It has been many months since I've made a quilt. I finished piecing "Holiness" in March, 2016, and then worked on a couple of other pieces about stones until deciding in June that the series was complete with Holiness. The next couple of months were spent preparing for my August exhibition (with a side-trip to a workshop with Paula Kovarik). I spent September preparing for a print-making workshop with Clare Benn in October. For a few weeks after the workshop, I did follow-up work from that, lining up elements of the cloth napkins I'd like to be making. But I really missed sewing, so I interrupted the napkin-making to come back to a quilt I had started in the spring, a wedding gift for friends. The inspiration for this quilt was one by Cecilia Koppman:
|La Torre de Babel (The Tower of Babel) by Cecilia Koppman|
I liked the neutral background and the splashes of color. I saw a photo first, and only later the title of the quilt. Not so appropriate for a wedding image. . . I focused my design on the idea of confetti instead, which meant that the bits of color were all angular bits, no bars. I changed the background to beige/tan, because that worked well in my friends' living room. And though I wasn't sure if an image of throwing confetti would be denser at the top or the bottom, I've ended up with the dense part at the top.
Below is a photo of the work in progress. I improvised blocks in various sizes, and then added and combined until I got a block that was 10.5" high, with varying widths. I played around with placement of the blocks, ending up with seven rows. As always with improvisation, the early steps were playful fun, and the latter part--when one has to move from randomness to considered composition--an interesting challenge.
For the back of the quilt, I did a much simpler design, making four large "court-house steps" log-cabin blocks. I was able to use up most of the background fabric I'd purchased, including some darker pieces that didn't make it into the front. The back took me 2 days to piece, the front more like a couple of months.
Update, 12/26/16: I was very interested to see the comments on this post. Both Brenda Gael Smith and Beth Berman make a point about how the back conveys a different feeling from the front, Brenda commenting on the restfulness of perpendicular lines and Beth on the feeling of order and stability. I didn't do this intentionally (I was just going for something that would relate to the front but be much simpler to piece), but I love it that this wedding gift ends up speaking to two different sides of marriage: excitement and improvisation/spontaneity on one side, and peace/security/stability on the other side. If there were a way to design the batting inside the quilt--unseen but also key to the structure of a quilt--perhaps it could represent the painful conflict that disrupts any marriage from time to time.