Thursday, December 11, 2014

i Quilt
64.5" x 62.5"
At times I feel alone, but I am not. I am supported by many friends and family. These are the little "i" blocks that make up the big central "i". The other "i" blocks in the field are for all the people I have never met that support my life.

I am super pleased to tell you that my quilt has been juried into QuiltCon 2015!  Yay! I feel like a complete novice in this modern quilt movement, and so I am really happy that my work is considered worthy of showing with all wonderful and talented modern sewists!

Meanwhile, behind the scenes, I will share with you the little story of this quilt.  I had a lot of scraps leftover from making the Feral Cat quilt for my daughter.  I was also inspired (and continued to be) by the work of Heather Blair Pregger.  Her tuning fork quilts knock my socks off!  So I thought I would take a shape, the letter "i", and make it into a repeating block in a random sort of way...maybe like a floating grid?  Oddly, my daughter did not like the "i" blocks, so I set them to the side while I let her help make up a different back for her Feral Cat quilt.

After I finished her quilt, I got the "i" blocks back out and started making some more.  I wanted lots of varied sizes and varied fabrics.  I even incorporated some of my own hand made batiks and was pleasantly surprised at how well they fit in with the commercial fabrics!
Lime with grey rings and aqua dots

Aqua stripes with grey dotted bricks
But, I was struggling with the overall arrangement, and the difficulties of how to sew all this together.  Construction was not easy! It was after I started making the blocks that I decided to organize them with the central "i" made by the white blocks.  Sometimes, good ideas take a while to percolate!  I must respect the process, even if it is slow. 

Eventually, I just placed the blocks I had where I wanted them, and then individually auditioned and made the rest of the blocks to fit the empty spaces.  This worked quite well, but was very time consuming.  I actually had visions of fabric flying, rotary cutters rolling, and blocks being sewn to fit with nary a thought in my head, all just improvisational pieced on a whim. My experience was really much more like an extended headache.  It took me a while to get the hang of making the other blocks to fit the spaces.

Then when I finished, I had the same problem I had with my daughter's quilt.  This one also needed a back!  What's up with that!!  I wanted this quilt to be my new studio lap quilt.  My old one is so battered and well used that it is falling apart.  And, with that in mind, I thought it would be fun to have something different on the back to suit my changing mood for the day.  I chose this, and added the extra fun of varying the size of the blocks again.  AND, I just LOVE the way this came together too!  AND, though it was a lot of effort to make all the blocks, they were super easy and did not tax my brain at all.  ALL GOOD!

Machine quilting and putting the bright pink binding on finished it up.  Now that it is going to QuiltCon, I will need to add a hanging sleeve.  Perhaps I can disguise it so that it does not interfere with the back? 

10 comments:

Heather Pregger said...

Kathy, the "I quilt" if wonderful! Congratulations on getting in QuiltCon! It's a well deserved honor, and I hope to see you there!

kathy york said...

Thanks Heather! I'll be there, volunteering almost every day!

debbi d-w said...

Your work has always felt modern to me - I actually think of you as an iconic modern quilter. Interesting you never thought so! The I quilt is a gem.

Stacy Hurt said...

You are incredible! The modern quilts are difficult for me to 'see' as I design. You make this look very easy (and its not)! Great job and congratulations!

Vivien Zepf said...

Congratulations, Kathy! So with the effort!

Leslie Tucker Jenison said...

Kathy, I just love this quilt. I, too, respect Heather Pregger's work and I can see how it inspired you. This quilt is just amazing. I cannot wait to see it in person. Congratulations on getting it juried into QuiltCon! Woo Hoo!

kathy york said...

Stacy,
I agree, it is difficult to "see" the modern design. I think part of it is just letting go, which is not easy for me to do.
Debbi, Vivien and Leslie, thank you so much for your kind words of support. They go a long way and are much appreciated!

LynCC said...

I really like the concept of your I quilt, plus it's quite appealing!

made by ChrissieD said...

Fab quilt Kathy and congrats on your QuiltCon Best In Show, wonderful - Chris :D

Bill Volckening said...

KATHY!! That is NOT going to be your studio lap quilt!!! OMG!! LOL!

Loved reading the story. Please keep this quilt in pristine condition. It's part of American quilt history now, just like VFW's Double Edged Love.