Beginning to Design Intuitively

As a textile artist I have been drawn to quilts, and the basic quilt form- large enough for a bed, even if hung on a wall; pieced fabric stitched together over a batting.  Traditional quilting methods did not speak to me- mathematical manipulations of intricately pieced patterns won’t be how I pursue my artwork.  What else would there be?

Nancy Crow‘s artwork and intuitive methods stunned me when I encountered it.   Her work seemed to combine quilting and a painterly technique in a way I had never imagined could be done.  The fabulous exhibit The Quilts of Gees Bend showed incredible quilts, all obviously created intuitively.  These quilters have had a huge influence on my design aspirations.  Still, I felt that I lacked a way in, a method that I could use to begin my own explorations.

Two inspirations came my way recently that have opened the door to quilting intuitively.  The first inspiration was a tutorial quilt pattern, purporting to teach freeform curved strip piecing.  The pattern, called Eureka, is designed by Debbie Bowles at Maple Island Quilts.  And yes, it does teach freeform curved strip piecing, very wonderfully and easily!  I used it as a starting point for my own quilt, and will post a bit more about this later.

The second inspiration came from textile artist Sherri Lynn Wood at her blog DaintyTime.  She teaches a method of intuitive quilting in a project and tutorial called Mod Mood Quilting.  Her intuitive approach to her quilting, and her precise tutorial with  methods,  gave me the push I needed to start my own journey.  I took the work I had done with the Eureka pattern and added to the quilt using Sherri’s method.  The quilt grew, and the result is the finished quilt top pictured above.  I am so grateful to Debbie Bowles and Sherri Lynn Wood for each sharing methods that allowed me to begin my own creative path.

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