Saturday, April 26, 2008

Flat white squares

I've been busy with 3 swaps, a new word quilt, and a worknight, but it's such a time-consuming process to download photos on my old system that I just haven't gotten around to it. But I've been thinking about this quilt recently and thought some of you might share your good ideas with me.
Jocelyn, my older daughter, made this quilt in December 2005. We had spent that Thanksgiving in New York with my husband's family and did lots of touristy things (the Lower East Side Tenement Museum was my favorite -- an amazing glimpse into immigrant life more than a hundred years ago) and of course spent time in art museums. At the MOMA we saw Colors for a Large Wall by Ellsworth Kelly. (Handy that it's an ecard, isn't it?) Jocelyn came home for Christmas and decided to translate the painting into a quilt, her first quilt. It's an amazing replica -- we had almost all those colors in the Project Linus stash, and she made the quilt to donate. It's still waiting to be quilted and that's my question: How would you quilt this? I think any design would detract from its impact -- and of course would be untrue to the original painting. Just stitch in the ditch to hold the quilt together? How would an overall meander seem? I was thinking maybe straight lines on the diagonals to form diamonds of 'invisible' thread?

I think the quilt is child friendly (we plan to donate to Project Linus), despite the white. I've been wondering why I find it so compelling a design. It never would have occurred to me to put all that white together, but I like it. Why???

And I realized I haven't been posting photos from the Chicago Quilt Show. My friend Jane, who unfortunately missed the show, came for lunch on Friday and looked at all the photos. It got me reinspired. Since I'm talking about white, take a look at this.
The quilt is Siberian Moonlight Sonata by Patricia Gould. The photo is a close-up, but only a small amount has been cut off. It was stunning, one of my favorite quilts in the whole show! The photo below again loaded sideways, sorry. You can click the photo to enlarge it and make it easier to read.


10 comments:

Lazy Gal Tonya said...

ooh, it's strong and bold. Love the painting too. Personally, I'd vote for a meander - more interesting to look at for a child. I know what you mean about being attracted to white. All of a sudden I'm throwing it in like crazy, although there's a part of me that thinks, this is a lap quilt and you know what a clutz you are - stop using white!

Clare said...

I was going to suggest stith the ditch, but, yes, as it's for a child a meander would make it more interesting. It is great - such lovely bold and bright colours.

nicolette said...

O love the quilt-top. I love white in quilts! I think meander quilting will be a great solution too!

SandyQuilts said...

Very pretty. If you plan to give it to a child please don't use invisible thread ... it can be dangerous for their fingers/toes. I agree ...meander.

Quilt Pixie said...

I think we sometimes forget that white is a great "rest space" giving the other colours something to play off of, just like black, but without the "pop" black seems to give colours.... The quilt itself has incredibly strong linear lines, so you could reinforce them with your ideas of diamonds or stitching in the ditch, or soften them with a meander/curves... Perhaps quilting in the white spaces with a meander and in the ditch around the coloured blocks would provide a completely different texture. Whatever you do this is where it draws away from the inspiring work, and takes on its fiber art nature I think.... :-)

Exuberant Color said...

I would quilt it with several randomly spaced lines parallel to the seams as well as in the ditch on the seams. They could be slightly wavy lines so that you don't have to worry about keeping them straight. Also they can be marked with painters tape and stitch down each side.

Elaine Adair said...

My first inclination was straight diagonal lines, but if you can do a nice machine quiting stitch, I'd do a swirly thing, circles, spirals, etc, and NOT stop and start, giving a child 'something' to do while trying to go to sleep. Sometimes I'll do a spiral when starting, and another when stopping. It's a really cool quilt!

Lisa said...

I think a meander would be good. It will quilt it together well (good for a child) and give it an even texture, which should mean it wont get in the way of the design. I've met a quilter who makes lots of really striking colourful quilts and she always meanders then in light grey thread. You barely notice it.

The Quilting Pirate said...

3 swaps?? WOW, talk about jumping in with both feet!! :)

What a great quilt your daughter made! I agree with most folks with a simple design of meandering and using white thread. Just don't use invisible thread (it breaks and melts with time and wear-better for wall quilts). I'm sure it would still be find for Project Linus.

I love the Siberian Moonlight quilt...I took a picture of it in Houston and was just awestruck by the beauty and the simplicity.

Michael5000 said...

Oh yes, I remember this one. I feel very threatened that your daughter beat me to the fine-arts-replication racket!