Evolution of a Circle

It seems like a very long time since I’ve made a quilt featuring circles and curves. I used to make them all the time.

Spinda was the first quilt I had photographed professionally.

Spinda by Maria ShellFletcher named it after a Pokemon spider character.

SpindaI really don’t see how Spinda looks even remotely like a spider, but

Spinda Detail by Maria Shell the name makes sense as the quilt is based on the Spider Web block.

Spinda back detail by Maria ShellSidereal Stitch features hand dyed fabrics from before I really knew how to dye fabrics. (Thank you Carol Soderland for showing me the way.)

Sideral Stitch by Maria ShellI did lots of free form medallion style quilting which I was really proud of at the time.

Sideral Stitch Detail by Maria Shell Sidereal Stich was traded for a snow blower that still works!

Sideral Stitch Backside Detail by Maria ShellDo a Little Dance features curves within curves.

Do a Little DanceI think I would like revisit what happened in this quilt and improve upon it.

Do A Little Dance Detail by Maria ShellM-EYE Perspective is composed of curved log cabin blocks.

M-EYE Perspective by Maria Shell

It was purchased as a wedding anniversary gift and now lives in the San Fransico area.

M-Eye Perspective Detail by Maria ShellWalt suggested that if we had Family Plaid it would look like this.

Family Plaid by Maria ShellI quilted each color with its own micro texture.

Maria Shell Family Plaid DetailAlbert Hoffman’s Obit’s is really an all thread version of Family Plaid.

Albert Hofmann's Obit by Maria Shell

Albert Hofmann’s Obit by Maria Shell

It received some top quilting awards back in its day.

Albert Hofmann’s Obit by Maria Shell

And I even wrote a magazine article about it.


ALbert Hofmann’s Obit Backside by Maria Shell

Root Glacier features a curved piecing technique that I have developed and share in the class I teach about making circles and curves.

Root Glacier by Maria Shell

Root Glacier by Maria Shell

These curves can be used for sky, water, ice, you name it.

Root Glacier by Maria Shell

Root Glacier by Maria Shell

This one is called Coffee and still needs to be quilted.

Coffee by Maria ShellAnd this one keeps changing, but I think maybe I really will finish it soon.

Unfinished quilt by Maria ShellThe class I teach is called Circles and Curves Sampler. Here is a student’s work from when I taught the class at the Valdez Quilt Festival in 2012.

Maria Shell's Circle and Curves Sampler Class student workThat photo was taken at about the same time I stopped making circles and curves and started making Color Grid quilts. Lines, Lines, Lines, and more Lines. You can see most of them on my website.

Habanero by Maria ShellSo, taking Nancy Crow’s class Lines/Curves/Circles & Figure/Ground was a great way to come back to a subject I love–circles and curves.

Can we call Circles and Curves an actual subject matter? I think we can. I know in the world of conceptual art dwelling on the nature of a circle might seem like a simple idea, but in the world of exquisite figure ground composition the circle and the curve are righteous and rich subjects.

So, I have abandoned the line (temporary) and picked up the curve.

Would you like to see what that looks like? Well, I am going to show you–Tomorrow! Here is a little teaser.

StewieWe can’t have just one incredibly riculous cartoon charcter in this blog post now can we? We need two. I’ll stop there.

Quilting Cliff Hanger!


This entry was published on August 16, 2015 at 4:52 PM. It’s filed under Quilt Stories and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Follow any comments here with the RSS feed for this post.

20 thoughts on “Evolution of a Circle

  1. Thank you for sharing a bit about your quilting journey and of course the lovely images. I was excited to see that you are teaching at The Quilt Zone and have signed up for two of your classes.

  2. Thank you Nancy! I look forward to meeting you then or at the SAQA meetings which ever comes first!

  3. Always interesting to see each quiltmaker’s progress over the years. Lovely quilts.

    • You are so right Ann. It is really interesting to see a quilter’s evolution–even my own. It’s surprising really when you look backwards, which maybe we don’t do often enough. Thank you for stopping by!

  4. Carole on said:

    Loved your circle and curved exercises and creations. I too was fascinated by the circle and developed a technique with needlepoint where the canvas was woven around a metal ring that created an instant frame and then used it for underwater compositions since there can be lots of bubbles and round imagery in water and then made embroidered faces (human, moon, sun etc..with a smaller metal ring for jewelry and box lids. Fun as you can imagine the depth of designs for both that my students came up with. Broadening a theme artistically sure is fun. You do it so well and are an inspiration to us followers. Thanks.

    • Thank you Carole! It is interesting when we stick with something and look at it again and again from a variety of angels. And then we look at all of those angles together and it can really inspiring. Thank you for sharing your story about circles and needlepoint. I would love to see reall images of your work. Did you save any of them?

      • Carole on said:

        Will eventually get around to unearthing photos after we get moved to smaller digs in the process.

      • That sounds great Carole. I hope the move is painless. Although that hardly seems possible. Moving is so hard!

  5. Great storytelling Maria. Enjoyed reading – look forward to seeing more!

  6. Loved seeing your development!

  7. Wow, going back and visiting curves after this time in lines really shows the depth of your creativity. Nice to see some of your past works, looking forward to seeing more.

  8. Love the “family plaid”.

  9. I love the curved log cabin quilt!

  10. How fun to see your own evolution in quilting. I think Root Gracier is my favorite.

    • Debby- I like Root Glacier a lot! I have been working on a larger piece called McCarthy Creek which builds on some of the things I learned by Root Glacier. I am hoping to finish it this year.

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