Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Center Star Quilted


The Center Star quilt I started last November in Sisters was finally quilted. Tomme Fent did a wonderful job with the quilting, and now I'm hoping to finish in time for our guild's show in March. The quilt had been sitting around for a while. I struggled with the decision about how the quilting would be done. Sometimes these types of decisions seem overly important as a beginning quiltmaker, but this particular quilt drew inspiration from quilt history. Naturally, I wanted it to be a thoughtful tribute.

Center Star quilt, c. 1815-1825 from New England was my main inspiration.
This quilt is in the collection of the American Folk Art Museum in NYC
The colors in my Center Star were heavily influenced by this quilt,
c. 1810 from New England
This wholecloth wool quilt, c. 1790 from New England,
was also an inspiration.
This Amish crib quilt, c. 1900 from Ohio,
was also an inspiration
The basic design in my quilt came from the Center Star in the collection of the American Folk Art Museum in New York. That quilt was made in New England in the 1815-1825 period. It was a simple design, but the quilting was very elaborate and dense. Three quilts from my collection, one made in Ohio around 1900 and two made in New England in the 1790-1810 period, were also inspirational.


I like to think of my quilt as a deconstructed, 21st century version of the old school quilts. The piecework is quirky, and although the fabrics were purchased new for the quilt, it has a make-do spirit. Some might call it a "liberated" quilt, and in fact I started piecing it during a Liberated Medallion workshop with Gwen Marston in Sisters. I was the only guy in a room full of very talented women all very experienced in sewing, and I drew even more inspiration from what everyone else was doing.

So, now I'm thinking about how I'd like to finish my Center Star, and feel like I want to retain its odd shape. Tomme recommended blocking it, and I'll do that today. I'm considering a narrow applied binding in the light mustard/gold color. Depending on how long my remaining piece of fabric is, I may include some piecework in the binding. I noticed people using hair clips to hold their bindings in place when I was at the Columbia-Willamette Quilt Study Group retreat yesterday. That looked like a good idea, so I think I'll try it!

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