So often in these past 4-5 years something has happened in our country or in the world that makes me want to create things as a response to feelings of outrage. I’ve scrapped so many ideas that focused on negative quotes and statements in the news – the thought of intensely stewing in bile for the 20-40 hours it takes to make a quilt is simply toxic.
With this in mind, I focused on imagining what I wanted to happen. Inspired by a giant “blue wave” sign made from thousands of blue Post-It notes at the March for Women, I set out to create my own blue wave.
The background is various blue/violet Kona cotton fabrics and was pieced using a variation of the “Disappearing Nine-Patch” design. I cut it up further and pieced it back together to create a more jumbled background. It finished as a wall hanging at 36″ x 36″.
I knew I wanted to make the waves by quilting, but was worried the busy-ness of the background would make the quilting get lost. My first attempt at this was to create and sew three bias tape waves that I’d fill in with big-stitch hand-quilting using various white and blue colors of pearl cotton. Once I did this, however, I thought it looked cartoony and silly.
I was disappointed as it really didn’t have the feel I was going for. So – there’s always the seam ripper! I sewed around the bias tape, pulled it out and added a lot more quilting and, while still subtle, am very happy with the end result.
This quilt invites you to take a closer look. From farther away, you see the patch of blue, and a few shadows swirling across it. Closer up, the eye wanders around and through the stitching like a labyrinth.
I just completed an art swap with a longtime friend of mine, Dan Gremminger. He admired an earlier version I made of this quilt design, and I been enjoying his Pop Portraits pixelated art series. We’ve mentioned it a few times over the years, but finally agreed at our last reunion (University of Texas Longhorn Alumni Band! Hook Em Horns!) to do an art swap. This is my completed quilt for him with a few detail photos of the echo quilting below.
I was delighted to use this fabric for the back – I’ve been looking for the perfect project to use it!
In return, Danny painted this wonderful portrait of our beloved family dog, Sparky, whom we lost earlier in the year after 16 years. I wrote about him here. It is our new family treasure and heirloom.
A recent trip with family yielded much inspiration for quilting. I couldn’t wait to get back home to start ripping up fabric strips from my stash to make something! My husband, kids (both home from college for the weekend) and my brother, sister-in-law and nephews had a wonderful weekend hiking around Monterey Bay as well as making a quick trip to the Monterey Aquarium. The colors in the water around the coast are mesmerizing. This is what I’ve started the first afternoon. We’ll see where it goes….
I made this colorful center medallion ages ago while playing with very small leftover scraps from two other quilts I had gifted to others. I liked it so much but kept putting off making anything with it as it felt too precious and I was waiting for just the right idea. I decided to just DO SOMETHING and, while exercising during a dance class* it came to me to plunge into the deep turquoise and then created this. I submitted it to QuiltCon 2018 (alas, it was a #QuiltConReject!) but I love it anyway!
Still working on this one – I’m hand quilting it (my first attempt at hand vs machine quilting.) I used scrap slivers from another project. When it came together it reminded me of the NASA photos of space, hence the name.
This is from my wall of green scrappy “made fabric” from a few months ago. This was the ongoing -and apparently unending- task of trying to use up all my scraps for a useful purpose. I got pretty far on using a large portion of green tiny bits and came up with the idea to make a traditional Double Wedding Ring pattern as a companion piece to the star below, which I made last year. I like the contrast of the orderly traditional block pattern with the chaos of the green scrappy made-fabric. Both are around 36-42″ square.
I finished this a while ago but only recently got around to photographing it. I’m not sure what I want to title it yet. It features my fascination of creating blocks from random tiny scraps leftover from other projects . It’s one of my favorite things I’ve ever made!
I’m not really sure where I’m going with this. I’ve been saving solid neutral pieces for a while and wanted to use them in some way with various bigger scraps. I like how it’s looking though! My daughter thinks it looks like the movie Inside Out when they went into the world of abstract reasoning – I think she’s right!
Sometimes I just get a hankering to pull out my itsy bitsy scrap pieces and see what I can do with them. This is what got started from my yellow bin. I then went on to pull out more. Each colored piece is about 4 1/2 inches across and the strips prior to sewing are about 3/4″ to an inch or so, and finish up at 1/4-1/2 inch each. I’m not sure what I’m doing with this – I may make into small pillows for the living room.