Storm at SeaJune 8, 2007 at 4:06 pm | Posted in Patchwork, quilt | 22 Comments
This is a picture of my favourite quilt so far. I made it for an exhibition titled “Contrasts” in 2005 and it was the first quilt of mine that got accepted for an exhibition. The quilt measures 93*125 cm.
The big wave in the lower part of the quilt is inspired by Hokusais “The great wave off Kanagawa”, it’s the first picture in the wikipedia entry I linked to. The contrasts are between the traditional quilt pattern “Storm at Sea”, that serves as the background, and the wave in the foreground. I have a postcard of that wood-cutting that I got after seeing an exhibition of Japanese art some years ago, and I had been kicking around ideas of how tho transform it into a quilt for quite a while. So when the topic of that exhibition came out, I immediately connected that image with the title “Storm at Sea”.
The actual design went pretty fast after that, the biggest problem was to figure out how to sew those waves. I hadn’t been doing anything with curved seams till then, so this was the real challenge involved. To the rescue came Ruth B. MacDowell’s excellent book Piecing – Expanding the Basics. After trying her techniques out on a small quilt block, I decided it was possible to machine-piece the lower part of the waves. The actual breaking wave is machine-appliquéd, though.
The traditional Storm at Sea blocks for the background are pretty small, so I decided to paper-piece them for higher accuracy. The whole quilt is machine quilted. It would have been a great touch to hand-quilt the “traditional” part, but then I’d never have finished in time. I mailed the pictures in on the last possible day, anyway. I added a bit of sparkle for the flying drops of water using beads.
It’s been two years since I finished that quilt, but I still like it very much. Having the right idea in the right moment doesn’t come easy to me, so I really like how that one came out exactly when I needed it.