If you took inventory among Quiltmaker staff members, you might be surprised. Our personal quilt styles don’t necessarily reflect the style of QM, which is generally traditional and whimsical.
This is a little basket quilt I made using a free tutorial from Darra Williamson. I made my handles funky because I thought they’d be more interesting that way. I put borders on just two sides.
I’m the person who brings a wild quilt to guild and wonders why everyone looks so puzzled when it’s my turn for Show & Tell. The quilt above is an example. I know its aesthetics may not be for everyone, but it’s one of my favorites, partly because of the weird border fabric.
I got this fabric for a song because apparently everyone else thought it would be a challenge. I loved it instantly! It’s a Terrie Hancock Mangat design. I cut the border on the quilt above 9.5″ wide to show it off.
Occasionally I meet a kindred spirit who loves funky as much as I do. One such person is Mary Lou Weidman, a nationally known designer, author and instructor who has also become a friend. I made the quilt above under her guidance at a retreat in Idaho. She encouraged me to leave that bottom right corner just as it is. I like this piece so much that I haven’t been able to part with it as I’d planned.
Sometimes I buy orphan quilt blocks and build weird things around them. The quilt above started with the very strange vintage block of polka dots and pastel stripes. I thought it had potential and I had a great time adding borders and quilting it.
This is a leftover strip from someone’s reproduction project that I found in our lunch room at the office. I wondered if I could create something totally different out of these browns and rusts.
I paired them with some Michael James “Colorstripes” and voilá.
The borders are different widths and are not straight—by design. I think asymmetrical is more interesting than symmetrical.
Here’s a small quilt I designed and made when I was playing with Dresden plates and improvisational piecing. It’s another of my favorites. I like the border: it’s red and aqua but I kept it interesting by using different reds and different aquas. I grouped them together so it wasn’t too chaotic.
Here’s another improvisational piece I have started. The photo shows the various fabrics I was auditioning for the next border. I so want to use those cowboys and I still might.
Here’s a closer look. I just stopped the verse when I ran out of space. I learned something on this piece: if you’re going to go wonky, go BIG. The star points aren’t uneven enough. They are off enough to look off, but not off enough to look wonky.
This is a small Love quilt I made for a graduation gift. I thoroughly enjoyed adding the big-stitch handwork. The Love block is an idea that originated with Tonya Ricucci.
Nested Nicks, above, is a quilt I designed for Quiltmaker’s Small Quilts & Gifts Fall ’11. That’s about as tame as I get.
Happy Holly Days appeared on QM’s Nov/Dec ’09 cover. It’s probably the funkiest thing I’ll ever have in Quiltmaker.
I’ve found some bloggers who really love funky, and I devour their posts. One of them is LeeAnn of Nifty Quilts who lives in Seattle. Above is a fabric collage she did after a class with Freddy Moran, inspired by the work of Edrica Huws. Isn’t this just dynamite?!
And this star makes my heart jump a little. I think it’s wonderful.
Another person who is always dreaming up something fabulous is Sujata at The Root Connection. I love Organized Chaos, above.
The thing is, some of my favorite funky bloggers don’t post that often because, you guessed it, they are busy sewing!
Here’s a simple baby quilt top I pieced a few weeks ago. I thought it was great until I took this photo. Now I see that the quilt will have to be called “Goalposts” unless I add red to the top and bottom, too. There’s a limit to how much weirdness I can handle.
And one last WIP (that’s quiltspeak for Work In Progress). These are traditional blocks I made in funky fabric combinations. It’s a traditional design that’s making the rounds of the quilting internet under the name Swoon, made popular by the talented Camille Roskelley. I have since added a great border and it’s ready for quilting.
Here’s another improv piece I started at Mary Lou’s retreat. It’s exciting to build something in this freeform way. You never know what you’ll end up with! It makes ordinary piecing seem kind of boring.
And this Christmas quilt is coming together bit by bit. Putting it together is like a puzzle. I am really anxious to finish it.
My job with Quiltmaker has taken me down so many creative pathways. I am constantly exposed to new ideas, new ways of doing things, new perspectives on quilting and art and the world. I love every minute of this work because it brings me joy. And I hope that shows in the quilts I create for myself and the people I love.
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A few other staff members will be sharing their quilting styles over the next several weeks. I think you’ll enjoy seeing how our tastes are similar to, or different from, QM’s.