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DNA - Blogger's Quilt Festival

I am excited to join this year's Blogger's Quilt Festival hosted by Amy Ellis of Amyscreativeside because I feel that I produced some fun work this past year. A lot of them just happened to be recently finished or revealed. It was hard to make a decision on which two quilts I would share, but in the end I picked the two that really had an impact on me and my work. One of them, being this one called DNA (the second one I will show in a separate post).

I shared its story on my Instagram, but will share it again here, because it really helps to understand my process and how the quilt evolved, so here is the story as told on IG:

"When my sister in law told me what she wanted for a baby quilt, she also showed me a Pinterest picture which I readily recognized as a Meg Callahan quilt. The thought of trying to do something beautifully like Meg was intimidating, so I just went ahead and did my own thing just taking the idea of lines and minimal color palette from her work. Let me rewind to 2001 just to tell you when I was studying about Bauhaus and the idea of form and function, which it was always appealing to me. Fast forward back to 2016, I have been dwelling on some textile works by Anni Albers, which was a student at Bauhaus and where she met her husband Josef Albers. One of the most interesting parts of their story for me is how their work spilled into each other's. Talk about derivatives. There was no shame and no claim to what's whose. I think it's a beautiful thing that happens in marriage. We just start to become the other person and we do the same things, develop the same mannerisms and all. And then, kids. They are it. The extreme mix of his nose, her cheeks, his personality, her sense of humor, his bad habits, her high maintenances. And so, I wanted this primitively Meg Callahan inspired, morphed into Anni Albers textile inspired, then Anni and Josef's mutual derivatives inspired, transformed to marriage and parenthood inspired, to finally, somewhat have a link to a DNA inspiration and how everything is intertwined and connected. So I worked on my puzzle and put my brain to work on how to piece everything together (yes, there are some partial seams in there, but it wouldn't be so fun if it was just a bunch of straight lines, right?). So, this happened. And I machine quilted and hand quilted. I'm pretty happy with the result and I am very happy that it actually doesn't look anything like Meg's quilts (even though I loooove her work). I'm happy that it looks like me --with a heavy influence of Anni's weaving pieces. And I'm even happier because the recipients love it. Also, I really love that touch of Greek heritage I added to the binding."

So, as you can see and read, this quilt really went through a serious evolution. In the beginning, I had no actual plan, just ideas. I planned a block and made it, then planned another block and made it, but nothing was connected.

I had no idea of how everything was going to look together. I was just playing with line and color. Then I started adding Anni and Josef. I loved the connectivity of her weavings and how that translated to Josef's paintings. I decided I needed to link up the pieces. I wanted the blocks to become one not just as a quilt top, but also as a whole design. I wanted the blocks to spill into each other.

Putting the pieces together required a lot of planning, since everything had to have a link or connection. Partial seams were inevitable, but with patience and sometimes the seam ripper, the top came together just fine. Now, the struggle was to decide on the quilting.

I did not want to take away from the design, so I decided to keep the quilting simple just using straight stitching that evoked a continuation or echoing of the lines. I quilted a series of lines on the longarm, but since I like to add something personal to quilts I make to my family, I hand-quilted more lines. I really enjoyed how the two types of quilting were able to coexist and give the quilt its own personality. And that's how it is with our kids. We contribute our DNA, but they become their own person, right?

My nephew was named after his late grandfather who was Greek. I wanted to add a little touch of something to remind him of his Greek heritage, so on the binding I pieced the blue and white stripes of the Greek flag. I was so excited to gift this quilt. Look how handsome! The quilt looks great too!

For the back, I used Carolyn Friedlander's crosshatch in Pacific and I think it worked pretty well with all the crossed lines from the front.

And that's it! I definitely want to work on more interconnected line quilts like this. I would love to explore with a different palette too, but these neutrals are so great, it's so hard not to use them. I am entering the DNA quilt on the Small Quilts category, so if you would like to and have a chance, voting will go from September 25th-30th. I would really appreciate the love.

Thanks for stopping by! Check out my other quilt for the Blogger's Quilt Festival tomorrow.



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