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Breaking the "Rules"

Freddy Moran is an artist, teacher, and author of Freddy’s House: Brilliant Color in Quilts. In a class I took from Freddy, I learned some tricks for breaking the rules that have stayed with me as I’ve evolved as a quilter in recent years.

Much of Freddy’s work is a departure from the traditional squares and triangles and fixed patterns. Her quilts are stunning works of art, bursting with color and movement and joy. They’re totally inspiring, and I couldn’t wait to be a part of her class.

Dressed from head to toe in vibrant colors and gorgeous textures, Freddy is one of her quilt creations come to life. The artist, quilter, teacher taught me how to break rules, let go, and follow my inspiration wherever it leads. Here's how...

1. Follow your inspiration instead of a quilt pattern

Freddy’s class is about following your inspiration rather than a pattern to produce something original and personal. To me the experience felt like a lesson in learning how to use fabrics like a pallet of paints, with the background fabric as a canvas.

2. Freddy says "red is neutral"

One of the most amazing things I think I heard Freddy say during class was that she sees red as a neutral. Although I’m not the first person to note this, it was my first time hearing it and I can’t stop thinking about it.

3. Pfff…Scissors

As I was working on my quilt, Freddy came along and made some notable adjustments. As a result I like to think of the end result as my very special collaboration with Freddy Moran. One of the best things was her recommendation to rip the fabric for the stems of the flowers.

4. Make quilts without sewing a stitch

When Freddy set us loose with nothing more than fabric, glue sticks, and scissors, I have to admit I was a little nervous, but the results of everyone’s work were amazing and no one even sewed a stitch! Freddy shared that she sends her quilt tops to a friend to be quilted, and so in many cases ends up with beautiful quilts and no sewing.

5. Binding your quilt is optional

What I love about Freddy’s rule breaking is how she pushes all the boundaries…even to the point of binding. Freddy shared that while she does think that the back of her quilts are as important as the front, sometimes leaving a work unbound is an appropriate artistic choice too.

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