Saturday, August 25, 2012

CMQG Modern Art Challenge

 Back in June, the Chicago Modern Quilt Guild organized a "Modern Art Challenge". The idea was that you would get a piece of art and an inspiration fabric, and put it in a bag. Then at the June meeting, you would pick someone else's bag and make them a quilt based on that inspiration.  The idea was to use it for inspiration--there was no need to make an exact replica of the work of art.  I got the card and fabric below from Jennifer Lowe:

It's a work by Charley Harper of a cardinal.  Jennifer said that she liked bright colors and also liked the highly stylized version of nature that Harper presented.  I made quite a lot of sketches in my notebook until I finally decided to go in a different direction.  Rather than worrying about the bird, or the colors, I thought about the concept of abstracting something in nature and building off of that.

I had also recently gotten Jacquie's new book, in which she covers a technique for making "pods" using curves.  I thought those pods would make great abstracted fish.  I also really liked the linearity of the Harper piece, so I used that idea to add the columns of bubble fabric (below).  Before quilting, this was all pretty simple. I figured it needed to be spiced up a bit.

I used Leah Day's tutorials for "cave points" and "sea algae" to add more texture to the quilt. And finally, I added some bubbles/pebbles on the side to further echo the bubbles.

It ended up being very simple in design, but I think that was a good reminder to me that you can have impact without a lot of pieces or complicated colorwork. It was also a good chance for me to work with "negative space", especially with the quilting.


  1. Turned out wonderfully....great job!

  2. I was intrigued by what you did. Loved how some of us were literal, some were abstract, and some were inspirational!
    Love your creation!