Summer Breeze 33 x 27

Summer Breeze 33 x 27

For the rest of the week I plan to feature some of the work I’ll be showing at the MPAartfest this weekend and the stories behind them.

At right is “Summer Breeze.” It’s 33″h x 27″w and it’s mounted on stretcher bars so it hangs on the wall by a wire just like a painting. This piece was finished in 2008 and it grew out of some of my early experimentation with improvisational piecing.

The bright blocks range in size from about 1 1/2″ wide for some of the long skinny ones to  4″ for some of the square ones. I randomly pieced the blocks, really just playing with color combinations, until I had enough to put up on the design wall. Then I chose several different yellow and yellow orange fabrics and added border strips on two or three sides of each block.

At that point, I put the blocks up on the design wall in my studio and arranged and rearranged them until I came up with an overall design that I liked. It was a lot like putting together a puzzle. Some blocks needed more of the yellow border and some less to make it all fit together. The quilt itself was faced with irregular edges before being attached to the background fabric and mounted on the stretcher bars.

I named the quilt “Summer Breeze” because of the playful, free way it was constructed and because the colors remind me of a day at the beach. It’s a great way to add a splash of color to the wall in summer and bring a welcome reminder that summer will come again during the colder months of the year.

The Artfest will be held Sunday, Oct. 4 in McLean Central Park at Old Dominion Drive and Chain Bridge Road in McLean, VA from 10-5. In case of inclement weather, the event will move indoors to the McLean Community Center. For more information, visit and click on “Artfest.” I hope to see you there!