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Stitching Stories

Nationally-known storyteller Donald Davis once said, “Stories are like quilts. They come from scraps and bits of life and when done right, they remind us who we are and where we came from.” Conversely, our quilts are themselves laden with our stories. We put a little bit of ourselves into each one we make. Not only do they carry our stories, but when we put them out into the world those who see them weave their own stories into the narrative of the quilt.  

Here are some of our favorite quilts from QuiltCon Together. We love the stories the makers share about them, and we’ve also begun to attach new stories to them. We thank all the makers of the quilts for providing photos so that we could share the quilts here with you. 

Wedgerow by Michelle Settle @the_ottermichelle

Wedgerowby Michelle Settle @the_ottermichelle

Sunday Sketch #219 designed by Caroline Hadley (@geometriquilt) was the inspiration for this quilt. Using her favorite color orange, Settle constructed the quilt using paper piecing. We love the mid-century vibe of this quilt, and the use of subtraction is spot on for enhancing the overall design.  

Stripe Construction 4 by Robin Green @robingreen.studio

Stripe Construction 4 by Robin Green @robingreen.studio

In Green’sStripe Construction series she begins with an improvised striped block and begins constructing out from there. For this quilt she wanted to maintain a connection between the darker bars and the stripes. Green thinks of her quilts as two-dimensional sculptures rather than images. She says her constructions are informed by action more than by design. “Scaffolding, stacking, bridging, branching, connecting my improv, is the continual practice of seeking balance and then changing up the conditions and seeking it anew.”

Autumn Steps by Debbie Jeske @aquilterstable

Autumn Steps by Debbie Jeske @aquilterstable

Jeske collected the fabrics for this comfort quilt throughout the pandemic. She used a variety of substrates. Inspired by the traditional courthouse steps and Denyse Schmidt’s One Block courthouse steps inModern Quilts, Traditional Inspiration, Jeske set out to create a cozy quilt. It’s definitely a quilt that makes us feel warm inside. 


Improv Log Cabin by Julie Wang @juliew168

Improv Log Cabin by Julie Wang @juliew168

Wang pieced this quilt without a plan, and instead let it grow spontaneously, being inspired by her mood. She enjoys creating improv work as each quilt is always unique and one-of-a-kind. The combination of color and shapes create a burst of staccato energy in this maximalist quilt. 

After the Downpour by Patti Coppock @patticoppock

After the Downpour by Patti Coppock @patticoppock

Machine Quilter: Ann Olson

There was no rhyme or reason for why Coppock began this quilt; she just started sewing odd pieces together that she had on her sewing table. Coppock’s quilt seems a sort of tower with staircases leading upwards and outwards; a place we’d like to wander through for an afternoon. We love the softness of the pinks and corals contrasted with the abruptness of black and white stripes. 

Varietals by Krista D. Hennebury

Varietals by Krista D. Hennebury 

This quilt was born out of a self-imposed challenge to create a monochromatic composition using just one improv piecing technique, in this case a wonky hourglass shape. The quilt top is made with three different shot cottons by Oakshott Fabrics. Despite similar color values, Hennebury masterfully combined the three shades of purple she chose to use. We love how scale is used to create a sense of the quilt growing from the inside out. 

From Above by Kim Eichler-Messmer @kimemquilt

From Above by Kim Eichler-Messmer @kimemquilt

Eichler-Messmer likes to create quilts that explore structure and pattern in the natural world through the use of hand-dyed and screen-printed textiles, as well as complex, often improvisational, piecing. She says about the inspiration for her work, “The emotional impact of a landscape, the variability of weather patterns, and the abbreviated timeline of the earth visible in geology and landforms all speak to me on a spiritual level. I am equally inspired by the biological and chemical systems that make up living organisms, mathematical, and planned systems such as central pivot irrigation, and the logistics of cities and roadways. I use color, geometry, and repetition to explore and represent these ideas.”


Please visit us at our Instagram @curatedquilts to view the interviews we conducted with some of the incredible makers in our community over the week of QuiltCon. 


By Brittany Bowen Burton

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