Wednesday, November 27, 2013

New quilt

detail of my newest quilt, Coded Connections
This year I have been playing with the ideas of Gee's Bend quilters and the concept of modern art influenced design. I began piecing, putting together pieces of fabric, two years ago in earnest with the little scraps of fabric from my big yo yo project that took 40 years to complete. I saved lots of little diamond pieces and eventually pieced many of them into little strips of squares, by hand at first, then with the featherweight Singer machine. It led to the Fairhaven Cliffs Summer Quilt 2011. That was all intuitive and challenged my color theory and subjective choices of patterns and prints looking for combinations that pleased my eye. In between there was the Rose Star English paper piecing madness that possessed me for about a year... before the rose star was done I moved to a more freestyle designing my own block I called the Williamsburg fence design. That was built using a set of dark green solid fabric with natural muslin. Working on that small quilt is when I began to realize I wanted to do repeating patterns building blocks that would add up to a full bed sized quilt. I got carried away with the Rose Star quilt and finished that then came back to the green and white design for this new quilt.

Yo yo coverlet, 40 years of little circles full of memories 

Patchwork pieced with scraps of Yo Yo quilt became the Fairhaven Cliffs Summer Quilt 

Rose Star quilt English paper pieced all by hand. 

Green and muslin strips become my play time project inspired by Williamsburg's white fences and boxwood hedges 
On the felt wall are various blocks made from the green and white fabrics exploring how cutting and reassembling the strips made new patterns
My first finished machine quilted throw photographed by Elle from DC Modern Quilt Guild at NGA sculpture garden 
The resulting play with that set of green and off-white strips developed into the latest finish titled Coded Connections. I used the same green and off-white muslin and developed a fun playful pattern without repeats but echoing the Williamsburg Fence quilt by interval and color. During the months I struggled with this idea of a modern abstract design I kept thinking I needed a third color like red or orange or magenta and I experimented over and over with them and kept rejecting the high contrast that came from those colors until one day this bamboo green solid got hoisted to the design wall and it all of a sudden felt like the shift in tone I needed to complete the color design.  
Coded Connections finished 80 x 83 

 I used a Dark Parrot Green perle cotton #8 thread to quilt it all by hand in straight lines and a solid muslin back where that green would show nicely. The binding is made of the three fabric colors pieced together to reflect the inner design intervals. The batting is simple cotton. I hope to go back to my fence pattern and make a full bed sized quilt one day.
Label close up for Coded Connections quilt
Every time I go back to Colonial Williamsburg I find new inspirations in the formal functional gardens and numerous designs all over the city.
garden fences and greens are really great retreats from the busy streets in old Williamsburg.

boxwood hedges in a garden 

picket fence gate and hedge 

This year the leaves were orange, red and yellow for our visit which is a whole new color theme for a quilted Colonial theme. 

Laundry hanging by an encampment lot at the edge of Colonial Williamsburg was a new site this year. 
 What comes next? currently I am working with used men's casual wear shirts and making progress piecing and patchworking my way to a pair of unique quilts for cold winter nights by the fire. They are being filled with rich wool batting and I hope to finish them both in the next couple weeks.


Andres said...

love your quilts!

roccagal said...

I am just flabbergasted at your talent Frederick!

Linda F. said...

I love this new quilt and the inspiration for it. It is also nice to see a collection of your quilts in one post. How is it that I didn't know about the yo-yo quilt? Have you ever brought it to a DCM meeting to show?
Hope to see you soon.

Frederick Nunley said...

Thanks everyone for your kind comments. I haven't shown the yoyo quilt at the guild yet Linda but maybe I will sometime soon.

quirky granola girl said...

I adore this new quilt, Frederick! I hope we can see it up close at a meeting sometime. The peek into your process and how organically your designs evolve is my favorite thing about your blog.

Selfsewn said...

You totally have the quilting bug now havent you!!!!