Break Up

In the Alaska, we can be well into May and still have patches of snow and ice. We were out in McCarthy, Alaska last weekend, and this is what the swimming hole looked like on Sunday May 27th.

From late March to the end of May life looks like this.

Last year, I wrote a blog post called Walking towards Winter’s End with lots of fun photos of what Break Up season looks like. 

I love this season. Everyone’s lawns look like junkyards, You spend your days adding an subtracting layers of clothing, and the daylight just keeps coming. It is a restless naked season.

Many of you know that I am part of an art quilt group called Cloth in Common. We are in our first year of working together. You can read about the origins here

Every two month we get a new prompt. In April, it was my turn to selection our source of inspiration. I selected Spring. If you visit the Cloth in Common blog, you can see all of the amazing pieces created by our members. 

These past two months have been even busier that normal. I created Bear Fence for the American Made Brand booth at Quilt Market in Portland. You can read more about that quilt here.

I taught for six different guilds, and I taped with Quilting Arts TV.

I taught in Yellowknife. How cool is that?

I got sick. Deja Vu. I did it last May too.  It is a pretty funny blog if you are not the one getting sick. My favorite line is “lawn movers in my mouth”.

This is all to say, I got a late start on my own prompt. Here is my inspiration image.

I selected a limited palette inspired by the colors I see every Break Up season—ice and snow, water and rock, blue sky and bits of green.

Then I taped out the design wall to create a 30’’ x 40’’ space.

Here is my first sketch. My original idea was to create several very chaotic chunks and then cut them into triangle shapes. I was going to use the flying geese unit as my unit.

You can see it better with the hard seam lines drawn in.

Once I started making units,  I decided I wanted a slightly tamer version. So, I made this sketch which is really more of an all over design.

 Then once they were on the design wall, I just wasn’t sure. it seemed to chaotic for me. Where is the pattern and repetition I love?

It was hard decision for me—chaos? or Order? At one point, I thought about doing a mixture of both of them. Can you see where the chaos is and where the order is?

All the while I making more and more units. 

A big part of me just feels that the chaos version is too easy. I need to challenge myself to create a more complicated composition.

So, order wins. I decide that all units will be placed so that they form diamond shapes. I begin to consolidate colors in the foreground and in the background.

There are moments where I “lock in” on an idea. These are the areas that are locked in.

I did a lot of surgery on this quilt—sewing and unsewing. Over and over again.One new decision could have rippling effects through out the composition.

Finally I finished.

Or did I?

I flipped it upside down, and maybe I like it better.

The flying geese unit is a incredibly useful building unit.

Did any of you make spring quilts? I would love to see them and share them here.

In other news, I am teaching at Craft Napa! Registration just opened.

I am honored to be part of fabulous rooster of teachers.

Tonight, I head to Columbus, Ohio to each at the Quilt Surface Design Symposium. There are still a few spots availabe if you suddenly have a wild urge to spend the week with me in Ohio. After this teaching gig, I am home until mid-September! Hello Midnight Sun.

Yep. I am still working on Alaska Themed quilts.



This entry was published on June 2, 2018 at 5:14 PM. It’s filed under My Process-Quilts, News And Events, Quilt Stories, Uncategorized and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Follow any comments here with the RSS feed for this post.

18 thoughts on “Break Up

  1. In my opinion, the more ordered, composition choice was more sophisticated. It intrigues me that putting the same colored “geese” together, seems to make those larger triangles become the background and the smaller triangles become the more prominent figures.And you used purple!

    • I know! It is a wild unit. Lots of possibilities! I hope you are doing good Marla! I saw a photo of you attending at lecture at QuiltCon in the 2019 catalogue!

      • I am doing well, thanks! I’ve been spending lots of time the past couple of months working on my free motion skills, as well as working on some new improv projects. I spotted that photo in the catalog, too, with Bonnie and some of our international friends. It’s almost time to make decisions about QuiltCon in Nashville and start making arrangements if I’m going. Time flies!

  2. These angles and colors are gorgeous! The play of those angles reminds me of a twinkling diamond!

    • Thank you! Yes. The shapes are wild and change depending on so many different things–the angle, what they are next to, the color. It is a great unit.

  3. Judy Josephson on said:

    I love your inspiration photo. Would it be all right if I used the photo as a starting off place for myself?

  4. Love this post from you! The colours used in Break Up are stunning, as is your composition and I love that you went with ‘order’ rather than ‘chaos’.

  5. I thought I liked the chaotic version best until I saw your organized one. Yes! Love the unified areas with common colors. Then other ares look like tire tracks in the last of the snow. Good job.

  6. Janet Crouch on said:

    So so interesting to know what you went through designing Break up! Both versions appeal, they truly reflect the chaos feeling as the landscape almost cracks to reveal the next layer beneath.

  7. ‘Break Up is a good interpretation.
    Your color choices are just right.
    Thanks for sharing your process, very helpful.

  8. Mae De la Rosa on said:

    This is my first visit to your blog. I discovered you by clicking on random links on “Crazy Mom Quilts’s” Finish It Up Friday replies to her post on 6/1/18. Can I just say that I LOVE your “Break Up” quilt!?!?! The explanation of your inspiration made it that much more enjoyable; so, thank you for that. You have quite a talent! I’ll be visiting your blog again, for sure!

    Dallas, Texas

  9. Pingback: Loons Here and There –

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