Six years ago my good friend bought me a little bag of Kimono offcuts from a quilting store in Japan. I have always adored Asian style fabrics and this was a wonderful gift, but I never had the confidence that I could do the fabric any justice, and the pieces were all different shapes, sizes, materials, textures and thicknesses.
At that time I was just starting out in traditional quilting, following patterns and mainly working with kits. The little bag both puzzled and delighted me.
But over time I have built my skills and confidence, and discovered that mixing textures can provide wonderful results, and that piecing doesn't have to be 'perfect' to be beautiful. In fact I have come to really love freehand piecing and machine quilting.
So, it was finally time to get out the treasured fabric. I started by randomly sewing pieces together. When their shape, size and composition pleased me I cut them into 3.5" strips, which I then re-pieced into long strips. I then arranged these strips to form the quilt top.
I am now (slowly, in between everything else) quilting the top in a freehand, sinusoidal pattern 'across' the strip pattern, in colours of maroon, pink, dark blue and green, with little hints of gold and silver. Each colour has a slightly different sinusoidal pattern (varying width, height and style).
I think this quilt represents the ying and the yang of me and my journey into art quilting. I am an electronics engineer by career, and with no formal training in sewing or the arts, I am totally self taught. The rigid nature of engineering informs my art, but I am also trying to break free and be more creative – strips and straight lines are the engineer, random peicing and wobbly seams are the artist, sinusoids for the engineer, many colours for the artist.
I originally intended turning this piece into a bag, but now I think perhaps it would be better left as an art piece in its own right. I am yet to complete the quilting, which I think will be quite dense in the end.
I'd love to hear some thoughts and suggestions as to how I could finish this off! (It's only my fourth art quilt!)