#myquiltcouldlivehere : Jewel Boxes
Jewel Boxes, Photo by Armstrong Pitts
It was the perfect time the other night to daydream about where the Jewel Boxes quilt would live, especially since I’ve just pulled it aside to be in a show at Seattle Pacific University (more details on that soon). I love making these collages, because it really makes me look at each quilt from a very different angle, seeing things in them I may not have seen when I was actually making them. The best kind of distraction some days!
For those who may not know the history of this wall hanging quilt, here’s the back story. I’ve already discussed before how much Denyse Schmidt has inspired my love of quilt making (most recently here). I got to take my first workshop from her at the Pacific Northwest College of the Arts back in 2011 (you can read about that experience here and here). This was her workshop in Improvisational Piecing, and the method we used is one of the trademarks of Denyse’s workshops. Strips of all kinds of fabric are put into brown bags, which we pull from and sew together. Not looking in the bag when we choose, not putting back what we choose, just pull out, piece, trim, and keep going. Unexpected patterns and color combinations emerge which we all then discuss as a group. From there, our own personal ideas of an improvisational quilt emerge and we go from there. I was quite inspired by this back then, I had not done much improvisational piecing, and was excited to try it. I saw some really strong color groupings emerge from my own patchwork. I liked them, but was inspired to surround these with calmer, lighter colors. I had brought several of Peter’s old dress shirts, which worked well as low-volume fabrics to surround the brighter colors. I had a plan. But that was as far as I got with it, until 2013, two years later. I was inspired to work on it again, and pulled out the blocks I’d started back in the workshop and started playing with them.
In fact, this quilt is all play. Once I’d pieced the front, and sandwiched everything, I decided to free motion quilt the swirl pattern- just for fun. I hadn’t done much free motion quilting at that point, had no idea if I could even do it, but was interested in trying it out. So, this quilt was quite a jumping off point in many different areas.
I don’t know why I’ve never actually hung this quilt on one of my own walls, but I think I’m going to change that, like as soon as I finish this post. The play of muted, calm, and light, all against electric zap of brights is something I’m always drawn to. I’d love to make a full sized version of this one of these days.