Sunday, August 30, 2009


When I lived in Calif, I liked to stop by the San Jose Quilt Museum whenever I was in the area. Two exhibits there etched in my brain and left me teary-eyed and in awe: Nancy Crow and Susan Shie. My work had more in common with Susan's with its wild spontaneity, heavy stitching and embellishment. In many ways Nancy's work was a polar opposite with its clean yet complicated piecing, but it had a huge impact on me. I've admired her work for years and often thought she must have tricks for that involved piecing.

I was thrilled to see Jean Wells' new book Intuitive Color and Design. Jean studied with Nancy and shares techniques to achieve that improvisational look.

I've been working through the exercises in the book, learning a variety of piecing techniques.

Angle Piecing:

Curved Line Piecing:

Narrow Insert Piecing:

And Detail Piecing using irregular scraps:

I have been having a blast playing with these and am eager to try putting together different bits. I have a feeling they will be serving as backgrounds for more layers for me, but I'll see where it goes.

I highly recommend Jean's book. Clear instructions and lots of great photos of quilts.


louciao said...

This is so interesting to see what you've come up with by following the exercises in the book. Thanks for taking the time to share it.

Paula McNamee said...

I like how you work through a book's exercises and come up with your own take on them. It will be fun to see how you incorporate these into your fiber artwork.

Jo Reimer said...

Hi Robin,
I took a class from Nancy once long ago. She works while slave-driving her students. That time she had big rolls of pieces strips of a variety of fabric, 2" wide pieces joined end to end and different lengths, but all hand dyed. And she had stacks of squarish shapes of fabrics. She'd stitch a strip to one side of a square, like log cabin piecing, cut it off at the end, and stitch more of the strip to the adjacent side, continuing until the pieced square was big enough. It was so interesting to watch her do this rather mindless pieceing and then to view the resulting gorgeous quilt.