At the Edge: a Quiltlet

Sometimes when I am working on a labor-intensive, larger piece, I have an idea for a technique or method or subject I must work with immediately, so I make something small, like a snack between large meals. My preoccupation with the ocean, really a lifelong love, sent me to a micro-examination of the bubbly waves that lap the shore.

At the Edge
14"w x 12"h (35.5 cm x 30.5 cm)
Linen, ice-dyed cotton; cotton and metallic threads; watercolor ground; watercolor; metallic brush pen; hand quilting; free-motion quilting

I started by drawing in my journal until I was satisfied with the marks, then began to machine sew with the free-motion foot.

Because I knew I wanted to add watercolor to the picture, I used one of the pieces of linen I had pre-treated with watercolor ground. At the very edges of the waves I also added metallic gold from a brush pen.

To round out the textures I hand stitched with embroidery thread and created French knots with gold and silver metallic thread.

With this piece came the question: what does foam look like, which led to: what happens at the edge of the wave, and then became even broader: what happens at the edges of anything? The edge is where we take a risk, leading us to something new. Comedians work at the edge, saying things we might think, surprising us by observing something we might know but did not realize we noticed. And of course many birds live at or are sustained by the edges. Sanderlings and other shorebirds hug the edge to feed. There is magic there.