A long time ago in a galaxy far, far away I was dabbling in quiltmaking. I had made a couple of projects with fabrics I bought specifically for those projects. The Internet was just starting to be something that quiltmakers could use and I was on a Usenet Board where quilts were discussed.
I went to Seattle for a conference and visited a quilt store called In the Beginning. At that time, it wasn’t just a fabric line, but there was a huge store. It was one of the largest I had ever visited. I saw the Pointillist Palette fabric there – the whole line. I was amazed and thrilled. This was fabric I really liked. Up until then, I was trying hard to avoid dusty rose and teal.
I like these quilts and think they might be the precursor, in some small way, to the Fabric of the Year quilts.
I wrote a lot about my inspiration in another post, which is good since then I don’t have to rehash it. I did think about one of the quilts in the series back in 2014. years ago, I know, but the thought hasn’t died. There is hope.
I don’t really even remember when I finished the last Pointillist Palette quilt. The late 1990s? It had some reproduction fabrics in it by Jinny Beyer, maybe? there are 3 quilts in the series and I think I had planned 6. I don’t know if #5 or #6 will ever be made as the bloom is somewhat off the rose after all of the these, but I am more interested in finishing #4 now that I have found some blocks.
Fortunately, the fabrics have held up well and are somewhat timeless.
This quilt in the series is called night and the black and white fabrics in it are supposed to represent that. I took apart a back of #2 or #3 so I could use the fabrics in this quilt. TFQ thought I was insane and I probably was since I didn’t actually finish the quilt…yet.
The fabric in these quilts cemented my friendship with TFQ, though we were well on our way already. 😉
The idea of the series is to play with ratios of color in such a way that subtle shifts in color or fabric changes the feeling of a quilt, though the designs are essentially the same for all the quilts in the series. These quilts started my experimentation with color, which I continue working at today. These quilts are the precursors, in a way to the Fabric of the Year quilts.
These quilts made me into an art quilt maker.
I bought the first batch of fabrics at a shop in Seattle called In the Beginning, which has since closed. At the time, I was in Seattle for a conference. I had been there briefly the month before on vacation, but didn’t get to do much quilty stuff. The day I purchased the fabric was a gorgeous, bright, sunny day and the sun was spilling into the shop lighting up these fabrics, which were arranged in rainbow order. I wanted them all. I was slightly horrified, but also excited at this visceral reaction, the strong desire to possess all of these fabrics. I think I even saw the series in my mind almost fully formed as I looked at the fabrics.
I bought some of each. I cut thousands of squares (WAY before Accuquilt cutting systems) and began sewing them into blocks. Though, I didn’t know it at the time, I did some chunking on these pieces.
I also paid attention to the use of color, which I had never done before. ‘Sun’ is much warmer feeling than ‘Ice’. I think ‘Ice’ is whiter and has a feeling of ice crystals or snow …. or something.
I had sense enough to concentrate the larger patches on the outside of the quilts to give a sense of borders. Definitely a happy accident, though I could have planned it. I just don’t remember.
The fabrics, by Debra Lunn and Michael Mrowka, have multiple colors on each piece of yardage – the colors gradate from dark to light or medium to dark or medium to light. There are many more tones and values that can be used than is obvious when you see some of the fabric. I didn’t realize this until I had the fabric out of the store.
In Pointillist Palette #3: Flower, I started to introduce other fabrics. The idea was that the last quilt (#6) would have barely any PP fabric in it.
The fabric I added was a group of larger scale reproduction flower fabrics. I think they were reproduced from a museum collection. I cut them up, sometimes fussy cutting, and included them with my Pointillist Palette fabrics.
I also started collecting other fabrics I thought I would use as the series went on.
Pointillist Palette #4: Night is still in progress and has been for a long time. I took that back of #1 apart to get the black aboriginal looking fabric out of it, so I could use it for the top of #4. People, who shall remain nameless, thought I had lost my mind. I needed a certain fabric and when I made the back of #1, I didn’t know I would need the fabric for #4. I had to make the right decision for the design of the quilt.
I pieced a few squares together recently and feel much more interested in working on this piece. I wonder if I can continue what I started so long ago?
I don’t really remember my ideas for #5 or #6. I may have notes and drawings somewhere. If not, perhaps this 6 piece series will turn into a 4 piece series?
All of the pieces are machine pieced, machine quilted (I did it myself!) and made using commercial fabrics.