A while ago, I wrote an essay called Notes on Being an Abstract Artist. If you have time, I hope you will read it. It explains a lot about my process if that sort of thing interests you. It also explains a lot about how the quilt DNA came into being.

I am part of a international art quilt group called Cloth in Common. You can read more about our group in this blog post, and you can visit the actual group’s website here

We are embarking on our second round of prompts. The  first prompt for the second round was IDENTITY.

I didn’t start out making a DNA quilt. I actually thought I would respond to the prompt IDENTITY with a color grid quilt. My identity is strongly tied to being a quiltmaker, and I thought that it was a great excuse to make another color grid.

But my scraps were calling me.

I had a pile of them from creating Wormhole which was my response to the prompt TIME.


I first used the scraps to make a SAQA Benefit Auction Quilt.

BA19-ShellMWhich really only generated more scraps.


I had also been thinking about creating a minimalist curve quilt. Circles and Curves are always on the back burner. I want to write a book about them, but first I am going to make the quilts. The last time I wrote a book, I did everything at once, and it was really hard.

So I put the scraps on my design wall and auditioned backgrounds.


Then I began the process of stitching “tails” of the background fabric to the top and bottom of each curved scrap. After that the scrap with the “tails” is attached to the background fabric.

After about days worth of work, I decided to rethink my background. It just wasn’t right.


So I started over.


Every time I showed this piece to a group of friends, someone would say, “It looks like DNA!”


Yes, it does. But it also looks like Mod Pods and Liquid Sunshine—both of which were potential names for the quilt.

_W5A2068But, it really did look like DNA, and I really did have a quilt deadline where the prompt was IDENTITY.


And so the DNA quilt came to be.

_W5A2080I am trying to consistently sign my quilts with my initials in a matching color, so that if you look, you find it, but it does not overwhelm the piece. Can you see it?


We get our next prompt in the next day or so. I am ready. I hope you will follow this link to see how all the other members of the group responded to the IDENTITY prompt. 

What have you been working on? I would love to hear about it.

This entry was published on July 30, 2019 at 4:15 PM. It’s filed under Circles and Curves, Cloth in Common, Quilt Stories and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Follow any comments here with the RSS feed for this post.

4 thoughts on “DNA

  1. Oh, oh and oh.

    You have inspired me to pull out a “box of blues” that has been half pieced for about two years.

  2. elizabeth a hinze on said:

    Love to read about how you think about the design process…

  3. Thank you Elizabeth!

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