"Rollin', Rollin', Rollin'..."
Wed, Nov 17 2010 4:01 PM
I'm inspired by antique quilts.
The fact that the women on the prairie created, with often little more than a lead pencil, a straight edge, and an idea, these artful designs that they then crafted from cloth is something that dazzles me every time. And I'll say it because it must be said: Because they were women, I suspect, the artistry and the vision they possessed has gone largely under-appreciated. More on that later, I'm sure.
I pore over the books I have of antique quilts and when I'm in Iowa, I look through my mom's books. She has a lot of books on quilting and because she's such a fan of Civil War era quilts in particular, there are a lot of volumes full of incredible photography that I can sit with for hours. I find inspiration by looking at books of blocks -- Barbara Brackman's comes to mind -- and then figuring out how the blocks might be combined to create a new quilt. This is how many people do it, I know.
The block that inspired my "Emeralds" quilt is the "Rolling Stone." I saw it and I thought, "Ooh. It looks like cut emeralds." And since I wanted to work with greens, it was the perfect choice. This is what it looks like. Or what three in a row look like:
Don't you think it looks like the top of a diamond or some kind of jewel? I hope to have 40+ different kinds of green fabrics in this quilt, and it's all set with Kona cotton's "Natural" solid, which looks like muslin but has a different feel to it.
This block isn't particularly complex, but I love the person who designed it anyway, and I love that she named it "Rolling Stone." She was way ahead of any rock n' roll magazine, way ahead of Bob Dylan, too.