13 April 2011

Seeing water

I made this quilt for the second Project Modern quilting challenge organized by the Modern Quilt Guild and judged by the talented and inspiring Malka Dubrawsky. The theme was "Monochrome," and the constraints were left largely to the interpretation of individual designers. The guild just announce the winners.

I was inspired by water. I love how the color changes depending on time of day, angle of the sun, weather, and the surrounding environment. The play between transparency and reflection can be mesmerizing. The color ranges from white to black, green to blue. I love how, at any given moment, the same tiny patch of water can shimmer with the brightest reflection of the sun, glow with the pure blue of the water and the sky, and capture the deepest shadow on the dark side of a ripple. 

I explored two water motifs in the layout: wave and bubble. The monochrome palette ranges from light to middle blue, with some wiggle into green-blue and grey-blue typical of the ocean in my area. Early in the design process I settled on using mostly prints because they better capture the ever-changing nature of the surface of water. I organized fabrics into five groups by value, lightest to darkest, then created the half-square-triangle zig-zag wave pattern using the darkest four groups. 

The bubbles are drawn from the lightest four value groups and constructed in a contrasting square pattern. I considered several layouts with the circles placed randomly in various sizes, but in the end preferred the abstract column. I pieced the bubbles into the wave background, and the resulting circular half-square-triangle scraps found a home on the back of the quilt in a single vertical chain sashed in sky blue on a solid turquoise background.
In the quilting I played with the direction and reflection of light. The quilting lines echo the triangle seams in one direction over the entire quilt, with perpendicular quilting intersecting and reflecting at the large bubbles. The finished quilt measures 64" x 73".


  1. Absolutely Beautiful!!
    you are SO talented!
    ~Monika in Canada

  2. Spectacular! Love the interplay between the HST zigzags and the circles. Inventive and unique and (IMO) much more interesting than the winning quilts.

  3. Fantastic! I love the colour blue, I love water and your quilt blends the essence of both beautifully. How you've used lines and curves is amazing.

  4. Quite an amazing quilt Dan, the back looks great too.

  5. this is spectacular!!!
    beaufully done Dan!!

  6. Wow! There's really nothing more to say, I love this!