Tag Archives: “zig zag”

puzzle quilting

Scorpios are notoriously jealous, of others and others’ things and so the suggestion to ‘Open’ sits there like a playground mother intoning, “Share”.  I plucked what was handy (calendar page, old scraps of cut-up quilts, wool bits, a page from a book on trusts, retrieved from a huge bin of recycling while working at the law firm last year) – initially to experiment for this week’s class, and then to puzzle this little piece together.

Nautical map is a phototransfer on linen.

Back reveals some of the wool inclusions and some of the stitching.

This little scrap is now about the size of a large Tarot card. I hate to pillage quilts that have been bound and sleeved, but I just hated this one, so pillage I did. Some of it landed in the Scorpio sketch. I have a few more pieces to use elsewhere.  Given my recent sighting of a screech owl around the corner and my sister’s current near-obsession with the bird, I will keep this little piece intact… perhaps to hang with a satin ribbon somewhere.

When butting edges of quilt scraps together and zig-zagging, lo and behold, the pieces do not have to form lines – in fact, little promontories can be stitched readily.  Because piecing otherwise requires making lines (or curves) as one goes, this felt more like putting a puzzle together than like quilting.

Back to Scorpio, and jealousy – I’ll admit to feeling a little envious of all the articulate, thoughtful, resolved, clear, energized statements and dedications many others are making about stepping into 2012.  Maybe it’s because I had a cold all last week, and the new year came in on a headache, but I think I’ll wait til my birthday in February to reflect back on last year and pause to consider the coming year.

 

teeny-scenery

This fragment surfaced during the flood clean up. I had set it aside to reincorporate into a larger piece, but when I saw it again, it looked complete. Added the background grid, some of the up and down stitching over the black and zig-zagged the edges. The wonderful house in black outline and tree came from a pair of Capris.

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

Where is she now?

This quilt was constructed earlier this year — in February — mulling over what creates a distinctive impress in a life. My mother, for instance, loved Paris. She only traveled there a few times, but it was a place she felt at home and alive. With a tin ear for language, it wasn’t that. It was the fashion, the lively street markets, the delicious food.

This is one of my Remix Quilts — the central section being from a quilt that was cut up and then built around. So, as is typical with these kinds of pieces, some areas have up to 7 layers, others only three.

Last note — the word “Paris”, visible in this close up (you can see the entire quilt in flickr, on the sidebar), was part of a printed shirt.  As usual, the prints I ‘happed upon” while composing dictated the direction of assembly and my thoughts.

It was February, around the anniversary of my mother’s death as well as near my birthday (fortunately not the same day). These are two times that I think about her more than usual —

(do other mothers find that once you’ve given birth, your OWN birthday becomes a celebration of one’s mother in a way it had not been before? I have found so) —

so when I found the word ‘Paris’, suddenly this little house became a meditation on my mother.  I heard the phrase, “Where is she now?” as I stitched.