Artist: Nancy Purvis
The F*ck the Quilt Police was created after working on my book, Quilting from every Angle. After making 18 quilts for my book, I was completely done with patterns for awhile and needed a break. A break from the book. A break from following rules. A break from the commentary in my own head about what people might think about my work, my craftsmanship, or my skills once I put myself out there in the form of a published book. I love the colors black and white and the high contrast they provide when used together, and I had few yards of both in my closet. So it just seemed right.
I needed to just let go. I know the idea to let go isn’t new in the quilting world, but for me, it was a new beginning. In my book, I worked with a lot of triangles and precision. I got 99% of my points on point in that book. I love triangles, so I continued on with that shape, but I broke away from rule following and precision. I didn’t want to care about my points not matching up. I didn’t want to use my rotary cutter. I just wanted to sit in my comfy quilting chair and cut wrinkly fabric with scissors while I listened to my favorite TV show, The Office.
As I began this quilt, I wanted to be a voice for those in the quilting community who were afraid to quilt because their skills were not perfected yet. It’s easy to be afraid to dive into the arts without thinking about what others will think of us once they see our work. I just wanted people, especially new quilters, to know that they can create anything in this life because they want to. There shouldn’t be quilt police standing over your shoulder telling you what you did wrong or what you should correct next time. Of course, this is only my personal opinion. I do believe we should try our best, whatever that may be at any given time in our lives. But all that aside, I truly believe people should quilt what they want and how they want to. It’s their money. It’s their fabric. It’s their time. It’s their art. No one else’s, and we shouldn’t have to owe anyone an explanation as to why we create the way we do.
I tried to break as many rules as possible with this quilt. I didn’t press my fabric before cutting it. I hand cut all my fabric, and I didn’t trim it so that the seams lined up perfectly or were even equal in width. Some of the seams are maybe 1/8″ and some are 1/2″. I pressed the dark to the white side, intentionally showing my dark seams through the white fabric. There is unnecessary bulk in some sections because I intentionally didn’t trim the fabric. My quilting is crooked and unevenly spaced. I remember pushing that quilt through my Bernina as fast as it would allow. There’s even spots where the walking foot folded the quilt top over on itself, but I didn’t stop it or seam rip it out. I continued on leaving the puckers in place. Through this process, the FTQP quilt became one of my favorite quilts that I have made to date. It was very relaxing to let go in the process and just enjoy it instead of stressing over every little detail.