Art quilts by Brienne Brown

bb I started my first quilt in 1988 from a design I had doodled years earlier. Although I like traditional quilts, creating original designs is one of my favorite parts of quilt-making. I try to make pleasing compositions that do not derive their harmony from repetitive symmetry. I find much of my inspiration in nature, but do not feel constrained to make my work look realistic. I strive to create images that look good from across the room, but have details to draw the viewer in.

The stitching that holds the layers of fabric and batting together is loosely planned but spontaneously executed on my sewing machine, rather like drawing a picture by moving the paper instead of the pen. My quilting owes a lot to my tendency to get close to what I am looking at; I like to see the individual threads of the cloth I am working on. I am often tempted to put in small pictures that are best viewed from about 8 inches away, the approximate distance from my eyes to the sewing needle as I work. Among other things, I like to create fanciful insects, fish, birds, snakes and hands. Sometimes I loosen my control over the needle to let a picture grow organically, especially when I am quilting monsters. I like to be surprised by the expressions on their faces.