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Portland, OR


Handmade quilts and home accessories by fiber artist Linda Nussbaum. See samples of past projects as well as pieces available for sale and inspirations for custom orders. To see what is currently available for sale, please visit my Etsy Shop.

Surrounded by Scraps

Third time's a charm?

Linda Nussbaum

We all have our UFOs (unfinished objects) that have been hanging around for ages. Right? Well, I know I certainly do! Too many to count, I must admit.

But there is one that I keep pulling out and playing with, only to tuck it away again into a project drawer to be ignored for another several months. That would be my quilt from the Design Camp [think outside the block] improv bee.

Remember this guy??

Well, last week I made a trip to the sewing studio (a very rare thing these days) and after taking care of the top priority task on my list I looked around to see what I could work on for just a bit to make the trip truly worthwhile. For some reason I thought that I had much more of the parts of this quilt pieced together, but then I recalled that before stuffing it away the last time I took a seam ripper to several parts that weren't sitting well with me.

I think one of the big issues was that it was looking way too busy without having a strong design element that kept me interested. Oh, and it's HUGE!

Just a reminder, my design wall is 8' x 8'.

Just a reminder, my design wall is 8' x 8'.

What is pictured above is in about 6 or 7 different segments, and I still hadn't put up at least 2 more of the blocks I had received from other bee members. Even with those large swaths of solid neutral fabric it just was too much.

And then it occurred to me – who says I have to put them ALL into just one quilt?? NO ONE. And immediately my excitement about this project returned. One of the best lessons of working in the visual arts is that of editing. Of course having the raw materials from which to work is crucial, but if one doesn't edit out the extraneous then it's all just a jumble of information and does not effectively communicate with the viewers.

My first step was to break it up into two different projects, then rebuild each individually. I didn't get too far into that last step, but I am well on my way and feeling MUCH better about where this is going!

As much as I loved the idea of trying to work that mustard yellow in with the neutrals as equal backgrounds, I think this distribution makes these much more cohesive. Thoughts??