Saturday, December 19, 2009

When Quilting Becomes Art…

Quilting is an age old “necessary” craft. The practical job of keeping warm was the original inspiration.
Today we are blessed with the opportunity to quilt not because we have to but because it has become a passionate and artful expression. Quilt Guilds all over America continue to thrive and the members meet each month to inspire each other and to try more intricate and clever patterns and styles of quilting. Books, Friends, Magazines, Museums, Craft Shows and Antique stores are the primary spots to find some of the finest American Art featuring the medium of quilting.

Today the first “Recycled Artful Tie Quilt” we are featuring is an “Art Quilt” made by Caryl Bryer Fallert. She calls it “Unwinding MBA” It is a true piece of Art and hangs in a private collection in Massachusetts. She simply used her husbands many discarded silk ties, fabric and old watch pieces along with fabric for backing. The energy and motion in this piece is like a spiral with the feeling of movement.
“This quilt was inspired by my husbands decision to sort through and discard a twenty-five year accumulation of old clothes. I wanted to use his old clothing to represent the high-pressure business man coming home and "unwinding" after a hectic day at the office.
Many design and construction details of the original clothing were retained in the piecing. Forty-two dress shirt cuffs, forty-seven collars, and fifty-seven ties form a spiral at the center of the quilt. Pieces of shirts and suits fly out of the spiral as it unwinds. Behind the spiral, at the top are six inch squares of "serious suit" fabrics. Progressing toward the bottom of the quilt, the fabrics become more casual. The squares mutate into 45° and 60° diamonds as corduroys and denims are added. At the center of the bottom is an area of "crazy pieced" distorted rectangles made of old jeans, flannel work shirts, and "T" shirts. Thirteen watch faces are sewn across the "serious suit" fabrics to represent time pressure. One hundred seventy-six designer labels spill out of the spiral into the 60° diamonds and continue around the entire border of the quilt. Buttons were sewn back on all the collars and cuffs. They also serve to tie the layers of the quilt together. The binding is made from ties, and the backing is striped "shirting" fabric.”

Another fun quilt was made with many ties from an retired English teacher. It is sweet and really very bright! This quilt is currently featured on a blog called

“The "Ties that Bind"quilt represents just a portion of a tie collection. It was put together by my husband's sister Joyce and her friend Cindy. It measures 59x80 inches, and is made up of over 50 ties. About four or five of the ties were handmade by Joyce. Some of the tie labels are sewn on the front of the quilt, and we had fun talking about the stores, long out of business, represented by those labels and the beautiful (and not so beautiful!) ties. This photo actually tones down a few of the hot pink ones...”

From Mary Jo’s Cloth Store Family, “We Wish You a Merry Christmas”.
We will be closing at 4 PM on Christmas Eve and are closed on Christmas Day. As always the Website is open 24-7, log on and noodle around, you will find all sorts of amazing fabrics at terrific prices. Enjoy the holiday.

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