Blue Houses

The process of making this quilt was an evolution of process that fascinates me endlessly.


It started with a block. I really enjoyed the process of Neighbors and wanted to improvise on a designed block, playing with size and scale. I chose houses as my subject matter. I set a few rules— neutral lines, blue houses, same neutral for each house— and started making houses. I didn’t measure any of them, and I let some be more wonky than others.


As I made them, I put them up on my design wall, and I loved how they interacted.

I made a couple with six panes instead of four. I made one really tiny.


Then I laid them out on my design wall, realizing that I liked how their orientation and the angles had created a roof, or perhaps the impression that they faced one another.


Once I settled on the houses, I needed to made a background, and the background became its own process, incorporating the triangle elements of the house blocks and taking care to balance the fabrics. I realized that there was a fun perspective effect happening and that juxtaposing the neutrals gave the background depth. I quilted it with organic horizontal lines.


I incorporated the angles into the binding.


The finished product is nothing that I could have predicted, but it came from a constant state of making and assessment that really let me think about what I wanted and what I was feeling. I thought about the people in those houses and how they might live so close together. The houses have things in common but they are also unique. How do they influence how we see the others? Some look more perfect, but none are.


I realized that this was a metaphor for living in the suburbs, and I thought about the parts of my life that seem repetitive, imperfect or affected by comparison or perspective. It let me form new ideas about how I see myself and my world, and for that I will always treasure this quilt and this process.