Force Field

Force Field, like so many of my quilts, was a long journey from bits of fabric to a completed quilt.

In my not-so-well organized photo files, I first spot Force Field on March 1, 2011. It’s in the upper right corner.

Maria Shell Force FieldThat spring, I was pushing myself hard. I was going to the Crow Barn in May, and I wanted to have GOOD and NEW work to show. Maria Shell Force FieldThis was before I had many exhibition commitments. That meant I was not under a real deadline, but rather under a self-imposed deadline. This is my favorite way to work. I just stitch and stitch and stitch and eventually quilts start to appear on my design walls.

Maria Shell Force FieldOnly when the quilts started to layer up on the design walls would I force myself to limit the number of quilts I was working on at one time. At the time, I had two four foot by four foot walls and one longer design wall.

Maria Shell Force FieldSix quilts at once is usually my limit. Maybe that’s crazy, but each quilt is at its own stage of development. And I like to occupy my mind with one quilt while I stitch another.

Maria Shell Force FieldSome quilts are in the stitching stage–that’s when I am on auto pilot. All the design decisions have been made, and I just stitch.

Maria Shell Force FieldOther quilts are in the developmental phase. Those quilts are in the stitching stage as well. I am trying this, than trying that, just trying to get things to lock into place and make sense on the design wall. All of these bits are still bits three years later. Still waiting to become a quilt…

Other quilts are completely stuck. They may be stagnant for days and days, even years and years. These are the quilts I am thinking about while I am stitching the ones that have been resolved or the ones that are in the development phase.

It is a very messy process especially in the old studio where horizontal space was limited and my flat fold storage was difficult to access. I would set up an extra table to lay fabrics out on, but that meant there was limited room for moving around. I feel compelled to share my new studio with you here–that way you know that I no longer quilt in squalor.

Maria Shell Force FieldThere were piles everywhere, and I had no interest in stopping sewing to clean things up.

Maria Shell Force FieldMaria Shell Force Field

Part of Force Field ended up in Boulevard. Can you find? I love having quilts make guest appearances in other quilts.

Boulevard by Maria ShellEventually, I realized that Force Field was not a part of another quilt–it was it’s own quilt.

Maria Shell Force FieldThen I had to decide what that was.

Maria Shell Force FieldWhich took until October 2011.

Maria Shell Force FieldFinaly I realized how it would go together. It just needed to be the original block multiplied out.

Maria Shell Force FieldThe quilt came together quickly after that. It was completed and photographed in February of 2012. Something about the color and the lines of Force Field make it visually bow–as if it were curved.

Force Field by Maria ShellForce Field has been traveling with Solstice for the past year as part of the SAQA Deux Exhibition.

Solstice by Maria ShellEach quilt maker in the exhibit has two quilts in the show–hence the title of the show.

Force Field by Maria ShellYou can read more about this exhibit on the SAQA website. And if you want to see the Force Field (and Solstice) in person, you can this weekend at the Original Sewing & Quilt Expo in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.

Force Field by Maria ShellMore recently, Force Field was selected to be part of the Vision Art Museum Contemporary Quilts + Textiles inaugural online gallery exhibition called Wild Thing!

Force Field by Maria ShellYou can see that exhibit from the comfort of your own home.

Force Field by Maria ShellHappy Friday folks.

This entry was published on August 15, 2014 at 1:04 PM. It’s filed under Quilt Stories and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Follow any comments here with the RSS feed for this post.

8 thoughts on “Force Field

  1. What a fun quilt!

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  2. Wow. It is like watching a small family growing up over generations. I love your process. Always on the lookout for one of your works when I go to a show.

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  3. Thank you Mary! In many ways it is all about the process for me. I love it–cut, stitch, press, repeat.

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  4. Wow! Fantastic! And so great to see this process documented here! Also good to see that slow is OK -so satisfying to see the evolution of the quilt!

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  5. Love this post and all the documentation. 4 Design walls! OMG, heaven on earth. Your work is a great source of inspiration to me.

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