Based on the Block of the Month Solstice Quilt by Jinny Beyer.
B.J. Titus started with one triangle and then randomly chose pieces from her stash of fabric scraps, and the quilt began to take on a life of its own. Random Acts of Piecing is akin to Random Acts of Kindness. Both are about mending and transforming fragments.
This quilt introduced me to the concept of Miyabi, a traditional Japanese aesthetic combining elegance and sorrow. Matsuko Shiraishi describes how the quilt is made of wedding Kimono fabric, and that wedding ceremonies are a combination of those two emotions. To see the whole quilt, which takes on the shape of a Kimono, there’s a great photo of Matsuko Shiraishi’s work on the gladiquilts site.
Having words to describe different forms of beauty helps me look at things more closely and contemplatively. I have written about Wabi Sabi and Hozho, and the beauty of imperfection, but Miyabi was new to me. The Kimono fabric is definitely elegant, with metallic thread and a silky sheen.
What defines elegant for you?
Carolyn Carson in her words:
Quilts are my medium of choice because they exemplify women’s work historically. In addition, I incorporate yarn that I have spun from wool and other fibers, also exemplary of women’s traditional work. I believe that utilizing traditional techniques in a contemporary way helps to draw attention to the lives of women. On a more personal level, it gives me a sense of continuity with other women – historically and globally.
This is color play at its most exquisite. Kathy K. Wylie created this quilt for a competition with the theme of color. She wanted to create a color wheel using hexagons, but finding enough fabric to do all the gradations of hue was a challenge. I love her solution of printing the hexagons onto fabric sheets, using the power of the computer to mix colors. Wylie started with cyan, magenta, and yellow, the classic three colors of digital printing, and named the quilt Trinity in their honor.
When I think of drab, I think of dull, but it actually refers to a color scheme made from quercitron dye, which includes shades of yellow, brown, orange and green. Quercitron was derived from the yellow inner bark of the black oak tree, and an Englishman observed the process in the US in 1785 and took out a patent in Britain, naming it after Quercus(oak) and Citrina(yellow). The type of mordent used to fix the quercitron dye produced the array of colors.
This quilt takes Log Cabin into Frank Gehry architecture. Contrast is like breathing room, with the grays and browns framing the bursts of orange and yellow.
When Stratoz and I went to the Pennsylvania National Quilt Extravaganza XX, this quilt was one of the first to catch my eye. When I looked up Linda Dixon, I discovered a post on her blog where she describes being inspired by a mosaic dome at the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception in Washington, DC.
I have often been energized by quilt designs in my mosaics, so it was very cool to discover a quilter inspired by a mosaic.