1981 Quilt

Hello!  I wanted to share with you my quilt top that I had recently completed and entered into QuiltCon West 2016.  I had sketched out the bones of this design back in the fall of 2014.  It was incomplete but mostly it was just a starting point.   Just something for me to reference back to in case I ever felt inspired to finish it.  Since inspiration never came, I decided it would be best to make this as a sampler, so I could see what it would like look as a quilt top.   The majority of this quilt was improvised.  I wasn't sure which shapes would be which colors, and since the design was not complete, I wasn't even sure what the final product was going to look like.  It helped that I chose a cohesive palette.

I originally was going to frame it in black and then place a white border around that before binding it.  This was not planned and was not decided upon until I reached that point in the decision process.  When I had completed the binding, the white border did not include the black pluses in the corners.  I reached out to Instagram, and a lovely bunch of people suggested it.  Thank you if you were one of those who suggested black pluses because it came out fabulous.  I had also thought about incorporating 1981 somewhere in the quilt, but that never happened.

To balance out the large negative spaces of color, I added a strip of small piecing in the upper left corner, and to balance that out, I added the four triangles in the bottom right corner.

I would love to make this a bigger version as this only measures 39" x 42".

The biggest crime and mistake I made with this quilt was not entering it to be judged at QuiltCon West.  I only entered it.  I still beat myself up about it, but the reason I didn't get it judged was because I felt that I would be critiqued harshly on my hand stitching.  It's definitely not perfect, but I think that is what lends beautifully to the handmade look.  It is handmade.  I don't know why I ever listened to that little devil inside of me.

Why 1981?  This quilt is a dedication to my creative life and journey.  I love making things, and I hope it shows.

I had a few people say it reminds them of certain artists.  Some I have never heard of like Charley Parker and Mondrian.   Others, like Picasso, I do know.   But none of these artists were in mind during the making of this.  It literally was a sit down and draw, let's pull out some fabric, and let's-hope-for-the-best kind of quilt making.  So it all worked out in my favor in the end, and I couldn't be more thankful.

It makes me so happy when I look at it.  :)

xx nancy

One year ago:  Birchen Quilt top
Two years ago: Crafty Travelers Series
Three years ago: Creating with the Stars
Four years ago: Fabric Birds

I have a book!


  1. Absolutely. Love. It.

  2. Fantastic. Really a piece of art. The hand stitching ads lovely dimension and, yes, confirms that it was made by hand. Lovely.

  3. Your quilt is absolutely stunning Nancy.

  4. I really like this quilt. It makes me happy to look at it too. Love the colors and hand stitching.

  5. This quilt is wonderful on so many levels. But that hand stitching takes it above and beyond. And those triangles? Perfection!

  6. This is such a bright and visually engaging quilt filled with all sorts of surprises. It's such a great piece and thank you for sharing it.

  7. This looks awesome! I love hearing your thought process about some of the different things you did.

  8. I love this quilt and the hand-stitching! I was wondering how the back looks when you do all the small x's spaced apart? Do you. I usually just do a straight stitch on mine, but love this look and would like to try it out.


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