I have continued to revisit old work that I wasn’t satisfied with, and revised two pieces, “Z Is For Zoom” and “7 Years of Bad Luck.”
Z was just too plain before, so I painted broad white stripes over the already quilted area and then covered the stripes with seed stitching.
7 Years needed focus, so first I over-dyed the completed piece and stamped it with white ink. Then I cut off the top edge, added swirls of bias tape, and appliqued jagged chunks of silver lame on to represent the bits of broken mirror. As I was sewing the tape on I realized I was channeling Judy Kirpich. A new facing on the top and reattachment of the hanging sleeve completed the makeover.
Do I think these pieces are now wonderful? No, but I think they are improved. My initial inspirations have been tempered with layers and more clarity in my intent, I believe. I’ve learned that a piece can take its own sweet time in revealing what it is meant to be.
It occurred to me my quilt finishes are like buses. Let me explain what brought such an analogy to mind. I relied on the Philadelphia transit system to go everywhere when I was growing up. If the bus didn’t go there, neither did I. Such intimacy with the vagaries of transit schedules made me all too aware of the tendency of buses to cluster. I’d wait 30 minutes for a bus and then 2 or 3 would arrive.
I’ve been waiting a month for a quilt finish and now 3 have arrived. None are large but I now feel that sense of completion I’d been missing. May I present Flaming Out, Z Is For Zoom, and Tidal Marsh in Spring.
Flaming Out was originally a sketch to illustrate movement, but I thought it would work for a art quilt group challenge piece. The challenge was to use the background fabric, which was designed by a group member. She won a SAQA contest with this.
Z Is For Zoom was also a master class sketch for movement. The horizontal quilting was done by machine; the vertical by hand.
Tidal Marsh in Spring was also a master class project, but more importantly to me it’s the third in a series of quilts about this scene.
Of course, I still need to finish such housekeeping details as hand sewing the facings, but the pieces will go into my portable projects bag and get done eventually.
Before I took an unplanned hiatus from quilting I pieced and machine quilted a small quilt based on a sketch that was meant to depict movement. I’m finally getting back to it, trying to complete the hand stitching part.
My original idea, based on a graphic design, was this.
That morphed into this.
No, I didn’t set in those acute angles. I made two strata of stripes and then figured out my angles to cut and sew chevrons. The process was a bit tricky as I was dealing with extreme bias once I made the cuts, but tender handling seemed to reduce stretching.
For reasons I’m now not clear on I chose wool batting. I think I supposed it would be easy to hand stitch, and it is, but it’s also very puffy which creates lots of relief. I’ll have to see how it looks in different lights.
I spent a fair amount of time selecting my hand sewing threads. My original plan was to use complementary colors, but I thought that looked flat and I threw in the jade green with the orange. I don’t know yet how much stitching I’ll do. That’s a wait and see issue. So far I have three groups of four lines each. They are much subtler than the bold horizontal stripes. Thoughts and opinions are welcome. I also welcome opinions as to whether to face or bind it.