How to Start Working in a Series
Here’s how blogger Cheryl Sleboda started working in a series to perfect her art quilts.
Originally posted on April 1, 2018 by Cheryl Sleboda
Artists who use quilting as their preferred medium always seemed to have an ability to work in a series that I did not know how to achieve. Working in a series allowed those quilters to have a recognizable “voice” in their work. Here’s some of the ways that I approached this in my work.
When I first started to work in a series, I started with small weekly quilts I was making as a challenge to myself. As part of that challenge, I decided each month would have a theme. As the first few month’s work appeared, the quilts all had the same theme but I was not yet working in a series.
For example, this was the theme for February 2008, which was Pomegranates. While each mini quilt is on the theme, they are just four very different quilts with pomegranates. Works in a series have something more than this to tie them together. It’s either a similar shape that appears, or a color that binds the work into a larger unit. So while these 4 pomegranate quilts are fun, they aren’t a series.
By the end of that year, in December 2008, I settled on Steampunk Gears as my theme. These quilts are more of works within a series. The colors and shapes and even the quilting motifs, tie them together as a whole. I was able to work out the different layouts and designs to the point where I could decide to make more of them, or move on after exhausting this topic in my work.
If you are a traditional, contemporary, art, or modern quilter, working through a series can help you explore the variations of a technique, shape, or method that you enjoy. For me, I believe it made me a better quilter. Now, I only work in a series on designs that I really enjoy, and I find them incredibly rewarding. The additional recognizable elements of my work also helps my art quilting career.
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