Saturday, June 5, 2010

The Process Pledge

Have you noticed this logo cropping up on your favorite quilt blogs lately? The link leads to an excellent post about changing the focus of our blogs to include the process of quilt making rather than simply sharing the final product. When you read the post, read the comments as well. They're enlightening.
You won't see much about process on my blog because most of the quilts I share were finished years ago. It's hard to recreate the design process for readers, once sketches, notes, and memories are gone. But if my quilts have stories, I will tell them.

This Square in a Square quilt, for example, is typical of what I was making in the early 1990’s ~ traditional pattern, controlled color palette, loads of hand quilting.

Roberta Horton‘s Mood Indigo fabrics inspired this quilt. I'd sent away for 4” sample squares of the collection, reasoning that variety was more important to me than quantity. Horton's plaid and striped fabrics were unique for the time and I simply wanted to document them in a quilt.

I'd read Horton‘s book, Plaids and Stripes: The Use of Directional Fabric in Quilts,  where she suggests cutting some of your fabric “casually off grain” to mimic the look of antique quilts, and add the interest your eye seeks when using nothing but linear fabrics. I laugh now when I see my timid attempts to heed her advice.

This quilt was a good candidate for hand quilting, since the fabric is luxuriously soft and easy to needle. I used Mountain Mist Cotton batting, which requires quilting as closely as 1/4" to 1/2" intervals. It has a flat loft and puckers with washing. If you don't mind doing all that stitching, you're rewarded with a quilt that looks antique.

People sometimes ask, especially about my small quilts, "What are you going to do with that now that it's finished?" "Own it, look at it, love it," I'm always tempted to reply. In this case, I truly made it just to chronicle a beautiful collection of fabrics. The joy was in the making. That was enough.
Horton’s Got The Blues
30" square
machine pieced, hand quilted
© Diane Burdin, 1993


  1. Your quilt may be composed of simple blocks but oh how I love it. It has a mellowed, aged look to it. I am fond of Roberta Horton fabrics.

  2. Oh, I love this one. It has such a great look and feel to it!
    I have to go back and read about blogging the process.

  3. Great post and lovely quilt ... it's all about the journey!

  4. really enjoyed reading about the process behind this beautiful quilt and hope that you decide to show and tell about the process behind many more of your treasures~!!~

    and your hand quilting is just AMAZING~!!!!!!!!!!!!~


  5. how big are your finished blocks? I LOVE THIS.