I met Ann Feitelson more than 15 years ago through a guild Round Robin. Ann is a master colorist, painter, and she literally wrote the book on Fair Isle knitting. Over the years we have consulted each other during the design and construction of our quilts. I know her skills and color-sense have influenced my work.
Ann and I work very differently. I make as many quilt blocks as I need and gosh-darnit I will make them all work together. Ann makes many, many more blocks than she needs and looks for exactly the right block for the right location. As a result, she has piles of leftovers when she finishes a quilt.
Six years ago Ann made Basket Weave II: See Saw (78.5" x 56.5")
She then passed her leftovers on to me to play with. I came up with this version of the baskets which became our Accidental Round Robin quilt #1. It's small, just 36" x 40".
Ann did all of the hard work of cutting the fabric and precisely piecing these 4" blocks. I had the fun part of organizing the blocks and messing with the color placement and I think Ann enjoyed seeing what I would do with her blocks.
Ann recently finished another stunner of a quilt, Flying Carrots (84" x 62").
Flying Carrots is entirely made up of flying geese - about 600 of them. I do not enjoy making flying geese, so I avoid them when I can. But when Ann handed me a big box of 300 leftover geese I was thrilled to play with them. Instead of having the blocks read as traditional geese I rotated them to create diamonds. This quilt was challenging in terms of color because there were so few green blocks to cool off all of the hot pinks and oranges. To compensate, I spread the greens out throughout the quilt.
This 44"x44" top went back to Ann a few weeks ago. She wanted to make it bigger so that she could gift it to a friend (and have it actually be useful). Now it has borders! Accidental Round Robin #2 is 72"x72" and is now hanging on my design wall waiting to be quilted.
What makes this collaboration work is that there are no expectations between us, it's all an experiment. It wouldn't work if we didn't trust each other's design sense, or if we became too attached to our individual pieces of the puzzle. I'm guessing that Ann wishes I was a more precise piecer, but she's happy to pass the task of quilting on to me so it all works out in the end.
Sit and Stitch
Please join me at the Gaylord Memorial Library Thursday, December 13 from 6-8pm for our monthly Sit and Stitch. It's a great time to relax, chat, stitch, or just hang out.
My very best wishes for a Happy Holidays to you,
P.S. Registration is now open for my Mosaic Quilting class at Snow Farm in Williamsburg, MA. This three-day workshop over Labor Day weekend will give you all the tips you need to make a photorealistic quilt, like those in my Barnyard series. I'm excited to share all I've learned while making the animals.