Thursday, March 22, 2012

Jelly Roll Quilt Racing

There is nothing like the deadline of a show to spur one on to making new work, and with it the attendant anxiety I have about that very process. I think for me, immersion into the particular way of thinking that I need for making art has been in short supply for several years, mainly because of the anxiety of selling the house and giving up my studio, which has been my refuge and my solace for the last 18 years. I have really enjoyed knitting, which is portable and procedural and unfolds very slowly, incrementally, in time. The timescale of knitting is different from quilting, because it is almost fixed. You can't really hurry knitting. It is always one stitch at a time, regardless of the complexity of the pattern or the color . Quilting, however, can be manipulated and you can vastly simplify and streamline and use shortcuts. I think I gave up knitting in the first place a long time ago because to arrive at a garment, it takes a lot longer if you create the fabric too. Why knit if you can buy fabric, cut it up and sew it together? But that digression will move in a different direction from my point today, which is: how fast can you make a quilt that is simple, fun and interesting to look at?
I ran across a jellyroll of batik fabrics which I had purchased a while ago at a show and thought I should make something out of that. In searching the internet for ideas, I ran across this : Jelly Roll Race Quilts and  this: I thought that was a fun idea. Then I thought it might be good to use up some of my collection of Kaffe Fasset and Jane Sassaman fabrics which I have collected over the years, in case I didn't like the quilt, so as not to use the actual jelly roll. LOL. I also didn't like the diagonals created by mitering the strips, though, so I pieced them on end and added blue squares between strips.So, here is my "Racing with Kaffe and Jane" quilt: 49inX 67in. which took me about 3 days including quilting. I used a pillowcase method to finish the edges so I could avoid binding it. It needs blocking, but I love how it turned out.
I also completed a quilt for my mother who is studying astronomy and loves to discuss galaxies and black holes. I thought she needed a new quilt! But this one took a lot more time due to the piecing and cutting of triangles.Now I still have to decide what to do with my jellyroll. And I have a whole box of Kaffe and Jane fabrics left, of course. ...