Exotic strips gone public!

Necessity (read: HEAPS of FABRIC) has led me to design a lot of quilts.  You know the drill–I see fabric, I want fabric, so I have to design something to use fabric.  Originally I designed my own quilts because I didn’t know where to buy patterns (DUH, but then it was a looooong time ago).  Now I just don’t like following a pattern.

art quilt, improvisational piecing

“Study for New Mexico” is a practice piece turned into a wall hanging

Recently I’ve been working on a series of quilts made from strip sets.  I make up several strip sets in the colors I want for the mood of the quilt, then cut freehand curves in them and sew up a quilt top.  Here are a few little practice pieces (Weeks Ringle calls them “maquettes”, but I’m not sure I’m that fancy).  The larger one at the top of the post is the one I have in this year’s Asheville Quilt Show, which is the first big show I’ve entered.

art quilt, improvisational piecing

This is the tiny practice piece I made first. I wanted the strips to be more varied in width, though

I’m fortunate to live (sort of) near Asheville (NC), where the local quilt guild is full of accomplished quilters.  They put on a terrific show every year.  I’ve attended the show many times and it’s always impressive.  In fact, I like it better than a lot of the big national shows because there is more variety in the quilts. Often the national shows are heavily loaded with the big-deal-of-the-moment, like glued-on crystals, or extra-dense quilting—whatever.  The Asheville show typically has a little of everything.

art quilt, improvisational quilting

This was an earlier attempt at “New Mexico” colors, but the shape of the cuts didn’t vary enough to suit me

Since the Asheville Quilt Guild has a great show, I always assumed it was juried.  I decided to submit something anyway.  Only to find out it isn’t juried, so my quilt just automatically gets to hang with all those spectacular things made by other people!  I’m going to the show today, and it will be fun.  Several years’ worth of inspiration in one afternoon—wish you were here!

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