Margaret Blank – Series #2 – Time – Seasons in the Abstract: Winter

In the introduction to my selected Series theme, I identified two areas I wanted to explore: first, the idea of seasons.  Turning sixty-five later this year has me pondering a great deal the passage of time — which seems to speed up with each passing day, month, season and year.

Second, the techniques of “modern” and “improv” quilting, or moving into abstraction.  I have long wanted to be able to move in that direction, and have now taken three online classes that focus on those creative concepts.  There is much to do to move me farther along the road in those directions, but I’m pleased to say I’ve made some progress.  Even more exciting to me is the fact that I created the piece below before I took the concept of ‘shape’ in one of these classes…and then learned about the way my piece played on that concept with some success.  I know going forward I’ll improve my use of ‘shape’ — and line, value, form and proportion — but it was a boost to know I seem to be on the right track!

First: the photo that inspired me to make this ‘Winter’ piece — taken by my daughter and used with her permission:

Gina over the lake Dec-Jan 2016-7

Gina, walking on Astotin Lake toward Elk Island, in Elk Island Provincial Park, January 2017

Next, the fairly representative piece I made based on this photo:

M_Blank_Sometimes You Can Walk on Water_Full

Sometimes You Can Walk on Water – 42″ x 36″


And now the ‘modern/abstract’ piece I’ve made for this Series, based on both of the above:

Winter - finished

Seasons in the Abstract: Winter – 15″ x 15″


And a detail photo:

Winter - detail 4


Materials: hand-dyed and commercial cotton fabric, cotton thread and batting.

Techniques: machine piecing, machine quilting.  The piece was made with fabric that was not pre-washed, and quilted more densely than is my usual practice.  It was then washed after it was completely finished, faced and had label and sleeve attached.  This was done in the style of modern quilting practiced by Bill Kerr and Weeks Ringle, quilters in the Modern style, who do this to introduce texture into their pieces.

I look forward to your comments on this first product of my new adventures in quilting!

Quilts in Series:

M Blank     

Quilt 1                             Quilt 2






  1. carolinehiggs

    You have certainly managed to give texture to your piece, I like the contrast of the two quilting methods.

  2. Chantal Guillermet

    Margaret I am impressed by the abstraction in your piece ! I am a figurative person … and it is difficult for me to work with abstraction. I also like the texture in your piece and hoy you got it ! well done.

  3. I agree with Caro and Chantal your texture conveys Winter. Creating an abstract quit can be difficult and I am afraid to say I could not relate the vertical and horizontal blocks to your theme without seeing your design page. I do like your representative piece, I can feel cold looking at it. Cheers

  4. joanbrailsford

    I think you have introduced a very textured effect with your dense quilting, which really compliments the abstract forms in your piece. I think the light fabrics also provide a contrast with the darker forms. A successful first foray into the abstract, which I too am impressed with.

  5. I love to look at abstract pieces, but find it very difficult to get a good design. You have managed to give me the feeling of winter with a couple of simple shapes. Very nice quilting.

  6. The quilting in the bottom of your piece really conveys the feeling of snow. Washing after certainly creates more texture. Well done on the abstract something I’ve wanted to try.

  7. A very wintry feel here. The design has very clean lines that are enhanced by the quilting. Striking colour choices too.

  8. Thank you for sharing your steps in creating this abstract piece. This is a very clean and modern interpretation of the winter scene and the dense quilting accentuates the feeling of snow and winter.

  9. Yes, you created an abstract quilt that represents winter. Strong lines and the quilting gives nice texture.

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