Sunday, December 18, 2016

the quiltness of the quilt

I am interested in the long tradition of making pieced quilts.
I mean the tradition of women finding patterns in their every day life and arranging the colours and shapes to represent abstract notions from their lives. 
But also I mean the joy we receive from the juxtaposition of colour and shape and fabrics and the feel of it all.
I believe that quilt making is one of the places a creative hard  working woman could find herself.  Even when there were so many other daily tasks and children and old people to be responsible for, a women could turn to the quilt she had on the go in stolen moments and look at it.  Adjust it.

This is the tradition I mean.
Women who make quilts are artists and they always have been.
I love that.
Laying it on the floor to figure it out - moving one colour here and there...realizing that this particular piece of cloth needs to be removed.

Denyse Schmidt says:
"Looking and seeing is the only way to know.  If I am not happy with how a quilt looks, the only way past this is to uncover what is not working by trying other solutions.  I wish I could say it gets easier, but somehow it is always the same.  It is less painful if you give yourself over to it and accept that design is a process of trial and error, of getting out of your own way, and of knowing your tools."
If you have seen my process blog (link in upper bar) you will know that I made a lot of adjustments in the medallion quilt top pictured in this post.
In an old journal, I wrote about some luxurious deep-coloured wool crepes and silks meant for dress making that I saw in a fabric store and my idea of hand piecing and hand quilting them.

"These luxurious quilts, hand pieced and densely hand quilted, would rely on those materials and their quilt-ness for their value.  The meaning of these beautiful quilts would be themselves." 1995
This old longing inspires me to work again with the quilt-ness of the quilt as a metaphor for an elder, a  woman who is beautiful from within herself.

Her own quilt-ness.
All those little adjustments
made over a long period of time.


  1. The light shining through reveals the youthfulness of this cloth ... and while its raw seams will eventually be covered over and its fragility reinforced with backing, still these pictures will remain as a record of what it once was. Metaphor indeed.

  2. There's an art to being a woman, to being a quilt making woman, to living and learning, and becoming an 'elder. in the truest sense of that word, beyond the counting of years, that too is an art. This quilt is very fine, a joy to look upon.

  3. This is absolutely breathtaking with the quilt so full of light and life.

  4. A big Yes to finding oneself in this work. Thank you 💓

  5. the quiltness of a woman. i love that.

  6. such beauty in the light coming through

  7. Ha, more "bojagi" than "quilt" ;-)

  8. Yes, it is just a quilt top at this point. But the quilt top takes much energy because it is designed. The hand quilting is still to be done - I expect that part to take much more time.

  9. I love your idea about "quilt-ness," and the adjustments we make over time, both artistically and personally. This is a beautiful piece. I hadn't been aware of your process blog. Now I will follow it! Best solstice wishes to you.

  10. Like stained glass. I have been doing some experiments with cloth and light, something about ephemerality, transparence, structure. These too are aspects of quilt-ness.


Thank you for taking the time to connect. Much appreciated.xx