February 1, 2014

My Journey; Four-In-Art Quilt #2

Time has run out.

Today is the day we all reveal the second of four quilts in our year long challenge as part of the
Four-in-Art group. The theme for the year is Urban and for this quarter the topic was Structures.

I knew right away I wanted to do something with highway overpasses. My daughter and I had the pleasure of taking three trips in the past year. First was a long road trip from Colorado through Kansas and on to Indiana and Illinois. Next came a trip to Portland where we were both amazed at the dizzying height of the highway bridges over the river. Lastly came our trip to Houston and Quilt Market. Houston has more than its share of roadways and being in the wrong lane can definitely take you off in unintended directions.

This last experience in Houston is what made me decide to go with overpasses for my Structures quilt. With one single wrong lane we found ourselves heading to Galveston instead of downtown Houston. Then with another quick decision we thought we were back on track heading to the convention center only to see it as we drove by. Before we realized it we were then headed to Oklahoma. Another quick decision and we were off the highway altogether. Surprisingly we managed to get to the convention center just a few minutes later than if we had taken all the right turns. Needless to say we had plenty of road challenges along the way as we drove through unfamiliar territory.

This mini quilt was no different. It was a challenge right from the start as I made my way through unfamiliar territory. And the journey was not without a few wrong turns.

I posted earlier this week about my procrastination on getting started. For various reasons I really waited till the last minute. I knew it would mean more if I pushed the concept further. Further in terms of technique. Further in terms of the underlying personal meaning. I had an idea but had no idea how to piece it so I simply put it off. Hope I've learned my lesson when it comes to procrastinating.  : )

In the end I'm pretty pleased with my results. My quilt represents the craziness of real roadways as it was based on a real highway image. But it also represents the ever changing directions of my personal quilting journey.

I've been quilting for over 15 years and in that time have gone in many different directions. When I first started, I did my share of traditional quilts. I've also explored impressionist style quilts. Along the way I fell in love with Kaffe Fassett fabrics which had a big impact on my style. More recently, I've ventured into the creative world of modern quilts. Looking back I still love them all and am even growing more resistant to the labels. I'm trying hard to make what I like. What inspires me regardless of the label.

Below is the first large quilt I ever made. A traditional 9-patch floral. Please excuse the poor quality photo. It's an old quilt and a pre digital era photo.

This is another 9-patch showing the direction my quilts went when I discovered Kaffe.

With these influences in mind, I incorporated a bit of fabric from both of these quilts to express the journey I've been on. Fabric from the first quilt plays the part of a more distant road while the Kaffe fabric road dominates. The use of grays are a more literal interpretation of the many other roads and also allude to the many directions my quilting has gone over time. I enjoy using solids but after awhile I crave prints, especially the big bold prints.

So with all this in mind, I give you "My Journey".

The paths this little quilt took me on were many. Sometimes simple. Sometimes quite confusing. It looks simple but most definitely was not. A great learning experience that pushed me to utter confusion at times. I'll post next week about the technique, the mistakes and what I learned.

In the mean time, please take a look at all the other wonderful quilts that came from this challenge. There are 7 other very talented quilters in our little group and I am always amazed at the variety of ideas everyone comes up with. That's part of what makes this all so fun.

Amanda at What the Bobbin
Carla at LollyQuiltz
Elizabeth at OPQuilt
Leanne at She Can Quilt

Hope you have enjoyed My Journey!

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  1. Wonderful! I love this, the story, the tangle of roads, both on your trip and generally in the complicated lives we lead with so many choices, and with the reference to your quilts - which are also lovely. The curvy quilting in the colourful thread also is a wonderful finish to the piece. Working at the deadline did not hinder you from making a fantastic quilt.

  2. I love the way the bright colours stand out from the greys and the way you've skillfully handled all those intersections - it's fantastic.

  3. Beautiful, I just love how it turned out. Definitely conveys the feeling of those roadways, and the addition of meaningful colors really helps make it, both in meaning and visually.

  4. LOVE, love love! This is a terrific interpretation of your idea, not only with the swooping shapes and the wonderful quilting (an echo of, but not a repetition of, your highways) but also a vivid representation of journeys in our lives. Your use of first quilt fabric to the Kaffe, all against the gray is such a delicious motif of Roads Taken, and Not Taken, and how that has made all the difference.


  5. Yes, I did enjoy! Those well-aligned swoops are not easy, you did a great job.

  6. This is just the most fun piece - way more fun, it would seem, than your trip into Houston! I love that you used the 2 meaningful prints and then the utility grays. And that your quilting story is so woven into this piece makes it all the more special! Each interpretation is just a slice of the whole, isn't it?!

  7. It turned out wonderful despite your challenges!!!

  8. Stunning quilt!!!!! I hope you share this at our next meeting!

  9. Like Elizabeth, the words I write are LOVE, love love! I so enjoyed your description and explanation of the little quilt. It is such a neat piece and I think that you are going to treasure having it as a reminder of many things! Btw, if I had been driving during your Houston experience, you would have probably ended up in Mexico and I would have had a panic attack!! LOL

  10. I love that you used a bit of the first quilt fabric in this piece. I love the shapes and I can definitely "see" the highway overpass inspiration. I love the story behind this little quilt too. The quilting is also super fun. Way to go!

  11. Oh, I love the simplicity of the lines in your mini Anne! I really enjoyed reading the explanation first before the reveal of the quilt!
    I laughed aloud at your journey through Houston, with possible detours to Galveston and Oklahoma! These are just names to me, but I can imagine your frustration at finding yourself heading in the totally wrong direction!
    There is absolutely nothing wrong with your mini though- its a winner!

  12. I see the gray roads as the future, who knows what they will hold!

  13. Wow, the movement in this is fantastic! I love the contrast of the two prints off the different greys! And your quilting is just perfect for it, great work! I would love to see a whole quilt like this!

  14. It's all been said; I'll just say, "I think so too." I especially like the creative use of old fabric.

  15. Now that's a free way I'd like to travel : )

  16. Minimal, yet so profound! I, too, liked reading the story behind you quilt before actually seeing it. I was able to understand what I was viewing. There is so much that this small quilt says about you, and others, as well. Well done.

  17. What a clever idea for a challenge. I love where you journey has taken you!

  18. I like how simplistic your design is. The use of those two diverse prints really tell the story. So nicely done. You definitely met the challenge!

  19. This is wonderful Anne! I love the curves and use of fabrics from previous quilts.


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