Los Angeles based artist and designer, Lorena Marañon, is known for her improvisational quilts, with her use of materials continually questioning the boundaries between the disposable and the durable, whilst challenging the dividing lines between art and craft.
“I began quilting late 2013 when working for a fabric manufacturer,” she recalled in an interview with Brown Paper Bag. “I’d done many digital quilt designs there and understood the basic steps and terminology, and I thought that was enough to start on a project on my own. I dove right into a king-sized quilt using that experience.”
According to Marañon, the toughest step was the math she had to figure out to get the design to fit together. “Weeks later I completed assembling the top of the quilt, but to this day it remains unquilted, mostly because of its massive size,” she notes. “I’ve since learned that my preference is with smaller scales, and on pieces that are improvised rather than designed and calculated.”
Letting one step dictate the next, her approach to quilt making is now intuitive and imbues each piece with spontaneity. Her creations explore abstract landscapes, geometry, and repetition, highlighting details that would otherwise be considered flaws. Her personalized pieces emphasize, therefore, the hand of the artist, the result being quilts with uneven seams, raw edges and exposed thread ends. Inadvertently, these marks become the signifiers of reactionary behaviors and moods specific to each piece and its materials.
All of her quilts are designed and made by hand from her studio in Los Angeles using vintage and dead-stock fabrics whose histories are vivified with every limited item made. “I love exploring all sorts of possible outcomes by simply playing around with color, fabric, print, and texture,” says Marañon. “I am inspired most when I’m working, and ideas come in a frenzied rush and I just have to try new ways to lay out shapes, or new ways to mix mediums. Experimentation and fun definitely fuel my quilted projects, and that has to be the reason I’ve fallen in love with it.”