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Quilting On and Off the Grid

Work in progress by Dana Jones

After dropping off four quilts to long-arm quilter Rita Meyerhoff (see glimpses of her work on my version of Elizabeth Hartman's "Patchwork City" below), I wanted to relax by doing some quick and easy piecing. I'm part of a quilt group that is focused on log cabin quilts this year — Log Cabin Fever to be specific. I began thinking about a great workshop I did with Sarah Nishiura — — last year in which she had us work with half square triangles warping them to create an illusion of circles. My brain has been thinking about warping grids ever since.

As a career photojournalist who has spent significant time laying out magazine and newspaper pages, my life has long been focused on grids. When I began quilting, I saw the surface of quilts as grids but then began to wander from that idea only to realize I'd left behind something I love. That realization came during a 2014 class at the School of the Art Institute in Chicago when our instructor, Liz Ensz — — had us read Chapter 1, "Brick," from Hannah B. Higgins' The Grid Book (Massachusetts Institute of Technology, 2009).

I was drawn to Elizabeth Hartman's Patchwork City (C&T Publishing, 2014) because her use of an interlocking grid for up to 75 blocks made in three sizes is genius. This isn't a quilt you make overnight. Every block is unique. Every block offers possibilities for fussy cutting. Every block provides a piecing challenge and joy.

I will teach this quilt for Holly's Quilt Cabin in a series of Zoom sessions in June. More on that soon. In the meantime, enjoy a few photos of Rita's quilting. She finished it yesterday, and I will pick it up tomorrow.

Patchwork City, design by Elizabeth Hartman, made by Dana Jones, quilting by Rita Meyerhoff

Patchwork City, design by Elizabeth Hartman, made by Dana Jones, quilting by Rita Meyerhoff

I'd love to hear how you are quilting on or off the grid.

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