Monday, December 15, 2008

Work in Progress

I have been fiddling around with this new piece for the last few days, constructing the individual blocks, and piecing them together to make the top shown here.


I knew that I wanted a contemporary quilt which was reminiscent of an old utilitarian work quilt. Utilitarian quilts were made from old recycled scraps and bits of fabric left over from other projects. While elements of creativity and thought were definitely put into their making, they also weren't terribly fussed over in the design and construction since they were going to be used for everyday day needs and would get a lot of wear and tear. Because of this, utilitarian quilts often have a wonderful randomness about them, as you had to use what was on hand and make it work the best that you could.

To help give my quilt top a utilitarian feel, I picked certain colors of blue that I had on hand and constructed the blocks from strips that were intentionally cut fairly straight, but not exactly straight.


Each block was stitched without any idea of how it would look in relation to the other blocks, as I wanted to be surprised and challenged with how they would best look when laid out. (This turned out to be much more of a challenge then I thought it would, and I am still not sure if I got it right, visually speaking.) Bits of red were added for the "pop!" element.

The top measures about 33" square, which will make for a nice lap quilt, throw or wall hanging. Hoping to get her quilted this week, wish me luck!

25 comments:

Janis said...

Wonderful! It certainly speaks "utilitarian" to me. Actually it says a lot to me. It brings me pride in my heritage and the stories my grandmother told me of that time and place in history. It tells me that we all, both individually and collectively as a nation, need to rediscover our utilitarian roots.

I hope that's okay if your quilt speaks to me. Maybe I'm just reflective this evening.

I especially love this quilt, I think it's a masterpiece!

Victoria said...

I am thrilled that this piece speaks to you, Janis! Thanks for such a great comment!

Fer said...

I love it, I really do.
Beautifully simple but the colours give it so much more. Wonderful.

Hey Harriet said...

Oh it's been a while since you've shared some of your work, so this is exciting! I love this one! The 'pops' of red are a lovely touch. It would make a gorgeous wall hanging for sure! I like the idea of it being a lap quilt but I'd be too worried about spilling something on it. I'm messy that way. I'd also be worried about my dog jumping up & sprawling her smelly self across it. Nope. A piece as beautiful as that needs to be displayed on a wall. Ideally a very prominent gallery wall so that it may be enjoyed by many!

Victoria said...

Thanks so much Fer! Thanks H.H.! ...And no need to worry! It would be machine washable. Although I do like your idea of a very prominent gallery! We'll see how it looks after the machine quilting, that's the tricky part when I hold my breath, hunch my shoulders, put pedal to the metal and hope for the best!

Sarah said...

That's really beautiful. I love those colors and the arrangement.

High Desert Diva said...

Oh...I'm thinkin' you got it right!

Victoria Bennett Beyer said...

I think you really succeded in creating a piece that looks like an heirloom, and that has that no-fuss, utlitarian look to it. I LOVE that you worked with lines that weren't exactly straight, and patterns that weren't ridgid. Was that out of your comfort zone? I love your other pieces that have such a sense of order, and this one is so different. That's what growth is all about, I guess. Good job!

please sir said...

Looking good - I love the pops of red. Ok, love the overall colors!

em's scrapbag said...

Love how the red pops. It is really a fun quilt. Good Job!

Amy C said...

it looks incredible and you definitely have the utilitarian thing going on there, the colors are gorgeous and as usual it has been made so beautifully.

Victoria said...

Thanks everyone, and Victoria, about working outside of my comfort zone... each time I do a new project I generally feel like a babe in the woods, and out of my comfort zone, (which is primarily on the couch curled up under a blanket and eating something!) I know it is time to try something new when I no longer feel a bit unsure of what I am doing, and it all comes too easily. I am curious by nature and get bored way to easily. Because of this it's hard for me to stick to one set style. Sometimes I think this is a detriment but other times a blessing.

Rosebud Collection said...

What work..I have to tell you, it is beautiful.

Amy @ Park City Girl said...

oooohhh! This is great - I love the pop of red and the stripes are fun. Good luck getting it quilted!

Stacey said...

Great colors and shapes, very beautiful!

Cicada Studio said...

OK, just because it is meant to emulate "utilitarian", I firmly believe that if you were that quilter from way back when, you would still concern yourself with details and making the lines and color placement "just so", random scraps, wear and tear or no... and there's nothing wrong with that (except you may have made some of your quilting mates crazy). That said, your straight, but not really straight lines and your perfect placement of random color is quintessentially "you". I like that you challenged yourself and I love what you've accomplished.

Cicada Studio said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
T.Allen-Mercado said...

I think you've got it-it's beautiful.

karen said...

would love to snuggle under this one!

Kayla coo said...

Great colours,infact I am making a brooch in similar colours at the moment.
I love the patterns.

Mrs.French said...

if I were to imagine the perfect quilt this may just be it..the blues and reds have me...xo

picciolo said...

this is gorgeous, I really love the colours
: )

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jacquie said...

oh my...it has both an antique and a modern feel to me. it's stunning. i'm looking forward to see how you will quilt it.

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