I produced a few squares for a new quilt using a new method that I haven’t tried before. The essence of the method is that I started with a bunch of 6.5″ squares of white muslin. I sewed various scraps of fabric to the muslin in a wild order until all the white fabric underneath was covered. Then I flipped the square over so the muslin side was facing up, put a 6.5″ square quilting ruler on top of the white muslin, and used a rotary cutter around all four edges to cut away excess fabric. Then I top-stitched the edge seams to keep the square flat and true.
I also did a lot of ironing between each step. The result is some elegant squares — bursting with color and hue, reflecting numerous earlier projects of mine (this is all leftover fabric from other projects), and suggestive of some of the themes that I’ve tried to express so far in my clothes and costumes, my quilts, and my wall hangings. It’s been a lot of fun seeing what emerges when you just grab a handful of scraps, and try to sew them in place in a way that’s both pleasing and adequately covers the muslin. And that, it should be remembered, is really the goal.
Some of the squares have a chaotic form to them, while others have a precise energy that seems to accompany them. I really like the directed ray of yellow, for example, in the most recent square. It seems to cut through both universe and geometry, to find a precise target. If it were turned upside-down, though, it might suggest a ray of light shining through abstract and concrete aspects of the Universe to shed light upon many.
What do you think? Are they powerful? Corny? Weird? Do they depart too much from the orderliness and symmetry of what I usually make?
What about the top-stitched red kite shape in the middle one? Too cute? Too much of a departure from the color norms around it?
I don’t know, really — I think I like this kind of work and the resulting studies or explorations of color and form. When we let go of certain expectations of what a quilt must be, maybe new possibilities emerge.