Archive for September 3rd, 2012

Moving Blanket: Stengle

Monday, September 3rd, 2012

My friend Sarah is an accomplished maker of things. If you know her, you know. We’ve had an ongoing appointment on certain Tuesday evenings to get together to work on projects. Over time many women have worked with us; fun is had by all. When Sarah decided to move, it became clear to me that the best way to prepare for this shift was to offer some of her nears and dears a chance to participate in the creation of a Moving Blanket especially for her.

This particular quilt includes fabric Sarah gave me: the pink striped shirt she would wear in the studio, a night watch plaid shirt that belonged to her Dad. Anticipating a Tuesday night devoted specifically to preparing this quilt, I pulled out fabric that had been donated by mutual friends. As is my custom, almost no instruction was given, and people improvised with what they brought and what was available.

An unusual addition to this mix was the use of denim. Normally I use shirt weight material but because Sarah and I both love the Gee’s Bend quilts, it seemed appropriate to include some Levi’s 501 jeans in homage to those compositions of workclothes, which visually resonate like the most evocative Abstract Expressionist color field paintings.

dsc00564.jpg

dsc00565.jpg

photo-14.gif

Moving Blankets

Monday, September 3rd, 2012

A new series of quilts is coming along. ¬†Using a basic format of four foot by six foot, quilted with an undulating wave patterned after utilitarian packing blankets, these quilts can withstand serious use. Because I’ve been collecting for a long time, there’s a lot of patterns and colors to choose from. Rather than control the whole process from beginning to end, this series gives numerous other people an opportunity to participate. The best part, for me, is seeing how people identify with certain fabrics: their choices are a reflection of their own aesthetic.

At the Mercer County Teen Arts festival this year, I asked 40 students to select fabric from a big pile. They picked at random; ironing, cutting, pinning and joining their two fabrics with the available iron and sewing machine. They did all the work themselves, with supervision but little intervention on my part.

Here is the result: I added the blue fabric with the poppy print to help unify the composition.

dsc00537.jpg

The back is composed of fabric given to me by friends, which is both cheerful and funky with the repeating pattern of squirting tubes.

dsc00547-patternemph.jpg

My friend Harriet completed her second quilt, and gave me the leftover fabric – including some 12″ squares she’d made following a checkerboard pattern in a distinctive palette including acid green, turquoise, harvest gold and lemon yellow. Alternate 12″ squares were pieced from my collection of curious scraps.

dsc00553.jpg

Marimekko back in two colorways:

dsc00554.jpg

This is another assemblage mostly using Harriet’s fabric, with a few unusual additions from my collection:

dsc00525.jpg

Michelle Post picked the backing, which is another cheerful Marimekko fabric:

dsc00532.jpg