April 09, 2013


A quilt for a new mama friend.

The best I have for a wide shot. It's Oregon, the lighting is terrible until July. And then we go nuts and hang the quilts outside.

This quilt was born of a failed project that I had cut into pieces in disgust. Doesn't Bonnie Hunter say if you don't like a fabric, use a smaller piece? I figure maybe that applies to patchwork too. When my friend declared grey one of her favorite colors I immediately thought of the languishing little strips, and the quilt started assembling itself.

I started by putting strips on the wall. My process relies heavily on having a design wall. I don't know how much I spent on this old tablecloth and the thumbtacks that hold it up, but I have certainly gotten my money's worth.

I quilted the pebble ribbons first and filled in with the wavy lines afterward.

I recall reading one quilter's perspective that a quilt should hold something of interest at three distances: across the room, nearby and in your face. I think of that advice often when I'm working on a piece, and particularly when planning the quilting. What is there to discover up close? In this case, I left some quilted words of encouragement. 

This is my first quilt since the baby was born. It came together in just over a week. I had motivation, but still, wow. Something has shifted. Several somethings in fact.

As I stitched I was thinking a lot about my work as a quilter, as an artist. Thinking about how I keep poking at the same things over and over. Shapes in negative space. Strips. Things sewn, cut, and then sewn again. A bit of light, movement, sparkle. This quilt really brought to the forefront of my mind that I have a visual vocabulary. I have something I do. I have a process, a method, a style. 

It feels good to see this pattern. I can respect it, and let it work. Love it and let it grow into the Next Thing. I can be kinder to myself, see that I just have to make my art in my way, and not worry about how it fits in with anything else. So that's my meditation right now. To just keep making the quilts, to do the work without the worry. Easier said than done, for sure. But worth it to keep trying.