White House, Black Spot

Made to submit for the Threads of Resistance art exhibit. I am still waiting to hear if my piece is accepted to the show.

WHBS FULL online

“White House, Black Spot” 2017 25″x25″

I’ve always secretly scoffed at people who’ve said ‘the quilt told them what to do’ but this quilt knew exactly what step was next. I started with larger logs, seen here, but started over and made them smaller. Each log is 1/4″ wide. The blocks finish at 3.5″ square, and the dots are a hair under 1″ diameter.

Some technical details for curious folks: the blocks were not paper pieced, fabric strips were cut on the lengthwise grain and were cut exactly the width and length needed. I did not need to trim the blocks before assembling the quilt.

I quilted between each block then went back and tied the quilt in the centre of each dot.


“White House, Black Spot” 2017 detail

Detail of the bottom right corner.


Inspired by this quilt:

Book full

Red Centres, Nancy Caleshu, 46″x46″, 2013

from Gwen Marston’s 2014 book Minimal Quiltmaking.


Quilt Stats –

Title: White House, Black Spot

Lifetime quilt no.: 65

Started: April 11, 2017

Finished: May 1, 2017

Size: 25″ square

Number of pieces: 989

Quilting: straight line walking foot, hand tied

Fabrics: 46 different white tone on tone fabrics from various manufacturers, 3 different white solid fabrics from various manufacturers.

Linking up with Crazy Mom Quilts for Finish it up Friday!



If you’re still reading, this is my artist’s statement about the piece.

The title of the piece “White House, Black Spot” came from an idea that the actions of presidents are a stain on the USA. I used a traditional log cabin block to represent the White House as a symbol of the USA. Each of the presidents, even ones remembered favourably, have made bad decisions affecting thousands and millions of people both within their country and around the world.

The micro-piecing added density and more layers to each block, and served to highlight the idea of a big man [the spot] in a small confined space. I used a unique white fabric in each block but kept the dot/centre the same fabric across all the blocks. There are 45 black spots for the 45 presidents; the four ghosts blocks are still free from stain. These four fade to nothingness…what will the office of the president look like in 2020, 2024, 2028, 2032? The last one is still hopefully a blank slate.

“Power tends to corrupt and absolute power corrupts absolutely. Great men are almost always bad men, even when they exercise influence and not authority; still more when you superadd the tendency of the certainty of corruption by authority.” Lord Acton, from a letter to Archbishop Creighton, April 5, 1887

Log Cabin Progress

Even though life is busy (oh how it’s busy!) and I’m sick, I’ve made progress on my artsy log cabin quilt. I’ve had this idea for a year or two now and I think it will fit nicely for an art show call for entry. I made a bunch of blocks but decided to start over and go smaller.

I went from eight blocks like this:


4″ square, finished.

to this one:


3.5″ finished. And that crumb near the bottom is mighty irritating.

Since I liked the smaller block with tiny logs more, I ripped apart the blocks I had made. (That sounds like I went all Hulk on them but really I just used my stitch ripper while watching tv.)

This morning I resewed the blocks, yay!


And then I cut fabric for three and a half hours.


This is a sandwich size container with 842 pieces of fabric in it. Mind boggling isn’t it? The smallest is 1.5″x .75″ and the largest is 4″x.75″. The polka dot fabric pieces are 1.5″ square.

To heck with 50 shades of grey, that’s 41 tints of white.

And to get some encouragement for the finish line, I’m linking up with Sew Fresh Quilts and My Quilt Infatuation.