2021 Begins

At the start of each year I always wonder what I”ll make. Sometimes I have specific projects in mind; other times I am at the mercy of my whims. So far in 2021 I have worked on my January lines challenge and have completed two quilts conceived in 2020. For me it’s helpful to have carryover work so I don’t face the dreaded blank design wall.

Right now my design wall features a long stalled project that I have finally had a breakthrough on, thanks to Jane Dunnewold’s lecture series. I’m not ready to talk about or show it yet, so today I will focus on my two made mostly with scraps pieces, “High Summer” and “A Thin Blue Line.” Both are abstract color studies that I hope evoke a mood.

“High Summer” 25″ by 36.5″

About three-fourths of “High Summer” is made of fabric I’ve painted, constructed, or dyed. The rest is commercial fabric, including a chunk of Marcia Derse fabric in the lower left corner. I wanted to capture the deeper greens and sun soaked reflections of mid summer.

“A Thin Blue Line” 27″ by 33″

While Summer came together quickly, Line was subject to lots of changes after I thought it was done. Two days after declaring it finished I’d look at it and decide something wasn’t right. I’m still not satisfied with it, but I’ve done what I can after quilting and facing it. Yes, I was painting over areas as it hung on my wall, and I lopped off a few inches as I sewed on the facing. I wanted to create a spare piece with breathing room (why I thought that was possible with all the orange and pink is a mystery) and an illusion of depth, but I’ve managed to fussy it up. I hope the double blue line I quilted shows.

As an antidote to all that riotous color I put together a 12 inch square piece from the kind of neutrals Japanese quilters often use. I used a prompt from the SAQA seminar on color, which asks you to make same size pieces in colors you never use and in your usual colors. I didn’t bother with the latter as I think the pieces above cover my usual colors.

“Quiet Color” 12″ square

It killed me to make this. Humans have spent centuries searching out and perfecting rich, deep colors, so why shouldn’t I take advantage of all their work. A friend told me it was zen-like, certainly a quality I don’t possess.

As per usual, I’m linking to Off the Wall Friday.


Filed under Art quilts, Commentary

13 responses to “2021 Begins

  1. Oh, your colors! Anything jewel tones usually speaks to me, I notice color far before the composition. I lean toward greens and blue but I must say that A Thin Blue Line is my preference of these two. I think the double blue quilted lines are a great added element. It sounds like you feel about the same way I do regarding muted and pastel palettes. It must take a special talent to get them to sing, but your Quiet Color is soothing.

    • I think I spent more time on that quiet little square than I have on much larger pieces. Some of the time was spent finding neutral colors in my scrap containers, but I rejected what I thought were good possibilities as too strong. Glad you like Line. It taught me to keep pushing.

  2. Norma Schlager

    Your second quilt really talks to me, but then I love turquoise and red together. You are off to a good start for the year.

  3. My favorite is the green one. You nailed the composition and the deep greens of summer. It actually made me sigh with longing! For me I respond well to the neutrals in Quiet Color. Too bad it killed you to make it!

  4. The strong colour in these pieces is really pleasing to me!

  5. High Summer evokes memories of sunlight filtering through green leaves on a warm summer day. A Thin Blue Line, with all its glorious color, makes me want to go pull out my fabric and have some fun. As to the last block, I’m not sure I even have fabric in my stash in those colors. Ha!

  6. Very good beginning for the year. Are you happy with the Dunnewold series? You have a pretty good background in design already, so I guess my question is, is it “worth it?”

    I especially enjoy A Thin Blue LIne. I don’t know what you wanted it to convey, but I could find either pure joy at strong color, or find deep meaning. To me, that makes it successful.

    • I appreciate your take on Line. I always enjoy listening to Jane as she is a good speaker (no ers, you knows, and uhs), illustrates her talks with graphics, and I appreciate another take on design. The 3 lectures were $40 total, and to me it’s money well spent. Recently I bought access to a video that cost $20 and it was only 18 minutes long! The creator was a bit upset with my less than 5 star review.

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