. Kathy, thanks for the substantive post about QN. Really a wonderful critique of one aspect of the show.Would love to read and see more of these. Nancy

  4. Hi Kathy,

    Thanks for looking at my work, I use a glorified flip and sew to connect the large masses together. Then quilt that seam madly. It works, and until the quilt goddess sends me a long arm machine, this is what I will make.

    Pat Pauly