Building Blocks I’ve added some new art quilts to my website this week. This one is called “Building Blocks” and you can see it in the Small Art Quilts gallery. This piece grew out of my explorations with the improvisational solid quilts. I used some of my favorite batik fabrics in bright clear colors. I cut and pieced the central panel and the vertical and horizontal strips randomly, then heavily machine quilted the block panel and blue background areas with five different free motion motifs in variegated thread. The image at right is a detail of the quilting, which was a lot of fun.

Building Blocks detail This piece is small, measuring about 19″h x15″w. I took it to the SAQA conference in Athens last weekend and showed it to a critique group workshop. I wasn’t sure what reception it would get, because it’s a fairly simple design and it probably falls more to the “contemporary” rather than the “art” side of the quilting world. The group was very positive about it, however, especially the quilting. The most intriguing suggestion I got was to make it much bigger, so the pieced panel is smaller in relation to the whole and set more off center than it is now. The group also thought it would be interesting to vary the size and scale of the blocks in the central section so they don’t read as similar sizes. I definitely think I’ll pursue this.

It was interesting to try this improvisational technique with patterned fabrics. It has a much different feel than the quilts made from solid color fabrics, but I’d like to explore the idea further. Going to the SAQA conference and the Quilt National show gave me lots of new insights to ponder, but that’s another post.