Sunday, November 30, 2008

Piecing

Sometimes I get a terrific craving for piecing. It's probably the part of quilting that I love the best.

It's especially satisfying to go through the scraps and freely compose something as I go along.


I think piecing satisfies a lot of psychological needs: the urge to create, to transform the mundane into something beautiful, or at least useful. It can satisfy the desire to follow impulses and to see how one decision can impact the outcome of a project.


Piecing satisfies the desire to create unity from fragmentation, to put things together, to make a whole from elements that are small, mismatched or insignificant. To piece is to experience control.


Sometimes piecing creates order, and other times it seems to celebrate chaos. I think I like celebrating chaos the best, perhaps because it gives me a break from my regimented life.


I find free-form piecing satisfying because it lets me see how far I can bend the rules, and when I need to insert orderly elements where the eye can rest.


This little quilt is asymmetrical, but it is also perfectly square. As I was making it I thought about a quote I recently read from Cezanne: "We live in a rainbow of chaos."

Chaos Rainbow (34"x34")

Here are some close-ups of the free-form quilting.

I like the impact of the piece as a whole, but also the little surprise images in the piecing

13 comments:

Debra said...

Your work always amazes and delights me! this piece is a grand example of what I want to do when I grow up and become Barbara!

Allison Ann Aller said...

Not only is the quilt spectacular...but this post is as well, the way you have let your thoughts about piecing unfold as the quilt gets revealed step by step.
Just brilliant, and a real pleasure to read.....

rianammerman said...

What a wonderful post, we got to see the whole thing unfold in one swell (really swell) foop! And it's stunning! You are a star!

PS, I think I like piecing the best, too.

Judy S. said...

I enjoyed your thoughts about piecing, Barbara. Don't you think working without someone else's pattern and your own "plan" instead is freeing? I love watching the effect of colors, too, the way some just pop out and the way others hover in the background. You've created a neat piece and organized a bit of chaos in the process!

Kay said...

Wonderful quilt and post. I like piecing also; I think it helps me fall so nicely into the flow state, just putting the fabric together without much thought, just a comforting physical experience. This is true even when it's rather exacting, like what I'm working on now.

sophie said...

I love how your beautiful quilt grows from the cacaphony in the center to a perfectly square and somehow organized piece.

Keep ending the rules. It suits you very well.

Vicki W said...

I really enjoyed reading about how this adorable quilt evolved!

jettstream said...

Thank you, thank you for your ode to piecing! I love it too, but can't express why as eloquently as you have. Mostly because I feel like a dullard because I love the piecing and can't even break out enough for free piecing--never mind an out-and-out art quilt. Often the monotony of doing the same things over and over is really very relaxing and soothing to me. Helps me clear my head or order my thoughts as I order the pieces. Love your results too.

Joyce said...

I absolutely love it! Free piecing is one of my favorite things too, especially after doing somethnig precise.

Plays with Needles said...

I too really loved knowing about your thoughts on piecing and this quilt is just a joy! I really like random scrap quilts the best...I noticed the one block you show in the second picture isn't in the quilt? Wonder where it is? That's my all time favorite crazy block...I'm sticking it in my inspiration file...you may see something like it again someday. Have a great day!

Magpie Sue said...

Couldn't agree with you more!

Finn said...

Morning Barb, your Chaos piece is simply stunning. I was loving it from the first pic, and it just got better as it grew.
One of my favorite aspects of free form piecing is it eliminates the need to pre-cut everything. That part is very appealing to me *VBS*
And you are absolutely right, it seems to free us our spirits or maybe our souls. Very much a "no rules" game. I hope you do more of this. Big hugs, Finn

jacker said...
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