Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Form, Not Function 3 -- Machine piecing

Despite the wide variety of techniques and approaches seen in "art" quilts today, my favorite is still the  plain, flat, unadorned abstract pieced quilt.  Hey, that's the kind I make, so you would expect me to like that genre.  I think they were better represented in this year's Form, Not Function show than they have been in several previous years.

Although the design of these quilts is highly modern in feel, they often carry hints of their traditional heritage, in their geometric forms, often repeated, and the strong contrast of their solid-color pieces.  Cynics might say quilts like this are Nancy Crow wannabes, and it's true, some of the people who do them have been Nancy's students.  But I think the best of them have developed their own voices and their quilts resemble Nancy's work only in format and their general space on the art spectrum.

I already showed you Judy Kirpich's quilt, one of the big winners at FNF and an occupant of this genre.  Here are some others that I particularly liked.  A couple of others will show up in a later post when I talk about machine quilting, because almost all of these quilts are finished that way.

Doormats #1, Marcia DeCamp, 49 x 67"

A classy use of strip piecing, in a limited color palette -- the simplest of elements, but a sophisticated composition with a lot of movement.

City Edge #1, Gerri Spilka, 54 x 58"

Like the quilt above, the simplest of elements -- "ribs" of varying length coming off central spines -- and a limited color palette, but a well balanced composition.  Note how the  six areas of floating rectangles (ribs but no spines, you might say) make a counterpoint to the overall theme.

Dark Side of the Moon, Melinda Snyder, 59 x 41"

Two geometric motifs -- a split oval and a skinny cross -- combine for a surprisingly varied composition.  The hand-dyes give lots of depth, especially in the areas of low value contrast.

Deserted, Sarah Pavlik, 44 x 50"

Not exactly abstract, but certainly abstracted -- the recognizable chairs are taken to a mysterious place by the disembodied slats in the background, and highlighted by the little arbitrary areas of color.


  1. I'm with you. I love the pieced and stitched art quilt.

  2. Since this is how I work, too, it is also my favorite genre of art quilts.

    Thanks for sharing your review of Form, Not Function with those of us who cannot attend the exhibit in person.