And the good news is ~

Not the way I usually spend March, but a very productive one, nonetheless.    The ins and outs of the house have been minimal.....basic needs, walks around the neighborhood, out the back door to the quilt-picture-taking-porch.

stars and arrow quilt - pieced and hand quilted - marty mason

The sun has been in and out for the last few days so I've gotten a few good pics of the just finished....hand quilted....stars and arrow quilt.  Shamefaced - I don't remember where or when I saw this pattern....on the internet somewhere - so  sadly, no credit is given to this delightful quilt designer.  I often see pictures (without a pattern) and make an attempt to replicate.  This is probably what I did with this stars and arrow strip pieced quilt. 

stars and arrow quilt - pieced and hand quilted - marty mason

stars and arrow quilt - pieced and hand quilted - marty mason

stars and arrow quilt - pieced and hand quilted - marty mason

A book on the  shelf caught my eye yesterday - Elizabeth Barton's  "Inspired Design."  While thumbing through, I especially enjoyed reading her thoughts on evaluating design.  Does the image convey your main it pulled together so that people are engaged and want to continue looking.  Barton encourages evaluating an art quilt at every stage in the process, using basic principles of design as a checklist. 

  • Unity and harmony
  • Variety and tension
  • Balance and tension
  • Balance and proportion
  • Repetition, rhythm and movement
  • Economy
But while all these points of evaluation are important, what stayed with me yesterday was her thoughts on economy.....Elizabeth says that economy is one of  the most important guidelines.....and that a successful piece of visual art can be compared to a poem where every word adds something to the meaning.  While there will be connecting words, there should be nothing filler added simply to take up space.

working in a series - house quilts by marty mason

Case in point.  Why, oh why, did I ever add that top border? only takes up space!   The theme was houses and what lives within and without, so why, oh why,  did I add that undesirable filler?????  A lesson learned while working in the series:  house quilts.  

All this leads me to a friend's call yesterday to check on the 'elderly'. In conversation, she shared that her last finished quilt didn't include a border.  She said with every fabric she auditioned, the more convinced she became that an outer border detracted from her quilt.  (Well done my traditional quilt maker friend....well done!)   Elizabeth Barton would be pleased that you didn't add that filler just to follow the 'rules' imposed by many traditionalists.  

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