For the Utility Mini Quilt Challenge our mini quilt contributors were given a single woven fabric to use and asked to add accessible fabrics to support the idea of “utilitarian” as inspiration. We were struck by the results. Many of the entries included a layered, textured look. The quilts seem to tempt viewers to reach out and touch them. It was inspirational to see how many of the ‘accessible fabrics’ are steeped with meaning. From pieces of passed loved ones’ clothing, to the remnants of an old, beloved quilt, or leftover scrap fabrics from baby quilts, these fabrics create depth beyond their visual impact alone and speak new stories alongside old ones. It is impossible to see them and not be moved by the passion and emotions woven into each one.
Here is a small sampling of the quilts from our Utility Mini Quilt Challenge.
Hillsdale Quilt by Mary Elizabeth Kinch @maryelizabethkinch
“Unconventional and Unexpected: American Quilts Under the Radar 1950-2000” by Roderick Kiracofe is a book that has heavily influenced Kinch. She likes how the quilts in the book look deceptively simple, but upon closer inspection, they are incredibly complex. For this quilt Kinch selected meaningful scraps from her stash: a piece of fabric from a blouse she made in 1978, a fabric she remembers buying on a trip to Lancaster, PA, a piece of paisley from a dear friend, and the list goes on. She has created a mini quilt packed with memories.
Kawandi Inspired by Diane Trenary
Inspired by Kawandi patchwork quilts made by the Siddi (Africans) of India and Pakistan, Trenary created this quilt using bits of discarded clothing. Though many Kawandi quilts take on a sense of improv randomness, we like how Trenary created an ordered and symmetrical pattern in her creation.
Workaday by Debbie Jeske @aquilterstable
While making this quilt Jeske imagined industrial elements and let these thoughts guide her quilt. “I started out creating some pieced components, with just a vague notion of how they might fit together.” Her cog adds the perfect sense of movement and production to the piece.
The Farm, Aerial View by Ann Scott @annscott8888_fiber_arts
With cotton fabrics and a recycled linen shirt, Scott made a quilts she describes as a, “view from above perspective [that] shows a human made landscape, characterized by linearity and repeated geometric forms.” Scott’s orderly farm is sure to produce a fruitful harvest.
Sanity by Patty Dudek @elmstreetquilts
Dudek used fabrics from one of her Dad’s shirts (he passed away a few years ago), scraps from a baby quilt, and some linen and chambray to make this quilt. Big stitch quilting helps Dudek feel peaceful, thus preserving her sanity. The way the color orange is used helps draw the eye across the quilt.
You can see these mini quilts and more inCurated Quilts, Issue no.20: Utility. Purchase your copy today!
By Brittany Bowen Burton