Saturday, July 20, 2013

Orange Explains it, quilt revealed

close detail of hand quilting with ecru pearle threads 

"Orange Explains It" queen size quilt finished 
 Since April 4th of this year I have been working, playing and enjoying the building of an abstract improvisational quilt top in orange with a few neutrals, mostly grays and browns. I was inspired by two things:
1. A visit in Washington DC with the Gee's Bend quilters of Alabama.
2. The scraps of orange and gray fabric that were given to me at a DC modern quilt guild meeting.
scraps of orange gray and brown first gift 

more orange from the scrap swap meet 

DCMQG members at the Gee's Bend event 

Gee's Bend quilt detail 

table view of Gee's Bend quilt 

close up of the quilting from Gee's Bend quilt 

Nice detail of Gee's Bend quilt 

Lady in purple suit with pearls and the younger one in Pink sweater set both from Gee's Bend who shared their quilting stories and songs with us. 

Elder Gees Bend quilter with the US Postage stamps commemorating her communities quilts 
my first try at using the orange gray and brown fabrics in an abstract improvisational block

At first I played with the fabrics on my design wall, not sure what I was going to do with them. Pretty quickly a block style began to emerge. It's all rectangles from strips of any fabric that was a little like orange. I chose many fabrics ranging from reds to yellows in the spectrum of orange.  It's interesting how colors that look a little orange alone when placed next to other oranges becomes a new hue, usually yellow or red. I used what I understood to be the Gee's Bend design formula of going with my natural inclinations to work up more and more new blocks until the whole was big enough for a queen sized bed.
blocks arranged on the design wall to try and find a way to assemble them into a solid quilt top
Soon after I added it all up with hand stitched quilting using a #8 pearle thread in ecru and bound the edges with a dark chocolate brown. It's bold and bright in the end a very unique piece.

orange quilt top takes up the whole living room spread out on the floor to baste

detail of hand quilting using pearle #8 ecru

adding a dark chocolate brown binding 
 Then I chose a pair of contrasting blue and white prints for the backing that I was saving because I loved the prints. I worked on a label at the summer meeting of DC Modern Quilt Guild in the Botanical Gardens on the national mall.
top with label turned up 

simple blue and white for the backing to cool off those hot oranges
This quilt was one of the must fun to make because I only had to follow my inner voice the whole way through from start to finish. No fussy cutting or pattern making was needed the biggest challenge was arranging all my blocks to fit together into one huge block. This artistic way of working is just one of many I plan to use in the future.

8 comments:

Carla said...

Frederick - this is lovely! You did a really fantastic job!

Michael Beedenbender said...

Beautiful art!

Ann Brooks said...

Wonderful quilt. Thanks for showing your inspiration and process! It's so interesting to see how quilters make decisions with their work.

Jessie said...

I am totally in love with this quilt. It is a work of art. It's been so fun to watch your progress and now to enjoy the final piece! Thanks for sharing so much of yourself here.

Frederick said...

Carla, Michael, Ann and Jessie,
Thank you for your complements. It's great to have a community of appreciative readers who are interested in hearing how these quilts come together. Your comments and support help keep me going strong.

Anonymous said...

Beautiful, a work of art. You are such a talent.

cinzia said...

Fantastic quilt! following your gut always works! The joy you had in making this quilt shines thru! You are lucky to have had the chance to see the Gee's bend quilts.

Ve from Ottawa said...

Stumbled on your blog by looking in Google images for ideas for quilts in orange. Yours is so unique! Amazing. Good job :)