Tuesday, August 2, 2011

A new little quilt

I'm still antsy this week, still having a hard time focusing on a major art project, but I am trying to at least work on some minor things in the studio.  After my workshop this past weekend, I went around and collected all the scraps left around the cutting boards, and yesterday afternoon I sewed the larger ones into a little quilt.

Several years ago I made a series of quilts called "Slivers," all of them from my own or other people's leftovers.  Many of the scraps I worked with were long skinny strips, or perhaps long skinny curved pieces, that had been trimmed off the edges of quilts or quilt modules.  I loved the way they slithered this way and that, especially if they were cut on the bias, and made many small pieces with this approach.  But I moved on, and haven't made a Slivers since 2003.

Slivers 1, 2002, 19 x 17"

Slivers 2, 2002, 17 x 15"

Slivers 5, 2002, 21 x 18" 

Today's little quilt, though, resembled those pieces so much that I had to name it in the same series.

Slivers 12, 2011, 11 x 11"

The big difference between the new Slivers and its older siblings is that this one is in solid colors, while the earlier quilts were all made of prints.  But I think the older ones hold up well in terms of sophistication.  At least the ones I've chosen to show you I'm still proud of.

By the way, if you're ever inclined to piece a quilt with very skinny strips -- few of these are more than an inch finished width and most are considerably narrower -- here's a tip.  Sew all the parallel seams in your block before pressing any of them.  Then press all the seams in the same direction with one swoop of the iron.  Somehow the fabric eases more the first time it's ironed, and in most cases even the most erratically shaped strips will magically lie flat.  But if you've pressed some of the seams already, and then go back and try to get additional strips to join the club, it will be harder to make everything behave.



  1. Ha! I discovered that tip just because I'm lazy!

    Mary Anne in Kentucky

  2. thanks for that tip about pressing. it will help with the current project i am working on.

  3. I especially like the swooping quilting lines that you did on the last one.

  4. thanks, Norma -- I love to quilt with swoops but it's only possible with very small pieces -- you need to be able to complete the whole turn without stopping, or the curve isn't smooth. So anything small enough to pivot on the bed of your machine is fine. Doesn't work so well when the quilt is six feet squate.

  5. I just discovered your blog-I saw it listed at Sue's Journey-and I'm glad I came to visit. The Slivers quilts draw me in with their movement and colors.
    My patchwork is of the liberated/Gwen Marston style, though my designs are basic. I also make small abstract landscapes (hand appliqued) that I mat and frame. The Slivers quilts appeal to me because of their 'liberated' style and because I see landscapes in the horizontal strings. Thanks for posting the photos.

  6. Kathleen -- thanks for reading! I also see landscapes, maybe not while I'm making the quilts but later