“Quilts – Art with a Q” at the Fries Museum


Quilting the ice is what I was most worried about. I finally decided that I that I wanted a swirly, skatey pattern, and was thinking about how ice skates leave those white scratches in the ice that get covered over and over.

What was that term that Jason Pollen used for layers and layers of drawing marks made on top of each other, like on an old chalkboard menu where yesterday’s image is ghosted behind? Can’t remember, oh well.

The skating marks slowly transform from swirly to crackly at the bottom, where PaMdora’s skate blade precariously balances. Not sure how successful that was, but it was an interesting experiment.


Here’s the finished quilt, Skating On Thin Ice — it’s 42″ x 61″. Today I have to ship it off to The Netherlands along with another winter-themed quilt for a November-March exhibition at the Fries Museum. For a couple of weeks now, I’ve been stressing about how to do the shipping, but this morning got it worked out with the museum register. She was very nice, and told me that some of the hundreds of quilts — both traditional and contemporary — were already arriving at the museum.

17 thoughts on ““Quilts – Art with a Q” at the Fries Museum”

  1. Hi Janet,for details I still use my table top Bernina because I can get up close and it gives me more control. But for big areas like backgrounds, I use a Viking MegaQuilter on an Inspira frame.

  2. Thanks Lee and Susie, I’m studying up on the difference between ‘palimpsest’ and ‘pentimento’. Need to learn how to pronounce them so I can use them in conversation and sound smart 🙂 Actually they are both cool concepts.

  3. I got it — the word in mind (i think) is pentimento. Jane Dunnewold used it as the title of a workshop she gave long ago — it means according to wikipedia, “A pentimento (plural pentimenti) is an alteration in a painting, evidenced by traces of previous work, showing that the artist has changed his mind as to the composition during the process of painting. The word derives from the Italian pentirsi, meaning to repent.” But, I think, in a larger or more metaphorical sense it’s any kind of traces of previous thought, work, layers of process through time and imagination.

  4. Thanks for sharing the creation process of this piece. I’m glad you posted details, too. The quilting is something I’m always longing to see up close.

  5. That’s great Beate — I hope you can see it and maybe do a blog post. I would love to read about the show since I won’t be there. The registar told me there is some kind of opening reception on Nov. 15, but I can’t read the postcard. Maybe you could call the museum and ask them to send you one.

  6. Congratulations. It’s been fun watching the evolution of this quilt. I hope PamDora has a great time in the Netherlands. I wish i was still in Europe so i could go see her in person. 😉

  7. Terrific job Pam. I can understand why you were stressing in that it needed to be shipped off so soon. I really love this piece….so much to look at! The hat is so much fun.

  8. THANK-YOU for sharing your process! I have loved checking your blogs and silently watching your progress. It has been very educational and inspiring for me to see how a fabric artist that I respect works.
    Congrats on shipping off another EXCELLENT piece!
    Karen M.

  9. I think the ice quilting is perfect. Have you ever skated on an outdoor pond. I grew up doing just that. Because you only skate when it is really, really cold and there are not a lot of other skaters, the marks tend to stay on the ice like that. You have achieved a very chilly feeling with the colors.

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