"Captured Marbles" unquilted top Cindy Grisdela 2011

I’m getting quite a collection of marbles here! “Captured Marbles” is Day 18 of my project.I wanted to do something that was less symmetrical than several of the other marble tops. Actually now that I look at the photo, it’s a little crooked, but you get the idea.
My process for making these units is to cut up squares of a variety of colors that work together, then pair them up in contrasting pairs and cut freehand curves. Each pair makes two units. I sew the curved seam and square up the block to the size I’ve determined I want to work with. I like the fact that the curves don’t match up–that’s deliberate. It makes the composition more interesting to look at, as does using both bright colors and darker colors together. Once I have the units made, I put them up on the design wall and rearrange them until I have a layout I like.
If you’ve been following the project, you know I’ve used a lot of this lime green and purple combination! When I’ve quilted it, I’ll add another background and have it gallery wrapped and mounted on stretcher bars. Probably the second background color will be more of a neutral to tone down the bright green.
Choosing the color combinations is one of my favorite parts of creating my work. It’s an interesting process that’s hard to explain. I put colors together and step back to see the effect. If it doesn’t sing–I move things around, add another piece–maybe something brighter, or another neutral. Then step back again. And repeat as often as necessary until I have a composition and an arrangement of color and shape that speaks to me. It sounds a little strange, but it works!

If you’re new to the project, I challenged myself to create one art quilt a day for the month of March. Each piece is 16″x20,” uses only solid fabrics, and is entirely pieced by machine, not fused. I’ll choose the best of them, quilt them and mount them on stretcher bars, and show them in an exhibit later this year. I’m posting nearly every day on my progress, so check back often! My inspiration was fellow artist Jill Banks deciding in January to paint 100 faces in 100 days. Click on her name to see her progress as well.