Fruit Salad

Some quilts are a very long time in coming. They come in and out of storage based on deadlines, time management, and whims. Such is the story of Fruit Salad.

Fruit Salad first made an appearance at the Crow Barn in the spring of 2010. I was there for two weeks to take Sets and Variables I & II and which I wrote about here.

Maria Shell Fruit SaladThe second week of study resulted in the foundation for my Color Grid Series which has been a particularly satisfying exploration of the traditional quilt block called Squares and a Square.

Dance Party at Tamara's House 37H x 37W 2012

Dance Party at Tamara’s House 37H x 37W 2012

Part of why Fruit Salad went up on the design wall and came down from the design wall so many times is because I kept trying to make it into a grid. Do you see the grid I am trying to impose in this photo?

Fruit Salad by Maria Shell 2014In reality, it is much closer to Berry Picking.

Berry Picking 22H x 18W 2012

Berry Picking 22H x 18W 2012

Berry Picking Detail 22H x 18W 2012

Berry Picking Detail 22H x 18W 2012

And Boulevard. All three of these quilts feature an elongated and distorted view of the grid.

Boulevard 32H x 48W 2011

Boulevard 32H x 48W 2011

Boulevard Detail 32H x 48W 2011

Boulevard Detail 32H x 48W 2011

This winter, when it fully sunk in that I was having two solo shows in the month of February, I realized that the only way I was going to have enough material was to seriously focus on finishing up some favorites.

Fruit Salad went back up on the design wall.

Maria Shell Fruit SaladSince I began Fruit Salad, my aesthetic concerning quilt edges had changed dramatically. For a brief moment in time, I produced quilts with edges not cut with rulers. Some would say these edges are organic, I would say they are wobbly. I am currently in the straight edge camp. This meant I needed to go back into the quilt and gentle straighten the edges. I wrote about this process here.

Once the top was done, I spent about 25- 30 hours quilting.

Maria Shell Quilting Fruit SaladMaria Shell Quilting Fruit SaladHere are few peaks at the back.

Maria Shell Fruit SaladMaria Shell Fruit SaladAnd another 6 or so hours stitching facings and hanging sleeves onto the quilt. I did most of this finishing work during a power outage in Homer, Alaska.

Maria Shell Cut-Stitch-PressI was there to hang my show CUT-STITCH-PRESS at the Bunnell Street Arts Center and have an opening. Unfortunately, a storm but the kibosh on that. You can read about how fun that was in this blog post I called Wind Storm-Power Outage-Blizzard. Really, it was good fun hanging out with the staff of the Bunnell. I left with the quilt draped like this–ready and waiting to be hung.

Maria Shell Fruit SaladThe next week, Walt and I drove back to Homer for the rescheduled opening. Uh Oh. Fruit Salad was hung upside down. Note to self–leave others notes if you want your abstract work be hung properly.

Maria Shell Fruit SaladFruit Salad has finally be photographed and properly documented. Here is what it looks like right side up.

Fruit Salad 35H x 55W 2014

Fruit Salad 35H x 55W 2014

And a few close ups.

Fruit Salad Detail 35H x 55W 2014

Fruit Salad Detail 35H x 55W 2014

Fruit Salad Detail 35H x 55W 2014

Fruit Salad Detail 35H x 55W 2014

Fruit Salad Detail 35H x 55W 2014

Fruit Salad Detail 35H x 55W 2014

I hope you all are having as good of spring as we are up here. It’s absolutely wonderful to feel the sun for so many hours a day. It feels like fruit salad weather….

This entry was published on May 9, 2014 at 2:57 PM. It’s filed under Quilt Stories and tagged , . Bookmark the permalink. Follow any comments here with the RSS feed for this post.

14 thoughts on “Fruit Salad

  1. Beth Nordlund on said:

    I love it

    Sent from my iPhone

  2. It’s beautiful! I love that is has some quiet areas too.

    • Ruth- I have the hardest time with quiet areas. It just seems to easy. It’s good to hear you say this. I like quiet in other people’s quilts, but struggle to effective use space that way in my own work. Thank you for saying that.

  3. Awesome story about the life and journey of Fruit Salad!

    • Zohra Arastu on said:

      Maria, your quilts are very colorful, happy and playful. I shy away from making quilts where one has to match corners and seams. I do love to make art quilts haven’t made as many as I would like to yet ! I love your Fruit Salad

    • Thank you! I have been trying to tell each quilt’s story. Fruit Salad was so long in the making, but in the end that becomes part its history.

  4. Sherry valentine on said:

    You are a master of design, color, and integration of varying factors. I loved this quilt! Sherry Valentine

  5. I absolutley love your dance party at tamara’s house – such an evocative title and such a powerful design – and then i see all the detailed stitching – wow! Respect!

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