Quilt 7 - 2016 'Lone Star Explores Space'
Following the unexpected success of "White Holes" I wanted to continue with interwoven fused fabric
strips and colour gradation as a way to achieve an enhanced 3D effect but to take the technique a few
stages further. As before, I selected a family of ombre fabrics first. On this occasion it was Pointillist
Palette 2 by Robert Kaufman and then I set about creating a design based on four of the pairs of opposing
colours which the collection contained.
My approach to the design stage, which in many ways is my favourite, is still very 20th century and whilst
I am sure I could do it a lot faster using modern technology this particular old dog continues to resist new
tricks. So it was that I took photocopies of the chosen fabrics, cut them into pieces and tried countless
different ways of sticking them together in an attempt to obtain maximum effect. It took a full two months
to arrive at the design I was least unhappy with (there speaks an obsessive pessimist!) and at that point I
had a full size version in paper of the quilt that I was about to make.
I wanted to combine several independent areas of interweaving so that the design could change direction,
something which did not happen with "White Holes" where all the strips ended at a border. I also wanted
the edges of the protruding shapes to be lines of symmetry such that those edge pieces had to be twice as
wide as their peers. The result of this is that most of the strips actually needed to be L-shaped, something
which provided additional logistical problems as simply anchoring their ends did not prevent their middles
from moving. Another problem which required a solution was how to hold the different areas together
without too much visible stitching and on top of that I did not want the white batting to appear in the gaps
between the weaving. Fortunately all of these issues could be more or less solved by fusing a piece of black
fabric directly onto the back of the woven strips.
I used a small amount of coloured hand quilting in the four corner spheres and stars and machine quilted
half lone stars with black thread on the eight black triangles at the edges. Finally the whole lot was held
together with more black quilting, all in the ditch except for the edges of the protruding shapes where I
tried to accentuate the change in direction.
Whilst the judges at the IQA judged show in Houston commented favourably on the visual impact of this quilt they all criticised the lack of quilting and they did not select it for any prize. Fortunately, however, the attending public felt differently and they voted it winner of the Viewers´ Choice Award, something about which I am particularly delighted and of which I am especially proud. A big thank you to them.
You can see a short video in which I explain how I made this quilt below."