This quilt was somewhat inspired by Gee’s Bend quilting, and African American quilt styles in general, but it was also inspired by the large quantities of vintage blue and green scraps I had. I have made a seriesof quilts and some bunting from these scraps and am happy to be finishing up what is probably, (hopefully?), my last project with them (though I do love them, it’s time to move on). I wrote about this quilt here as well. I used corduroy for the borders which is HEAVY and tugging this twin-sized beast around through my machine has given me super awesome arm muscles. OK, not really, but it did flare up the arthritis in my wrist!
I am calling this my Midwest Landscapes quilt, because the blocks remind me of abstracts of landscapes of farms and small towns as viewed from a plane.
I really struggled with how to quilt it, and in the end went back to the Gee’s Bend quilts – like this red one here – that I had in mind when I started the project. Many of these quilts are quilted either with echo lines – which I wasn’t going to attempt – or with parallel lines running in every which direction, a group are up and down, some from left to right, and some arc and swirl. It’s really organic and interesting, and while you could say it reminds you of the movement of water as it eddies and rushes, and note how it draws your eye across the quilt, it’s also just very emblematic of how the arm of a quilter moves when she sews. Having done a fair bit of hand-quilting, the lines make perfect sense to me. They are interesting and dynamic not only visually, but also physically. The quilting lines tell something about the quilters bodies, how they sat and moved.
I wasn’t going to hand-quilt this quilt, in part because I don’t have time, in part because I actually think machine quilting would look better, but mainly because I worry that the variety of vintage fabrics I used need extra stability that some fairly dense quilting will really help with.
So, I did a lot of lines going in different directions, with my feed-dogs up. I used my summer gardening straw hat to create some arcs in the quilting.
For the backing I used a cotton shower curtain from Target. I got two of these from goodwill and LOVE the fabric.
As far as what’s next, I think I have rounded up all the fabric I need to make a tree-themed batik wedding quilt for an old friend. Now I just have to make it!