Studio Update: "Across Oceans," a family quilt / by Kirsten Weis

Since just before little L arrived this summer I've been working on a keepsake quilt for my in-laws for their 30th wedding anniversary, which was in August. 

  Across Oceans , in process. 2017-2018. Linen, cotton.  © Kirsten Weis

Across Oceans, in process. 2017-2018. Linen, cotton.

© Kirsten Weis

I've been wanting to make a neutral strip quilt for a long time, and this was the perfect opportunity. The top is improv pieced. It took me forever - for the longest time I kept trying to make a design work that just wasn't working, either in scale or visually.

  Across Oceans , in process. 2017-2018. Linen, cotton.  © Kirsten Weis

Across Oceans, in process. 2017-2018. Linen, cotton.

© Kirsten Weis

Once I conceived of strip blocks alternating directions, the whole piece came together in a few weeks. The little red half square triangles were the last addition. I think it gives the pattern some depth and interest. And they remind me a little of sails. 

  Across Oceans , in process. 2017-2018. Linen, cotton.  © Kirsten Weis

Across Oceans, in process. 2017-2018. Linen, cotton.

© Kirsten Weis

The quilt is machine pieced, using linen and cotton fabric. Most of the fabric in the piece came from family trips or from a box of old family linens and saris that my mother in law gifted to me last summer. The ecru is linen from her family's home in Umbria, Italy. It once belonged to her mother, who passed away in early 2017. The red comes from a sari that once belonged to my husband's paternal grandmother. I never met her, but his grandfather was able to tell me the story of most of the old saris of her that I have. One of the white linens comes from my first trip to Rajasthan with my husband's family last winter. The block printed cotton is one of the tablecloths we used at our wedding. I've tentatively titled the piece "Across Oceans." 

  Across Oceans , in process. 2017-2018. Linen, cotton.  © Kirsten Weis

Across Oceans, in process. 2017-2018. Linen, cotton.

© Kirsten Weis

It's basted now, awaiting hand quilting (which, if I'm honest, will probably take me until their 31st wedding anniversary to complete with everything else I'm working on right now). I almost wanted to leave it as it was, hung in the window in the winter light looking like stained glass.