Don't get me wrong--I love printed fabric--but recently I've been experimenting with solid fabrics and even a totally different color scheme. I've been exposed to new things and to new places.
Two weeks ago I flew to Santa Fe and got to film a segment of The Quilt Show with friends Ricky Tims and Alex Anderson. The all-morning session was set within the exhibitions halls of the Museum of Indian Art & Culture. How could you not get inspired surrounded by beautiful art, baskets, weaving, and pottery? The Museum is a magical place but you can even see some of the Museum's exhibitions on the web-here's a link http://www.indianartsandculture.org/online-exhibitions .
In the filming we talked about, and I demonstrated, two different hand techniques: sashiko (Japanese quilting) and the folded patchwork block called Roof Tile on the Isle of Man but better-known as Log Cabin here in America.
In preparation for the filming, I made a whole wall hanging by hand. The centers of the blocks were squares of bleached vintage linen and the strips various cottons and linen-cotton blends.
Using the center large needle from the Big Stitch pack and ivory #12 perle Presencia cotton, I knew the hand stitching would show well on the dark backing fabric. After completing sixteen blocks, they were sewn in rows and all back seams appliqued together with #60 (thin but very strong) indigo thread.
What Americans added to this quilt pattern is typical--we turned it into a one-layer patchwork pattern like the other quilts we were used to making and gave it a familiar name. The log cabin was already an American icon by 1850 and several presidential candidates, from Harrison to Lincoln, would use the log cabin as a symbol in their campaigns to illustrate their humble roots. "Born in a log cabin on the frontier-" offered proof of a candidate's humble beginnings and even suggested that he would bring a fresh non-politician's view to the office. Sometimes I wonder if times have really changed that much!