Beth Markel

Serious about my Series

Posted on March 20, 2021 by Beth Markel

I’ve worked in a number of series in the last decade or so, but this last couple of months have flown by while exploring this piece called Chaos. First let me admit that sometimes working in a series is challenging. It’s easy to get bored or less inspired after you’ve explored the same theme or piece in a number of different ways, but to really grow, I find that pushing through that initial sense of boredom opens doors I never thought of prior to the exercise.

One of the most challenging factors in this piece is limiting my fabric selection. For the most part I started with using strips from 3 different containers, and I’m down to my last one, many from projects a decade ago. I’ve used many solids, also mostly leftovers, hoping that the juxtaposition between solids, which are mostly vibrant, and the myriad of patterns keeps it visually interesting.

Another significant challenge for me has been continuity. If the blocks made this week have a different composition or feel to them, the piece changes in a materially important way – no pun intended!

So the balance is continuity with continuing visual interest:


I daily, and sometimes hourly, refer to the design principles pinned to the top of my design wall: pattern, rhythm, proportion, balance, and unity. An example of proportion is this same pattern, free-hand cut but different size finished “blocks” of 3 pieces each:

Detail of #7, “Chatter” Photo by David Roberts

It might be a little hard to visualize the finished work that is currently being done, but Rhythm is easy since it’s the same block again and again. The challenge is balance using color rather than size or proportion. I’ll keep you posted!





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