Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Quilt National progress report

I've been working hard and last week finished the second top for my Quilt National entry.  Putting off quilting, I've started on the third top.

In many ways this is a walk down memory lane.  Three years ago I made a huge quilt entirely of striped fabrics, which is still touring Europe as part of the Color Improvisations exhibit curated by Nancy Crow.

Crazed 8: Incarceration, detail  (so called because all the little guys are dressed in stripes and behind bars)

I loved the quilt and decided I wanted to do that same approach again.  Unfortunately, the quilt trend gods were not smiling on stripes, nor have they changed their minds since.  Buying striped fabric is difficult if not impossible, although I have kept my eyes peeled every time I walk into a fabric store.  (But you have your choice of 189 different patterns, sizes and color combinations of polka dots.)

I did manage to acquire a few yards here and there and decided that I own enough stripes to embark on another version.  So I have cut a pile of strips and am starting to sew them together.  This time the predominant color will be red, not blue.

QN Top #1, which I have showed you in progress, was fun to work on because the colors reverberated and vibrated.  This one seems to be doing much the same thing.  Some of the stripes vibrate so much I can barely focus on them -- and that's even before I put them next to another stripe.  If I can keep my brain from exploding, this is going to be quite an exciting piecing project.


  1. have you tried cotton shirting? I have been looking recently because my son is asking me to do a custom shirt for him...he has been working out and RTW doesn't fit the shoulders and neck anymore.

    There are some really nice shirt fabrics from quality least over here. such as
    Maybe you could do a search for similar over there.
    Sandy in the UK

  2. Sandy -- I did try searching online a year or so ago and came up with very little. I think I have plenty for this quilt, which I plan to augment with fabric marker (coloring in some of the white stripes). Not sure whether I will try to replenish my stock for a third piece -- see how much I like this one.

    In my first striped quilt (blue) I used a lot of found fabrics such as a pair of unworn pajama bottoms, bits of a sheet that I had previously cut up into a tablecloth, and some old shirts. They all looked great but when I went to quilt it, had terrible problems with skipped stitches whenever I came to one of the fabrics with poly content.

  3. Want me to take a look around at the shops here, take photos of what I find and if you want any of the fabric I can get it for you? Any particular colors you want?
    There is a possibility that shops over here might still carry old inventory.

  4. Olof -- you're a doll, but I'm on a roll and this quilt is going to be finished with what I have on hand within the next week!! or else!!!

    I'll think about your kind offer and may take you up on it for a future piece.

  5. Very interesting, your piece in stripes. I hadn't thought much about what might or might not be in style, and stripes not being in style. Hmmm. Enjoyed your reporting on the Textiles in a Tube show. You juried in some unusual and beautiful work. What a treat!
    best, nadia