Quilt no. 021: No Mercy. 2016. Quilting cottons. 51″x 51″

Quilt no. 021: No Mercy. 2016. Quilting cottons. 51″x 51″

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 No Mercy is a quilt about many things.  It is a quilt about quilts. It talks about how basic construction and traditional blocks can be re-purposed to create new compositions and a means for self-expression.

We understand that, at a base level, a traditional quilt design is a usually compromised of uniform units (blocks) set into a grid. Sometimes it has smaller units (sashing) set between them to create separation and additional pattern. I played with that idea by taking the concept of a four patch block, altering its proportions and scale to provide the foundation for flexible patterning.

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It speaks to quilters’ general propensity to use every last piece of fabric, as this entire quilt was pulled from my scrap box, one strip at a time. I used yellow, orange and orange-red fabric scraps leftover from other projects to construct the blocks, figured out how they fit together with scraps of white and off-white. To compose the quilt, I arranged those blocks across my design wall and opted to use pre-cut scrap fabrics as the sashing. I removed the blocks from the traditional grid, opting to play with the ever-pervasive modern alternative grid.

This quilt is also about my very real, very ugly and ever pervasive issues with anxiety. It looks the way anxiety feels to me: an endless and circular loop of ever-firing thoughts, feelings and reactions. Anxiety tells me when something is wrong and that I should figure out what it is. Anxiety is, in a sense, a way of knowing for me. When I actually listen to what it’s saying, it tells me something I need to know.