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Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Quilty Pleasures Wednesday-Unplanned Community, A Freddy and Gwen Inspired Quilt

Today it's a guest post by sis-in-law Pattie, quilter extraordinaire, the person who inspired me to start quilting. A couple years ago we went to an Empty Spools Seminar at Asilomar, California, for a class with Gwen Marston and Freddy Moran.  I'll let Pattie tell you the rest of the story:

 This quilt is a product of a Gwen Marston-Freddy Moran collaborative quilting class I took 2 1/2 years ago.  My quilting history has always been as a traditional and conventional "interpreter" of quilt design...i.e. I just copied a pattern and added my own fabrics, usually civil war or other 1800 repos.

Taking a Marston-Moran liberated quilting class was a huge step out of the box for me, so huge, it took me 2 years to complete the project.  Deciding on what 'parts' to use and how to arrange them without any absolute design threw me into creative anarchy: Anything goes....nothing is wrong...everything matches...there are no wrong choices....all colors and fabrics go together...the more the merrier.  There was only one rule: use some black and white to rest the eye once in a while.

In truth, I didn't feel very "liberated."  I felt like I had to make decisions based on my preference,  but what was my preference?  How do you build a quilt without dictated shapes, sizes, borders, measurements?

I had a plethora of block designs from Freddy and Gwen to choose from...houses, wonky stars, trees, pinwheels, four patches and even some really cute chickens!   I loved them all!  No fabric was left out; everything went together!

 Each time I sat down to sew I experienced a mixture of frustration and angst combined with manic euphoria. Over the course of 2 years I tenaciously struggled with my new found "liberation" and finally completed my "Unplanned Community," called that because there are lots of houses:) and because the only 'rhyme or reason' was mine.

That's the back of the quilt


  1. What an inspiring quilt. You've really got the liberation now! I just love how you've put all the pieces together. The fabrics you've used are so bright and fun. I could look at this for hours. Lucky you getting to snuggle under it.

  2. OMG!!! That is so beautiful. I would never get tired of looking at it. June

  3. Can I have this Mom since my life seems "unplanned" lately ;-) Great quilt!! I love all your work =) Now, can I pretty please have it??

  4. no, may not have this quilt while i'm still alive;=/ and as far as 'unplanned' things go...this quilt and you are good examples of the rewards of living an unbridled and liberated life...woo hoo! not too shabby...

  5. Beautiful quilt. An inspiration to me. Thank you.

  6. Awesome quilt, perfectly described quilt story filled with so many colorful emotions and stories. It was worth all two years of your hard work as it is absolutely gorgeous, Pattie!!!

  7. Totally inspirational quilt, and as a parent of 5, 22 to 35 yr old kids, I love the response to the Billings family. If only my quilting were as cool as my kids! But of course, I had more practice with them, so maybe there is still hope. Wonderful, wonderful quilt and I love the discussion of the process. Sue in mid-MI

  8. You've made a wonderful quilt with an inspiring story to go with it. I understand your "angst" that occurred when you chose blocks, fabrics and stitched them together. Liberated quiltmaking can be tough at times, but very rewarding. Congratulations on a great finish.

  9. That is really really pretty. I just love it!

  10. I LOVE this quilt. What an amazing job.


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