January 29, 2016: 1. Japanese Quilts at the New England Quilt Museum, Part 3 2. Circle composition

Greetings!  Here are a few more of the quilts from the Japanese exhibit at the New England Quilt Museum in Lowell, MA.  You have through April to see this wonderful show and do try to go because you can’t fully appreciate these quilts unless you see them in person, close up.  I hope, however, that my pictures give you some idea of the excellent design and workmanship.

This quilt is another of the medallion style quilts which, again, shows great design, perfect fabric and color selection, and excellent piecing and hand quilting skills.  Click on the pictures to enlarge and really enjoy!

12916 beginning#1 12916 beginning#2 12916 beginning#3 12916 beginning#4 12916 beginning#5 12916 beginning#6

I love the graphic design of this next one.  There is a central zig zag “grille” reverse appliqued over the background fabric which creates a bold effect.  I love the applique and embroidery embellishments and the hand quilting.  Fabulous overall design and craftsmanship!:

12915 nightmoon#1 12915 nightmoon#2 12915 nightmoon#3 12916 nightmoon#4 12916 nightmoon#5 12916 nightmoon#6 12916 nightmoon#7

The next quilt is a tour de force of excellent design and piecing and also showcases use of gradation in color.  It is ENTIRELY MADE BY HAND!  WOW!

12916 constellation#1 12916 constellation#2 12916 constellation#3 12916 constellation#4 12916 constellation#5 12916 constellation#6

The next quilt is a masterpiece in the use of taupe style fabrics.  This one, too, is ALL MADE BY HAND.  It is incredibly complex!  The maker must be amazingly patient.

12916 spring#1 12916 spring#2 12916 spring#3 12916 spring#4 12916 spring#5 12916 spring#6

12916 spring#7 12916 spring#8 12916 spring#9

If the above is not enough color for you, enjoy this very colorful quilt from the exhibit.  It was covered with beads:

12916 space#1 12916 space#2 12916 space#3 12916 space#4 12916 space#5

That is all of these that I’m sharing in this post, but I have several more for future posts so stay tuned!

Several days ago I put all of my circle blocks up on my design wall to see what I have.  I had decided I didn’t want a large quilt, rather a medium size lap or wall quilt.  Here’s what I found:

12916 circlesonwall#1

It looked to me like I had enough, especially since I was going to need to add fabrics to make these different sized blocks fit together.  So I spent a few days adding embroidery around these circles rather than making new ones.  Some examples:

12916 circles#2 12916 circles#3 12916 circles#4

Then I studied the blocks and decided that I would compose 9 inch blocks out of the circles by adding strips and/or sewing blocks together.  The original blocks range in size from 4 inches to 7 1/2 inches – that’ why the choice of 9 inches.  That still allows for adding some side strips to enlarge the 7 1/2 inch blocks.  The 9 inch blocks will finish at 8 1/2 inches when sewn together.  Once the blocks have all been made, I can play with their placement to find a pleasing composition.  Since my last post I have created 9 of these nine inch blocks:

12916 circleblocks#1 12916 circleblocks#2 12916 circleblocks#3 12916 circleblocks#4 12916 circleblocks#5 12916 circleblocks#6

12916 circleblocks#7 12916 circleblocks#8 12916 circleblocks#9

Here is what these 9 look like arranged together:

12916 circle blocks together#1

I like it!!  There were a couple of areas where strips came together and looked like they needed some circles so I pinned a couple on and will eventually sew them on:

12916 circleblocks#10 adding circles

I can add extra circles as needed to complete the composition once I have all the blocks completed and arranged.  Here is what my design wall looks like today with my current circle composition on the left:

12916 final design wall look now

I have been calling this my “circle improv” project.  It can be the fourth quilt in my “Spirit of Japan” series because it is mostly made of authentic Japanese fabrics.  Yesterday the term “Many Moons” came to me and seems like it would be a good name for this quilt.  I spent last year with stars and will spend this year with moons!   For now this will be “Spirit of Japan #4: Many Moons.”

I’ve been having so much fun with the circles that I have neglected my other projects almost completely.  No progress on a border for We Are Stardust.  No new block ready to applique for Sweet Journeys.  I did get a little hand quilting done on Stella Nova; I could finish this in a few days if I focused on it alone!  I have the application to submit Stella Nova for the Vermont Quilt Festival to complete this weekend and get it in the mail Monday.

I haven’t yet decided whether to participate in Barbara Brackman’s new sew along for 2016.  It is a sampler quilt tied to the stories of women who traveled west in the mid 1850’s in covered wagons.  I have a fondness for the American history of that period and actually started writing a novel about a family at that time traveling west in a covered wagon when I was in 5th grade – never finished and now lost!  I also loved the Little House on the Prairie books growing up and TV shows and movies set during that time.  I would love to start a new project but am thinking I want it to be something from my own “to do” list.  We’ll see!

Thanks to all my readers!  Be grateful, be kind, and cherish each day!   Gladi




4 thoughts on “January 29, 2016: 1. Japanese Quilts at the New England Quilt Museum, Part 3 2. Circle composition

  1. Wendy Caton Reed

    The Japanese quilts take my breath away. I can’t wait to get down to see them. Thank you for a preview! Your “Many Moons” is sensational. I love your setting. It looks like it fits in with all these wonderful Japanese quilt at the museum! I do hope you will join Barbara’s “Westering Women”. It is not as exciting as the Time Warp Stars, but I think it will be fun. I’m not much for sampler blocks, especially 12″ but I want to participate anyway. Your comment about the novel you started in 5th grade is so close to home! I posted a little story I wrote on my blog last week. I wrote it in 2003, but after reading it again, it sounds like I wrote in in fifth grade! I am sending in a quilt entry today to VT and I hope we finally get to meet there!

    1. gladiporsche Post author

      Thank you so much for your encouragement re “Many Moons.” I completed the top and will post about it very soon. It’s a real departure for me, but I like it in spite of the fact that my husband’s first response was “strange!” I very much like your circle project too. Gladi

  2. Bobbie Korengold

    Hi Gladi. I hadn’t looked at your blog for a while, but I just saw your posting from Jan. 12. I’ve been stuck on quilting designs for my current project, and those Japanese quilts were just the inspiration I needed. They are amazing, aren’t they. Thanks for your very timely photographs.

    1. gladiporsche Post author

      Good to hear from you! I’m so glad my post was inspirational for you. By the way, congratulations on your recent awards in major shows – well deserved! Gladi


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s