When I first learned that the challenge for the third round of the Modern Quilt Guild's Project Modern competition was the word "organic," I thought of how I define organic quilting. To me organic quilting is quilting improvisationally. Not following a pattern, but building, constructing, and designing as you go, adding fabric scraps of different colors, sizes, and shapes, and combining them to make a cohesive design. I grabbed my sketchbook and immediately thought of creating a quilt that was improvisational in design, and in colors that feel organic to me. My submission to the challenge is Cross Ties.
Cross Ties measures roughly 80" by 100" and is the largest quilt I've made to date. It's constructed completely out of solid cottons, in various shades of cream, grayish browns, with just a bit of pale blue.
These colors feel organic to me because I view them all as hues that are found in nature. Each block is 20" square and is made up of an improvised cross in the center. No two squares nor crosses are alike in the quilt.
Each block and cross was made organically. I didn't set out with a conceived notion of how the cross would look like; I just kept sewing and constructing until it looked right to me.
Cross Ties is quilted with a meandering, free motion pattern using cream thread, which I think adds to the organic feeling of the quilt by softening the hard edges of the improv crosses.
I quilted it on my vintage, industrial quilting machine, which I affectionately refer to as Old Blue. I'm glad to have that machine with it's long neck because it was quite a task quilting something so large!