Saturday, June 7, 2008

More on quilts

There are a lot of different types of quilt tops - not just size-based definitions, but types. I won't go into all of them, but will go over a few different types that I personally like.

Scrap quilts are generally made from, well, scrap material. These can use hundreds of different materials. Generally, the materials are cut and pieced in a regonizable pattern. The quilt above is an old scrap quilt of mine. The big squares stay the same throughout, but the smaller squares are made from a mixture of materials, all of the same color values.
(Side note. This quilt is currently in my repair pile. Never allow a large dog with big nails sleep on a quilt made with silky materials!)

The phrase pieced quilts is generally used for any quilt where pieces are cut and sewn together, when there is no other classification for the design. The placemats and table runner from yesterday's column would fit this definition.

A watercolor quilt, as explained by Dina Papps in her book, Quick Watercolor Quilts, is one where three different types of prints are used to create a picture where the picture is made by the blending of fabrics. The photo to the right is from this book. The quilt is called Summer Wreath. As you can see, while squares are used, the impression is of a circle, and the design fades outwards from the center -- just like a watercolor painting.

A landscape quilt takes this farther. The idea is to create a full landscape, without being confined to using square shapes. Generally speaking, you start with a piece of muslin, and cut the design shapes out of prints that reflect the color and texture of the part of the design you want. These are then added like and applique, layer by layer, to the muslin. Landscape quilts are mostly used as wall hangings. The one to the left is a beautiful example by Cathy Geiger.

My favorite quilt designs are a combination of watercolor and landscape quilts. To my knowledge, there is not an exact name for this. I create simple designs with squares (like the watercolor quilts), but rely on color and texture to create a simplified landscape picture (like landscape quilts).

This Tree Lap/Wall Quilt is 36" x 30". The pieced center is made from 1.5" cut squares. The squares are fused to interfacing, then sewn. I love this method when using small squares.

I have another quilt in the planning stages right now. In this case, it's a scene of mountains and a lake. The design grid is 20x20 squares, using 9 different color values. I will explain the full process as it is completed. Right now it is just a design grid and some cut squares.
(Tree quilt is currently available for purchase at our store:

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