Wednesday, October 14, 2015

Abstract Solids

It was a fortuitous discovery. When I heard Gwen Marston was going to be the keynote speaker at QuiltCon 2016, I was more disappointed than ever that I wasn't able to be there. So I was perusing her website, happened to glance at the "Gwen's Schedule" link, and wouldn't you know, she was going to be coming very near to where I live! And soon. Quilters Anonymous was bringing her to town for classes (which I couldn't attent since I wasn't a guild member) and a lecture, which was open to the public. Oh joy.

Here's the blurb about the lecture:

Abstract Quilts in Solids 
Quilts made in solids have an impressive history. They were the first quilts to be taken seriously as art. In 1971, Amish quilts from the collection of Jonathan Holstein and Gail van der Hoof constituted the first major museum exhibition of quilts shown at the Whitney Museum of American Art in New York. Using her new abstract quilts as examples, Gwen discusses her work in solids and points out some of the great characteristics inherent in solids. The lecture is illustrated with quilts from her book Ideas and Inspirations: Abstract Quilts in Solids.

I couldn't resist slapping on a visitor's badge in order to be able to see Gwen's work and hear her speak. Totally worth it.

I didn't expect Gwen to be so darn funny! Just delightful. And of course her quilts - full of inspiration . . . and most if not all, hand-quilted.

According to Gwen, some of the key characteristics of solids:
  • They are more paintery
  • They never look dated
  • Artistically....the line between them is very clear
  • They have an impressive history, being the first quilts to be considered as art
  • The quilting shows up like gangbusters

Other bits of wisdom:
  • Embrace the pucker (in talking about quilting)
  • If you get tired of doing something, go so far and quit...
  • Keep it simple while trying to create interest
  • Just have a good time and try stuff

I'm sharing some of the best photos I caught by phone camera, but get a better look at some of the quilts Gwen shared in Abstract Solids on Pinterest. I know I'll be perusing them for a while . . .


  1. very cool! so glad you got to go hear her speak

  2. Lucky you! This looks amazing. I wonder if Europe is on her schedule.

  3. A stroke of luck she was near you and you got to go see the lecture! I couldn't agree more on the points listed. To me it's all about fun and trying something...anything. You just never know!

  4. Thanks so much for sharing Debbie - just love the photos!!!

  5. How fun that you got to go! I'm sad that I'm missing her keynote at QuiltCon - I'll be teaching at the same time :-(

  6. I'm super pumped that I'll be seeing her at QuiltCon AND taking one of her workshops. Not going to lie: it's the only reason I considered QuiltCon 2016.

  7. Thanks for sharing debbie. I'd love to see her. I got to see a Freddie Moran lecture a few years ago and she was funny too.