Schooled by a Quilt and Finding My True Style.

What Stella Knows by Maddie @ Domestic Anarchy Studio

Schooled- according to the Urban Dictionary it means to learn a lesson the hard way and that seems about right when it comes to this quilt.

The quilt is ~What Stella Knows*~ and it was to be my entry into the QuiltCon special quilt challenge put on by the fine folks at Dear Stella.

This was going to be my first time going to a larger quilt convention so I thought it would be exciting to see if I could get a quilt in. 

In fact the quilt came to mind pretty quick so when my LQS had some of the Dear Stella fabric I decided to go for it.  My idea was to play with the idea that "Stella" knows that just because it is " Modern Quilting" that the past does not have to thrown out while striving towards the future"

Using MQG principals of large scale, negative space, a primary use of solids and tone on tone  "modern" quilting this quilt had many  modern things going for it and yet it paid tribute to the past with a large Dresden plate in the the center.   ( Can you hear the tragic music starting to play?)

Alas this project as an entry was just not to be. It turns out that this pattern is from the Indigo collection and had been mixed in with the Maasi Mara collection ( the one you could use for an entry) and  I did not check the end of the bolt ( Lesson 1)

Lesson (2) Modern quilting often turns up it's nose at dramatic quilt texture preferring a flatter more simple line for the quilting. ( I think much of this has to do with the stated preference for domestic machine quilting where added loft and dimension are hard to handle) and yet I have found that I don't actually like flat quilts. I love good stitch definition and love that I can get that on my longarm ( which are sometimes snubbed in the MQG world). I went with just 1 (modern) layer of batting on this quilt and while for the work I did ( all freehand in manual mode) it has good relief it would have been so much better to do two for all of it or at the very least under the star which really suffers from flat-itis in this quilt. 

Lesson (3) this quilt did not play to my strengths in many ways and if I had been more true to my personal design sense it could have been amazing but I instead tried to be "modern" which in the end is not true to my design aesthetic.  While I love many modern quilters and can't wait to hang with them at the QuiltCON but when I really think about it I am not as in love with MODERN QUILTS. While there are many that are striking they don't fit in my home therefore I am not really inclined to make a quilt that does not go well in my house.

As is turns out I think I am a Progressive Quilter and that means I  feel comfortable pulling from ALL the schools of style and thought when it comes to putting together a quilt. I think that a Civil War print can play amazingly well with some of today solids and that quilting really does make the quilt. Be it straight lines or dramatic feathers or some of both in the same quilt it is all fair game. 

Lesson (4) I have found a real passion for  Modern wholecloth quilting and will be taking more time to explore that in detail ( hint hint... something fun this way comes!)

The bad- the good- the lesson- School is in Session!

* What Stella Knows is an original design created by me but if you would like to give it a whirl please do so! :)


kelli said...

I love it!!! You have hit the nail on the head...and Stella knows :) Your quilt is beautiful, but at the end of the day, you only love what you love! I am a progressive quilter because I love multiple colors in a quilt and I like blocks that work together.

Round Rock Gal said...

I've seen your quilting pics on FB, but haven't gotten the whole story on your blog. (Keeping up with social media is a bitch and I seem to only be able to be "successful" one at a time.)

Nevertheless, I appreciate and admire your new passion. This quilt is beautiful! As someone who hates to even sew on a button, I was quickly lost in your explanation and terminology. Does this mean you cannot enter this magnificent quilt into the competition? Gah! Rules!!

Is it too late to start another one? If not, I am sure your expertise as a quilter will only increase with time and you will be bringing home blue ribbons (or whatever they give out) by the bushel full.