Thursday, December 20, 2012


62" x 62"
Today I would like to share with you my quilt, Windows.  It feels like a large quilt when you are in front of it, but ironically I had planned for it to be much bigger. 

This began as playing with blocks to see what to do with a new collection of tiny multicolored batik blocks.  I had a LOT of them because I had made so many color combinations.  I decided to just start throwing them up on the wall spontaneously to see what would happen.  Would any patterns appear?  Would the randomness and chaos appeal to me?
As I started putting up some cool colors to go with the warm colors, I started playing with crosses or plus signs.  I like them, but was unsure what to do next.  So, as always, I just waited a while.  That's when I recognized that I was being drawn to a design I had used before on a much smaller scale.  So, I decided to take that tiny concept and make it BIG.
Detail of Building UP
I opted to fill the entire board in with window units.  This is 8 ft x 8 ft.
Also, at this point, I had a large number of blocks on the wall.  Every time the door opened or closed (which is just to the right edge of my design wall), blocks would fly off the wall and I would have to pick them up and reposition them.  It became irritating!  So, I decided to put pins in all the blocks.  I used every pin I had and had to buy some more!  But it held them up while I worked on the quilt.  Well, partially, then my cats came in the studio and started pulling out the lower ones.  Darn cats!!!!
 But, I digress....I had also been exploring cut work along this theme and was faced with making some design decisions.  I opted to quilt separately and cut the circles out of only the center cross design elements.

Do you see the green?  This is a new element in my work.  I dyed the batting and decided to let it show through.  I like the way the concept of windows in this quilt is iterative.  That it plays out in the idea of looking through a window.  Or in this case, looking through a hole.  The window panes are made of blocks that the circle is cut out, but you see the batting through it.  The cross elements are completely cut out, almost independent tiny quilts that are then attached with satin stitch to the main body of the quilt.  It adds depth and dimension to the quilt, a full 6 layers, similar to my quilt High Rise.
This also adds an element of technical difficult in the quilt construction.  To satin stitch these little blocks on the quilt, you have to turn the entire quilt all the way around under your sewing machine, for each block.  It is bulky, and heavy and difficult.  So, I opted for completing these units individually in windows, and then trim them and stitch each window together near the end.
You may wonder what happened to the 9 window panes, because only 4 are present in the final quilt?  Never one to shrink from a project that is too big, or too overwhelming, I decided that I liked the look of the smaller set.  It was hard to give up the larger version of this one, but I was happy with the results.  Here's another detail for you.  I just love how well the batting soaked up the dyes and came out so bright!  It's just wonderful!
Almost forgot to mention that this was my second entry to Quilt National. It was also rejected. Normally it is just heart wrenching to get rejections from such an important event, but not this year.  After putting together collections for the SAQA auction, my whole attitude has changed, and it makes it so much easier to roll with the punches.  These jurors didn't want my work.  It doesn't affect me too much.  I still need to make it.  And, I get to share it here with you.  And, there are still many other opportunities for this one to get out in the world.  Moving on...


9patchnurse said...

Wow I love it! I would love to see it up close at a quilt show. I am really intrigued by the idea of dyeing the batting. Have to try that.

Jenny K. Lyon said...

I absolutely love your quilt-the holes and dyed batting are intriguing. I have dyed batting before but with little success. What batting did you use?

Lisa Chin said...

8 FEET by 8 FEET - that is huge! Typo perhaps?

I love the dyed batting peaking through and the whole windows images. This looks like a piece that would be a lot of fun to see in person!

Carol R. Eaton Designs said...

I just discovered your work and LOVE it! What fun you have :)

Kathy York said...

Thanks! to Jenny, I can't remember the brand, but I looked for 100% cotton batting that was "white" looking, not neutral colored. and
regarding the size, I do mean feet. It was floor to ceiling, my design walls are 8 feet tall. Yes, huge is the word!

Judy Warner said...

Your detail work for each block is stunning. You should be incredibly proud of what you have accomplished and how you continued to experiment. And, congratulate your cats on not tearing down everything.
Happy holidays.

Kathy York said...

Thanks Judy! I will pass the congrats on to the cats....after they wake up from their naps. :)

Laurence Martin said...

I love your quilts! They are vibrant and lively, I love the dyed batting showing through and all the little textured blocks. This is beautiful work!

Kathy York said...

Thanks Laurence!