Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Experiment in progress

I'm pretty sure that the last thing I need right now is yet another hobby...

But I didn't let that stop me from staying up and trying some experimental quilting with scrap fabric. I've been thinking about learning to quilt for at least ten years now. I think I might have finally wrapped my head around the idea. I'm torn between really old traditional patterns, and more contemporary free-form quilts. This weekend I stopped by the local used book store and picked up a great book from the 1970s:

American quilts and how to make them features some beautiful images of quilts from the early 1800s, as well as outlines of the pattern pieces needed to make them. They remind me a lot of some of the quilts at the Winterthur Museum, where I spent a fair amount of time in the past two years. I really love some of the applique quilts--they look like gorgeous wallpaper. I've also been very interested in the quilts from Gee's Bend for the past several years. I particularly love these free-form takes on the traditional log cabin pattern:

(Image from Gee's Bend CD)

(I'm not sure if the above one is from Gee's Bend, I can't figure out where I found this image--apologies!)

As I obsessively combed the internet for quilt inspiration, I also happened upon some gorgeous Hawaiian quilts. I don't think I've ever seen these before, but apparently there is a very strong, unique quilting tradition in Hawaii.

Not only are the shapes and colors amazing, but take a close look at the quilting--I just love the way those contour lines look.

Above: contemporary Hawaiian quilt made by Deborah Kakalia, courtesy of the Bishop Museum.

Click here to see another amazing Hawaiian quilt [it's mustard yellow and white!] and to find some free quilt patterns. I'd love to try one of these out, though I'm fairly certain that those large appliques would be very difficult to cut out, and even more difficult to sew down without crazy puckering everywhere. Perhaps I'll work my way up to these one day.

Do you have any favorite quilts or quilt patterns? I'd love to see them.


Anonymous said...

I have been quilting for several years now and like ou love new funky designs but also the old traditional ones. as a newbie to quilting, I would look at some of the more traditional ones and learn the techniques, you'll be surpised how many tricks there are to sewing bits of fabric back together!! Then with your creative abilities you will soon be pushing the boundaries and producing some fab funkiness of your very own!!

I'm working on a double bed quilt at the moment, which I have to finish by Thursday night to give to friends on Friday, I really like a deadline!! I'll post on WR when its done.

Looking forward to seeing your creations.

Hilary said...

Ah, so you have given in to the call of quilting. I haven't quilted yet, but I have a feeling I will soon. I had no idea about the quilting traditions of Hawaii -- those quilts are unbelievable!

Anonymous said...

the gees bend quilts are so amazing! i just finished graduate school in alabama, and have had the opportunity to see some of the quilts in person and meet some of the quilters.

i love your sample square!

Elizabeth said...

Is that really your first attempt at patchwork? It looks awesome!
I recommend Denyse Schmidt Quilts and the Modern Quilt Workshop by Weeks and Ringle. Japanese Quilt Blocks to Mix and Match by Susan Briscoe is also fabulous.

Linda said...

Quilts amaze me and I would love to quilt too.

Anonymous said...

I am just leaving you a comment to tell you that I knitted the Shalom cardigan. Thanks for sharing your pattern. I did some changes, and upsized it to bust 42".