thank you, joe the quilter :: Okan Arts
thank you, joe the quilter

thank you, joe the quilter

By Patricia Belyea 

SEATTLE WA  Three weeks ago I checked out a class by Joe Cunningham on called “Pattern-Free Quilting.” Without planning to make a quilt from the lessons, I just enjoyed watching Joe cut and sew, and listening to his funny stories.

A few days later, thinking about what I‘d learned, I pre-washed some fabric and got started on a quilt using Joe’s process called “Rock the Block, Block-Style.”

My chosen fabrics were:
1 yard of white Kona cotton
.5 yards of butterscotch, apple green, dark teal and lavender Kona cotton
Fat quarters of two hand-dyed fabrics created by CQA designers (from StashFest)

To start, I cut the fabrics up using Joe’s Countdown Cutting Strategy. Then I sewed sets of two pieces together randomly. From there, I sewed the duos into rows. I added the lavender to include “an uninvited visitor”—an approach I learned in Annie Lewis’ collage class. To finish, I made white blocks and added them to the edge areas.

The back has large pieces of white, lavender, teal and apple green plus extra duo blocks. The binding uses a lot of lavender because that’s what I had left. When I was done, I had almost no fabric.

I enjoyed making this quilt. Joe’s process was easy, yet the final quilt looks arty and interesting.

Also, the process was very efficient. Often when I make quilts, I waste lots of fabric and tons of time. I liked Joe’s straightforward approach that still gave me lots of room to be creative.

It will be fun co-leading a quilting retreat with Joe in November. All the participants will get the opportunity to surprise themselves with their own innovative quilts.

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