Archive for January, 2009

A New Year, ALREADY??!

Saturday, January 17th, 2009


I can’t imagine what happened to all my good intentions regarding my website and blog! I’m embarrassed that I have been so negligent. But I am here now and still have all those good intentions. And it is a new year…..

Way back in the fall, I pieced and appliquéd this circular design. It’s actually the second time I’ve worked with this design. The first effort was my Fine Focus 06 piece. It was very small, dark and transparent. I liked the design so much that I decided to work with it again, but larger. 


Quilt in progress

Quilt in progress


Here is the piece in progress. I started by cutting the curved shapes from light value fabric and laying them out on my design wall. Then each piece was individually embellished with layers of chiffon and tulle which added the soft colors. The transparent fabrics were stitched to the background pieces with invisible thread and then all the pieces were assembled. 

The overall effect is very subtle, but I plan to add lots of detail with the quilting which will be done with darker thread. Lots of quilting! Sounds like a plan, right?

The only problem is that I seem to be paralyzed with indecision at the moment. I don’t want the quilt to be circular, but I can’t decide how to square it up. I’m thinking of making a square border of slightly darker fabrics and extending a few of the curved shapes out into the border, but working them in lighter values so the extensions create a positive/negative effect. That description is probably as clear as mud! I can see it in my mind’s eye, but I can’t really describe it. I’m also contemplating positioning the circle off center which would have the effect of making the square background more important and better integrated. Of course, the only real problem is how to force myself to walk into my studio and get to work. I seem to have lots of distractions.

I also have lots of ideas and potential projects. I’m mulling over ideas for a stole for a friend who will be ordained this summer. I also have a small drawing that has been enlarged, patterned and the templates are just lying in the studio waiting for me. My sons signature wedding quilt awaits my attention. Ditto for my nephew’s wedding quilt. 

I used to give a lecture titled “Patience, Persistence and Perseverance”, but right now I think I could write the Great American Novel on Procrastination! I seem to be quite the expert! Tomorrow is a “free” day–no doctor’s appointments, no scheduled exercise, no shopping, errands or meetings. So, we shall see………

One of the things I have noticed is that I am less productive now, when most of my work is done on the machine, than I was back in the days when all my stitching was done by hand. I used to carry my work with me and fill every idle moment with stitching. It’s amazing how much you can accomplish working that way. Now I have to be in my studio to be productive.

My husband was recently in the hospital for 23 days. The hospital is a two hour drive from where we live, so after the first few days I went down there and stayed. As I dashed out the door I grabbed a baby quilt that needed quilting and even remembered to bring the batting, backing, my sewing kit and a hoop. Only forgot the thread (but that’s another story!) It was the perfect project for the circumstances. It required very little concentration so I could put it down and pick it up again forty times a day, if need be. And I rediscovered how calming and therapeutic quilting is, and I now remember why I took up quilting in the first place–I really like hand stitching!! 

I’ve decided that I need to incorporate more handwork into my quilts, but now the dilemma is that I really like the look of machine quilting. Because the machine stitched line is much more visible than a hand stitched one, it has more impact and adds an additional design layer to the finished quilt. But machine stitching is not relaxing for me, nor is it portable. So what’s a person to do?? I tried carrying an appliqué project with me for several years. The finished quilt is lovely, but appliqué doesn’t soothe me the way quilting does. I need to give this issue some thought………..

So check back in a few years and see how I’m coming along with my circular design…………………..!