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Improv Patchwork: Dynamic Quilts Made with Line & Shape

Improv Patchwork: Dynamic Quilts Made with Line & Shape

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Improv Patchwork: Dynamic Quilts Made with Line & Shape

valutazioni:
3/5 (2 valutazioni)
Lunghezza:
228 pagine
1 ora
Pubblicato:
Oct 1, 2017
ISBN:
9781617454974
Formato:
Libro

Descrizione

Explore new options in improvisational piecing and empower your creativity! Cut and combine solid-color fabrics to create your own “prints”—stripes, polka dots, chevrons, plaids, and more. Forget the rules (and even your ruler) as you piece colorful solids into compelling quilt designs. Use color, pattern, and repetition to develop your personal design aesthetic as you stitch freely to create unique quilts that pack a punch!
Pubblicato:
Oct 1, 2017
ISBN:
9781617454974
Formato:
Libro

Informazioni sull'autore

While Maria Shell’s work is firmly grounded in the craft of quiltmaking, she uses her years of experience to create surprising combinations of pattern, repetition, and color. The recipient of numerous awards and fellowships, Maria lives in Anchorage, Alaska. mariashell.com


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Improv Patchwork - Maria Shell

48″

Start Where You Are

Creativity Is Good for You!

My Journey as a Quiltmaker

I started stitching when I was four years old. My mother let me use old clothing, and I made all kinds of things in the way that children do—stuffed animals and dolls, handbags, and pillows.

I did not have sewing patterns or fancy fabric. I was a maker.

(And I imagine if you are holding this book, you are a maker, too.) I was compelled to make with stitch and cloth. There was something about it that made me feel good about the world and myself, so I went at creating with what I had. My mother promised me a sewing machine when I turned ten, and I held her to it.

Years later, in the late 1990s, my husband and I drove the Alaska Highway from Kansas City to Alaska with that sewing machine and two cats. We were a family on a limited budget. I had loads of fabric that I had collected from my years of sewing—much of it was vintage from the 1960s and 1970s, as I love the wild patterns and prints of those decades.

Finally, in the remote mountain village of Valdez, Alaska, I took my first quilting class (a mystery quilt). I showed up at the quilt shop a few days before the class to have the owner look at my fabric supplies and see if they would work. I had a cardboard box filled with wacky fabric—little of which was cotton—that I had purchased from garage sales. Most shop owners would have pushed me to buy the latest yardage they had in stock, but not Trudy Koszarek. If she had shut me down that day, I wonder what my life would have been like now. I could not afford to invest in a hundred dollars’ worth of fabric at that point in my life for a quilt I might never finish. I needed to just make do—which is a big part of our quilting heritage.

Trudy looked through the box and told me honestly what my obstacles were with the fabric: Yardage is easier to work with for beginners, upholstery fabric is too thick for piecing with, and I might have a hard time getting the quilt pattern to read using all those busy prints. I didn’t buy any fabric that day, but a year or so later, I was teaching and working as a clerk in her shop.

Boxy Nine-Patch by Maria Shell, 2006, 51″ × 62″

Early on in my patchwork making, I discovered the potential of the traditional quilt block as a medium for artistic expression.

I went home and maybe even to the thrift store looking for quilting-weight cottons. Of course, I used a bed sheet. There’s lots of cotton there! I was self-conscious at that first class, but I was also completely liberated. There is just something so magical about cutting up fabric and stitching it back together in a quest to find out what is it going to look like when it is all said and done.

Colors Unfurled (also known as If Betsy Ross Had My Stash)

by Maria Shell, 2009, 126˝ × 77˝

I made this quilt in celebration of Barack Obama’s nomination for president in 2008. It is my take on the American flag. There are 50 stars—with the largest representing the forty-ninth state where I live. Each stripe represents a different aspect of our country.

I can see now that I was driven by a small list of quilting aspirations: I wanted to be a master quiltmaker. I was absolutely consumed with making quilts that were uniquely mine, and I wanted to take the traditional patchwork quilt and claim it as my medium. The potential of pattern and repetition in the classic pieced quilt patterns were thrilling to me!

And finally, I was obsessed with color. Color, color, color!

And believe it or not, that small-mountain–village quilt shop called the Calico Whale had all the resources I needed to become the quilter I wanted to be. The teaching staff—Lil Dillion, Trudy Koszarek, and Jodi Morgan—all gave me the gentle guidance I needed to grow as a quilter.

After my first three weeks of study with Nancy Crow, I am still standing!

In 2009, I received a Rasmuson Foundation Individual Artist Award that allowed me to leave Alaska and my family for three weeks to study with Nancy Crow. Under Nancy’s guidance, I began to understand color, pattern, and repetition on an entirely new level. The techniques I have developed over the years to make prints into solids came directly from those first weeks of study with Nancy Crow. I am eternally grateful for all that she taught me. She is a living treasure.

Your Journey to Developing a Quiltmaking Practice

My dream is that this book will lead you down an amazing new path of discovery. Using solid fabrics to create your own prints and patterns will inspire you to work freely without rules, preconceived ideas, or rulers. The techniques in this book are designed to empower you to stitch without knowing where it may lead. I hope that you will let the process be your guide. As you learn each new type of print, you’ll see ways to use it in quilts that will help you generate your own ideas and quilts.

While I certainly hope that the techniques in this book will encourage you to create original patchwork designs, I also hope you will see this not only as a quilting book about how to make prints out of solids but as a book about being fearless. Not every print you build will be a success, but sometimes the only way to get to the successful prints is by making a few duds along the way.

By embracing this process that includes failure, poor decisions, and mistakes—as well as successes—you will come to your own design aesthetic.

How to Use This Book

Each chapter introduces you to a particular component you can use to build quilts. I call these components prints made from solid fabrics—prints such as stripes, polka dots, plaids, chevrons, herringbones, and so on.

Many of these component chapters are interrelated, but they also can be read separately. Perhaps you want to understand how to use color or how to make a striped print; simply go to those

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