Having just made some detailed, larger quilts, I was a little fatigued. I turned to the bag of scrap batting and pulled out the pieces, seeing which shape and size called to me. A small, narrow piece. Blue scraps from my hand-dyed fabrics chose me next, and off I went. I wanted to keep the piecing simple because I knew I wanted to explore line in the quilted stitching.
I was asked recently to curate a future little online show for NIAD (Nurturing Independence through Artistic Development), and have been sorting through thousands of artworks by the artists, contemplating the works and styles, and coming up with a title. "Murmurations" came to me. That's the flocking of birds flying, how they swoop and soar in beautiful patterns without running into each other. Each attuned to the ones near it.
The first scrap quilt, launches from that theme.
Flying in the Rain
9"w x 25.5"h (23 cm x 64.5 cm)
Hand-dyed cotton and velvet; ice dyed; hand quilted
After working in blues, warm colors were calling. The scrap batting that chose me next was a little wider and a little longer. I wanted to keep exploring those winding stitching patterns, and there was a remnant of some red cloth I had stenciled with cats for a mask for a friend, so that was it.
13"w x 20"h (33 cm x 51 cm)
Hand-dyed cotton and velvet; handmade stencil and fabric paint; shibori; ice dyed; hand quilted
I added more cats after the top was sewn.
The small piece of red shibori, the scrunched, pole-dyed piece, when turned on its side, made me think of trees again. The Japanese maple outside my studio is nearly bare now. At first I thought the hummingbirds I have been feeding would not have a place to hide anymore, but then I saw that the tree without leaves gave the birds more places to land. I took some blue scraps and overdyed/shibori with Brazil Nut to consciously make some trees. A square piece of scrap batting called for this one.
Winter Branches Make More Perches
16"w x 15.25"h (40.5 cm x 39 cm)
Hand-dyed cotton and velvet; shibori and tie-dye; hand quilted with cotton and metallic thread
One to two to three. Following the threads that each one leaves for the next. Letting it flow. December through to January. A continuum, like the seasons.
Speaking of perches, a new prose poem (scroll down to find me) is up today at Unbroken Journal called, "Everyone Is Named Patience These Days."
all the while I've been shaking my head, recalling my first attempt at quilting many many years ago: a bit of plain muslin quilted with wandering lines of variegated brown floss ... which I was told was "wrong" and not the way quilting was "supposed" to be done ... several decades of potential making were lost as a result of that discouragement
Oh I like the sound of your first quilt!
I just checked out a book from the library and promptly ordered a copy of "At Play in the Garden of Stitch" by Paula Kovarik and was blown away by the intricate machine-stitched drawings. It's a thin book, but going to be a good source of inspiration, for sure. Her website shows some of her quilts (her name plus .com). If you haven't seen/heard, she was a graphic designer for 30 years and more recently turned to quilting in her own style with a generous attitude and encouragement for all.