Saturday, August 3, 2013

On the Newsstands Now

This is the super secret project I mentioned earlier this summer. It is a new favorite quilt for me. It's in the current issue of Quiltmaker, on newsstands now. (I just saw it in the grocery store, and got a nice giggle when I saw my name on the cover. Bazinga!)

It signals the beginning of a new approach to my applique process. The working title for the article was "Hand Applique by Machine, By the Numbers", sort of a take on the old paint by numbers kits we used to buy as kids. (I don't remember what the end title was in the magazine, probably something close.) If you'll excuse the pun, it's a way to be a little more painterly in my fabric choices.

I've modified the addressing system that has kept my sanity all these years from being just a way to keep track of all the pieces to focusing more on light and shadow and fabric choices. I've gone from mass producing perfectly matching motifs by the hundreds to cutting shapes out one at a time to give each a little special character.

I've used sort of the same idea with my Of a Summer's Day project (which hasn't changed a bit from this earlier picture, maybe next week.) I've tried to use light and dark to give the roses a little more dimension. I started working out the new labeling system on this project.

Here's a close up to show the quilting. I think the overlapping circles on that upper fabric reminds me a bit of the movement in some Van Gogh paintings. The lower fabric is quilted in vertical straight lines, a nice contrast to the circles and curves above.

Hand embroidery was added for a little more definition, and to add details too small to applique. (Okay, I have to admit that I could applique the stems, I just didn't want to.)

Even in my large quilts I've always been mindful of value placement. It can make a quilt sparkle. What do you think, would you like to have your applique patterns tell you where to place the lights, mediums and darks for a certain look? Is that even something that matters to you in your projects?


  1. Beth, your work is lovely. My goal would be to make my own designs and choose the color placement where "I" see them. That would make "me" the artist I would prefer to be. But, that's me. I am usually a bit off the reservation in my creations. Some work well, some not so much.

  2. Value is EVERYTHING. I think this is important and an exciting new step in your process!

  3. I like this new approach. I tend to stick to the mediums and need a push to venture toward more lights and darks. I think this "painterly" technique would make me dig deeper into my stash to find the right fabrics.

  4. Beth I love your work. I have done 4 of your gorgeous quilts. Hard for me to stay away from anything you do