Freddy Moran

I've noticed you do a trunk show called "Red is a Neutral." Can you explain that show?

I bring between 40 and 50 quilts and I attempt to explain through showing my quilts my use of color. My theory is that 10 colors don't work, but 100 colors do! When you make a quilt with 10 colors, they all have to be compatible. A hundred colors are always compatible--they don't have to "go together" and make something more exciting. Excess is never enough!

When I first started making quilts, I read somewhere that a good quilt is one that someone wants to look at for a long time. That's exactly what I want my quilts to be. I put as much stuff in one quilt as I can without having it fall off the edge of the quilt.

I saw a quilt show recently with a perfect red and white pineapple quilt. When I saw it, I thought, "That's a perfect pineapple quilt"--and then I kept walking. I went around the corner and ran into a quilt with all kinds of crazy colors and stuff all over the place--I looked at it for 20 minutes and returned to it several times.

I never go to a show that I don't learn something from. Sometimes what I learn is that I know I never want to do what all of those quilters did, but other times I see things I really think are wonderful and ideas I want to take away and use in my own work somehow.

What are your current projects?

Right now, I'm working on one-color quilts. I have eight quilts completed so far that are an attempt to answer the question, "How much red does it take to make a red quilt?"

I'm not using any black and white in this series. People who know my work know that's very unusual! I'm learning a lot about changing direction in art work, and learning a lot about color and the value of color.

If you could offer one piece of advice for quiltmakers today, what would it be?

Experience the joy of your own quilts. It doesn't make any difference what other people think of your own quilt. It's yours--it should be joyful to you. Don't pay attention to the rules--break them if that's what it takes to make the quilt joyful for you. If it's not joyful, why do it? I would make quilts even if I never showed them to anyone. I make quilts because I need to. I think it's a God-given gift. When I get stuck, I say "God, look. I'll take care of the mechanics. I need you to provide some inspiration here." I really don't care what people think about my quilts. If they don't like them, that's okay and I know they're just missing something. Just make your work joyful!

---Freddy

Freddy Moran's "House for Sale" is the cover quilt on the May/June 2002 (#85) issue of Quiltmaker magazine.

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