Sunday, May 13, 2012

Strip Pieced Sedona Colors Art Quilt

Last year my husband and I went on a trip to Arizona.  We visited friends in Green Valley and then headed north to Sedona for some quality hiking and relaxation.  While in Sedona, I just had to visit the only quilt shop in the area.  They had a very nice back area where art quilts were on display and I purchased a few pieces of fabric for my stash at home.   While checking out I spotted these little ziploc sandwich bags stuffed full of fabric scraps.  I was intrigued and honestly, they were $1.50 each, so how can a $3 purchase be a big mistake.  The bags sat in my studio for about a year and I finally decided to open them up and check them out.  They were essentially pieces of fabric from which rectangles had been cut out of the middle.  I cut the rectangle outlines into strips and decided to just play with them and piece them randomly, just to see what would happen.  Again, how could I go wrong - waste a big $3?

So here is the final piece, with a layer of fabric that I had in my closet for about 10 years that seemed to be a good background to the piece.  The center piece was made by just randomly sewing together strips and then slicing them and adding other pieces.  There was no real particular order and it just took a little bit of figuring out at the very end in order to end up with my cock-eyed rectangle.

I finished the center panel with a facing finish and then made a background and also finished that with a facing finish.  The pieces are heavily quilted with wavy lines; each color has a matching rayon thread.   Thread changing was a bit time consuming, but I was really happy with how it makes each section look.

The fabrics were obviously from some class that was taught at the quilt shop in Sedona, so there was a pretty earthy feel to the colors.  The red rocks of the area were apparent in the fabric choices that class participants had made.  But some of the colors were sort of out there.  Putting them all together was surprisingly attractive.  I'm not sure I would have ever thought to put shades of purple, orange, green, brown, pink and beige in the same piece.  But, it turned out pretty well, at least I am happy with it.

Here is a good shot of all the wavy line quilting.  The overall dimensions are 25 1/2 inches wide by 37 inches long.  I have enough left over for a few other smaller experiments, so stay tuned for those in my next post.  Thanks for checking out my stuff and Happy Mother's Day to all you moms out there.


  1. A very cheerful little quilt! Piecing randomly in a free-form fashion is actually harder than it looks (when you get near the end) as you discovered. Rayna Gillman has a delightful book on free-form piecing in which she just sews strips and then slices and reassembles--much like your process. I participated in a challenge using her book and a piece of 1950s fabric in January and February; I have several blog entries about the "adventure."

  2. Wow! My first thought upon seeing your quilt was to think "oh, random orderliness." It's a great piece of art. You should rightfully be very proud. Congratulations!!!
    Dean Robinson
    St. Petersburg, FL

  3. Hi Claude... LOVE this quilt and the design elements that you developed add to the appeal. The finishing and mounting technique add dimension and are a terrific pairing. Congrats! It could really nicely carry into any exhibition...even "old" fabrics have a life!
    Bethany in cool but beautiful Kingston, ON Canada

  4. Funky & dynamic! I'll be looking for more!