Monday, October 5, 2015

Modern Quilt Guild meeting

Yesterday I drove to Northampton to attend a meeting with the local group of the Modern Quilt Guild. So glad I did! Their meeting space is the common house for the Rocky Hill Cohousing community just outside of Northampton, and it's spectacularly beautiful. Timna Tarr spoke about choosing quilting motifs that best finish a particular project, a topic that I've been particularly interested in recently. I shared a few of my Sol LeWitt projects that were inspired by my trip to MassMoCA several years ago, including my bed-sized replica of Wall Drawing #1112.

Wall Drawing 1112 (Sol LeWitt, MassMoCA 2003 installation)
"Log Cabin a la LeWitt" in situ (90 x 90")
This was a really fun project to work on. I cut the six basic colors of Kona into 3.5" strips, then rolled them onto empty paper tubes threaded onto an old broomstick. Starting from the middle (four squares), I determined which patch to use next by rolling dice: A six-sided die determined the color, a 12-sided die for the strip length in inches, and an 8-sided die for an extra eighth-inch measurement. The only limitation I put on the process was that a color was not allowed to touch itself in a previous row (from LeWitt's original rules for this piece). Once I had the 90" log cabin sewn, I quilted it using the lines in another of his wall drawings, concentric circles from the center and arcs from all four corner points. Again, I rolled a 6-sided die to determine which color of thread to use in each ring. LeWitt's work is perfectly "quiltable" -- about half of his wall murals are suitable as patchwork, and another set of his works are simply rules for groups of lines, perfect as quilting motifs. A complete quilt project like this one, then, superimposes the lines over the color patchwork.

I had initially made a smaller version of this same wall drawing as a sort of "test run" for the process. For the smaller one (1" strips, 27" finished), the quilting lines were from another of LeWitt's line pieces: 10" straight lines, overlapping in all directions.

Wall Drawing 86:  Ten thousand lines about 10 inches (25 cm) long, covering the wall evenly. (Sol Lewitt, MassMoCA 2003 installation)

I painted the tiny pig for the New Britain Youth Theater's fundraiser that year.

(I confess that I went through a really serious Sol LeWitt phase right after that first museum trip.)

I won't be able to make the NMQG November meeting way up in Shelburne, but once I see how the full-time spring schedule is going to treat me, I might try to go again...visiting Northampton once a month doesn't seem like a huge hardship. Thanks to the NMQG for their kind welcome!!

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