"Brushstrokes" represents a more improvisational style that I've been exploring in recent years. Susan Shinnick's beautiful hand-dyed, hand-printed linens and linen-cotton fabrics seemed to beg for fabric collage, as well as the extra visual and surface texture of raw-edged piecing. I pieced the background, assembled the three layers of the quilt, added the free-motion quilting, and then simultaneously machine-appliqued and machine-quilted additional fabrics onto the quilt.
The end result combines natural imagery with an effort to communicate a sense of visual balance, movement, and spontaneity. The raw-edged piecing means that individual threads periodically loosen themselves and begin to drift. For me, those threads are not signs of deterioration, but part of the changes that define the quilt's life cycle and development over time.