Yesterday I finished one of several projects I have running here in the background--my first abstract quilt.
This quilt was a concept quilt for me to play around with this idea of piecing quarter circle(ish) pieces to make slightly irregular shapes and then use them in an abstract composition.
The idea came to me while starting to cut and sew the pieces for a polka dot quilt. Let me digress for a moment here and talk about the polka dot quilt first.
I'm not even sure whether it is called a polka dot quilt, but it is a variation of what is known as "Drunkard's Path". I believe all of the many, many variations of Drunkard's Path utilize quarter circles pieced together in various directions to create the overall scheme.
For the polka dot quilt, four quarter circles intersect to form one dot. In this photo, the two on the right are sewn together, and the other two are waiting to be joined.
The polka dot quilt came to my attention about a year ago when I bought a $1 quilting book at a thrift store, and brought it home for my thrift store sewing book collection. Once I sat down to take a look at what was in the book, there is was...an antique quilt with red polka dots on a white background. Love at first sight!
So I sat down and cut out a few pieces to get started. Then I looked at the instructions and found I was supposed to be pressing over the edge of the quarter circle, and then hand sewing it to the background piece. Ummm, no, not gonna happen.
I can hand sew all day long, but knew that pressing the curved edges was going to look terrible and be a giant pain. So I machine pieced it and it turned out just fine. Then I put the pieces back in the book and promptly forgot all about the polka dot quilt.
So back to this quilt I just finished...
A year later I open the book again, and there are two very sweet quarter circles all sewn up and ready to be utilized. So back to work I went on the polka dot quilt! Then one night I looked over and saw this picture on the back of my friend Thérèse's business card:
Suddenly, I realized the possibilities of making something new and modern by piecing these curved quarter circles into half circles, irregular circles, etc. So that is what I did.
My finished quilt is just a baby size quilt. It was an exercise in checking out how the finished quilt would look if I pieced together a bunch of half circles and then interspersed large pieces of fabric. I wasn't sure if there would be a bunch of obvious seams, or if I'd even like the idea in the end. But I like it very much and hope to explore it a bit more in the future.