“I use vintage clothes and scraps from textile and fashion designers whose work I find exciting,” says LA-based Pauline Boyd, a self-taught quilter whose piecework includes silks, cottons, wools, linens and hand-woven and hand-appliquéd fabrics. With improvisational stitching, sometimes using a machine, Boyd creates a story through texture, line, color and juxtaposition. “I don’t plan the quilts,” she says. “It’s a compositional moment-to-moment approach.”
Claire Oswalt, an artist, and Eliza Kenan, an art director, met on a quilt at a picnic in Central Park and started doing crafty things together—knitting, sculpting. “So it just seemed natural to begin quilting,” says Oswalt. Their line of limited edition and one-of-a-kind quilts are made with heirloom quality cottons and linens, and merge the artists’ two styles. “Each design,” they say, “is a collaboration.”
Using hand-dyed cotton for the tops, and cotton flannel as batting, Ashley Thayer pieces and finishes her quilts on “a big old industrial Brother sewing machine” in her Los Angeles studio. “Each one,” she says, “is conceived individually, with color and composition carefully considered.” Her inspirations include “color and movement, adoration of water and the ungraspable effects of light.”
Chris Rucker, who also makes furniture, follows in the quilting tradition of his grandmother and mother—sort of. His next-gen approach calls for wrestling with moving blankets. “They’re thick and have irregularities that make sewing tedious,” he says. The upside? “They vary in texture and sheen which creates interesting surfaces.” For linings he prefers old-fashioned ticking and the loose knit and natural feel of linens. His dachshund, Wilson, approves.