Tag Archives: wip

Privilege Progression – quilt slide show

One of the reasons I like to machine stitch some of the seams on bigger quilts is so that I can cycle through variations and ideas faster. The many phases of a design get lost along the way, and I’ve always thought that was kind of a shame (especially when the ‘best’ version is say, #7, while the finished version is #14!).

If I captured even a fraction of the process it would become clear why a quilt can take so many months to create.  And, the hope is that a process that is inherently frustrating will be less so if there is a visual record. What would I learn?  We shall see.

Lately I’ve begun to think that I just want to ARRANGE fabric, TAKE A PICTURE, and call it a day. That’s the other extreme… but what IF the product were purely digital?!

In the meantime, here is  ‘White House of Privilege’ morphing into something else. The White House has flown elsewhere. To be continued.

I will count this first stab at creating a slide show as a major victory on a day where the computer crashed and my photo uploading developed (new! interesting!) problems.

Getting there

Getting there.  Or not?  I like flickr.  It aids memory.  Refreshes the heart and mind of the cycles that go ’round and ’round.  Some evolving.  Some degenerating.  Reminders of the seasonal.  But, this morning’s search reminded me that a version of this quilt (below), photographed in April of last year, was titled “One Year Into It” – which makes the piece above, “Two Years and A Month Into It”.

So now two things come to mind.

A question – How do I keep my thoughts from turning in on themselves and stewing in a negative pot?  (i.e. “oh god, can’t I finish anything?!!!  will I ever quilt at a satisfactory pace while working full-time?  does that make me wrong to do X or Y?”).

And a NOTE TO SELF – perhaps it is time to employ a trick.  Like the one I used to make a quilt in honor of the women of Gee’s Bend.  THAT trick was – quilt must be made ONLY with scraps on floor or worktable and had to be designed in a single session.

For this, what?  A deadline?  No – it has to have something more than that.  Any ideas?

Work from the bottom up?  Letting the blue seep up and in (the rising waters associated with global warming)  Let the blue be the filler when two irregular patches are coming together?  Let the OFF-ness of the blue – its unintentionality, its potentially non-pleasing placement – stand for the idea that the consequences of global warming are unpleasing, don’t fit, and create mismatches of a truly awful nature.

Not to get too serious about it all, of course – because being too serious is a great way to stay stuck.

three huts in a row

Last week, in attempt to bring order to chaos, I pieced these three huts. They obviously belong together. But less obviously, they do NOT belong in the large Global Warming quilt (mostly because the colors are off).

So, I remain stumped, and with three garden clients this week, it will have to wait.

But, judging by the vigorous energy applied to removing an invasive ground cover near the driveway this morning, I suspect a resolution is coming soon.

Heirloom Poppies

heirloom doily for a pillow

This week’s pillow commission required extreme care.  It required symmetry and therefore measuring.  It required keeping fabric that wanted to crinkle, flat.  It required being able to FIND the doily.  My iron had to be pristine at all times.

Hole before -- muslin scrap slipped under, no glue

There was one minor flaw in the doily — the round hole shown above.  It wasn’t that noticeable until one placed the doily on the coral-colored silk, and then it was VERY noticeable.  I didn’t want to use a glue-product like WonderUnder to adhere a teeny piece of muslin under the hole, so I stitched it carefully — without turning under the edges because that would have required enlarging the hole.

Hole after -- edges left raw to minimize size of tear

Long ago, I learned that white-glove production is not for me.  Professional curtain-making was a casualty of this recognition.  I tried it briefly.  Loved the design challenges, fabric selections, and money, but couldn’t stand the sweat and worry.  And if you don’t know what I’m talking about, then you haven’t seen what schmutz on an iron can do to a fully-assembled white linen Roman shade — in about four seconds.

Exquisite embroidery -- tough to iron flat near its contours

I am hoping that my small quilting stitches don’t detract too much from the beautiful embroidery of the poppy.

Light quilting to anchor doily to silk

The process of working on this pillow has heightened my appreciation for working congruently… working in a style, palette, and scale that is in accord with one’s basic wiring and temperament.

For instance, do you plan or jump in and clean up your messes afterwards?  Are you a designer who makes sketches or who doesn’t?  And if you do, are those sketches made prior to taking a stitch and/or during construction?  Do crooked lines bother you?  Do straight lines?

What do you do if you are an improv quilter and suddenly must meet specific demands imposed by a commission? (this week’s rub, for me).  And, given your basic disposition, how do you tolerate being on a learning curve?

Coral-colored silk a winner with the poppies

There are fiber artists out there, by the way, doing unbelievably beautiful things with antique linens.  For an exquisite use of heirloom cloth, please visit Kaye Turner’s blog.

Yesterday, when I finally got back to ‘doing what I love’, I found myself stymied again, because this huge Global Warming quilt will not let itself be resolved.

Iteration 735! Horizon re-emerging

Pitbullish about its size, I am resisting the temptation to break it into smaller pieces.  I could easily create four smaller quilts.  It keeps morphing this way and that and I truly can’t tell if it’s getting closer to resolution or not.  Last night I lay in bed counting on my fingers how many BED SIZED simple geometric quilts I could have made with the time I’ve spent on this.

What I have decided therefore, is, to piece it up in its unresolved state and then to ‘paint’ with applique to bring the thing into harmony.

blue edge near top needs broken up

brown edge near middle needs disturbed

another Global Warming "spawn" quilt

spring light

The spring light flooded our family room late this afternoon.  I don’t remember it ever being lit up like this before.  By the time I got my camera out, it was the shadows that interested me, so I haven’t captured the golden warm moment at all, really.  I share the photo of our kitchen TV and dinner clutter only because it DOES capture the light a bit better.

When I look at this picture and I don’t think, “Gee, cool, there I am in the reflection.”  No, I think, “Why was that light on?!”

Soon, our neighbor’s 200 year old copper beech will leaf out, and the light will be dappled and less intense (and that’s nice too).

With the poppy pillow commission finished, I can finally get back to my big-big quilt.

Recycled shirts and tiny pieces of Most Favored Fabrics (like a trading status!) are turning into huts and villages, here and there.


I took so much time to piece these big sections, that it would be a shame if I hid all the evidence of that work (i.e., the SEAMS), but that is the temptation right now…

That blue spade fabric (a roof of rain?) is cotton that K. brought back from India last month.  It was hard to cut, because it was such soft cotton, but cut I did. It is one of many fabrics that translates into “RAIN” in this piece.