Thursday, September 20, 2012

THINKING B-I-G !!! the first steps

OK--every once in a while I just want to make a big quilt. You know, the quilt that makes everyone stop and look again. So beautiful, so all encompassing that people stop in the aisles and just go WOW. The quilt that defines the booth and makes it memorable among all the other great booths at the craft fair. After all, I have so many wonderful shows lined up for this autumn. The Paradise City Show in Northampton. The Providence Fine Furnishing Show in Pawtucket. The Washington Craft Show. What was I thinking? But I digress.

Now I have been working very very hard this summer getting ready. Designing and making these long rivers. Table runners or are they wall hangings? You may remember these. Eighty inches long.

Very thin strips of fabric. The colors much more intense in actuality than this photo shows. Somehow these could become part of a large quilt. Now when I make a large quilt, I want it to have more than one use. Sure, it can dominate a large wall. Or it can inspire a large quilt custom made for a particular space. Fine by me. But I also want it to cover a bed. Now, I know there are some quilt makers who shudder at this thought. How dare you put an art quilt on a bed? Isn't this reducing the value and implied importance of an art quilt?

Yet, think about it. Not everyone has a large wall but beds are basically a large space that can display art. Sure, if it is used, it will soften a bit and show the human touch. But on the other hand doesn't it allow the owner to really interact with the art on a daily basis?

Now if one is making an art quilt there are some considerations that are different from wall quilts. First and probably foremost, the construction must be substantial. I will be the first to admit that some art quilts just should not be placed on a bed. Second, there are some size considerations. For instance on a queen size bed, the top is 60 x 80 inches and then the cover frequently hangs down on three sides. Doesn't this need to be incorporated into the design?

Finally there is the look of the quilt. Sure, there are lots of wonderful classic and many new designs for bed quilts. But I want to make one that is distinctly mine. Modern. Wonderful colors. A quilt that I can see in a sophisticated home. Preferably with a designer bed. But fitting in to the idea of a bedroom as perhaps a restful place. A place of dreams and lingering.

So many things to consider. But sometimes you just have to start. So I sketch. Draw. Imagine in my head at five in the morning. And finally get the courage up and make the first long river. Wonderful colors. I pin it up on my design board and try out colors to co-ordinate with it.

Hmmm. What do you think? A story to be continued? Do you ever make bed quilts? Do you think art quilts should be made for the bed? How do you start? And perhaps most importantly--will I get it done in time for these shows?

1 comment:

  1. Go for it! I have a very bright version of Kim McLean's Lollypop Trees on my bed now, two years of carry-along work in the buttonhole stitch appliquéd. It makes me smile every time I walk into the room. It will not be washed often, but can stand some. Becky Preston