My Work In 2018

If the proof is in the pudding, then my quilt pudding reflects my love of color. In 2018 improv continued to be my default way to start a piece, though three pieces – Rococo, Sunset on Main, and Ohio-Erie Canal – were planned from sketches. While I bought fabric, I focused on my scraps and cloth I had changed in some way with dye, paint, print, etc.

When I begin my design with fabric, color usually dominates, and any “meaning” evolves with the piece. In past years I tried to create work with meaning. This year I just let whim take over, especially when I didn’t have set prompts to respond to.

I think all my work for the year is above, but I may have missed some. I didn’t include quilts I’ve reworked, nor ones that aren’t yet finished. If you click on one of the photos you’ll be able to see a slideshow of all of them.

Three, possibly four, of my 2018 quilts are based on patterns and/or templates developed by others. For “Church Windows” I actually read the directions. The rest I put together based on my best guess. Three were for an Ohio SAQA bullseye quilt challenge. One, “Siriusly,” was for a dog challenge. The Ohio-Erie Canal piece was for a map quilt challenge. That leaves about eleven pieces I dreamed up for no particular reason. Sometimes my fabric bits said, hey, let’s play.

It’s always interesting to see which of my pieces appeal to others, and which are my favorites. Often, they differ. The process of making a piece certainly influences my fondness for it. I enjoyed making “Sur La Table,” “All Decked Out,” and “Bullseye Bubbles.” I was frustrated while making “Ohio-Erie Canal” and “All Fly Away.” The former challenged me to integrate historical information with an aesthetically pleasing design. I learned a lot more history than is usual with a quilt. The latter showed me that decisions I thought were right in design terms weren’t. I’m holding onto it as a lesson in humble pie. In fact, I don’t think the photo shows the completed quilt, and I can’t find one anywhere. (Update: I found the piece and photographed it last night. I did improve it a bit but it still needs work and I don’t think it’s worth it.)

All Fly Away

Of course I made lots of custom fabric, especially on non-woven Easy Pattern material. I’ve developed a fondness for stencils and have more than doubled my stencil collection. Dyeing has taken a back seat to painting as it is physically more demanding and just plain messy. One fun way to avoid work play is to add more layers to previous surface design experiments.

Because of my aging joints I steered away from complex piecing and fancy (as if!) FMQ. It’s a bit painful to do fiddly work and I get frustrated when complex mechanics just don’t work with clumsy fingers. I tried to build complexity through my fabric choices. When I used small pieces they usually had been cut several years ago. Thanks, Bonnie Hunter.

Overall, in 2018 I consolidated my skills but made no breakthrough pieces. In part, that’s because I let go of any notion of cutting edge work and focused on making in ways I enjoyed.

10 Comments

Filed under Commentary, Completed Projects

10 responses to “My Work In 2018

  1. That’s a lot of nice quilts! Church Windows is my fave!

  2. Judith K Campbell

    Your work always amazes and impresses me. Thanks you for sharing your year’s work. And how you continue in a different way to follow your art.

  3. Quite a successful year for you, in my opinion! A bunch of interesting, well-composed pieces with some range of style but they still look like you.

    Not sure what this says about me, but 4 of my favorites are All Decked Out — use of fabric; Not Quite Nancy — angular, strong contrast, framing elements; Flower Power — pretty 🙂 ; and my favorite, Turning the Corner. I just think it’s spectacular. I like the combination of muted and saturated colors and the way they’re arranged makes the piece glow.

    Thanks for showing the full set. A lot to be proud of there.

  4. What a year! As always, I’m impressed by the range of styles you achieve–no ruts for you! And the quilts look like you enjoyed making them–they seem fresh and fun and not at all overwrought. Looking forward to seeing what happens in 2019!

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