I always make a big mess when I’m piecing a quilt top. I mean a HUGE mess. It’s insanity. There’s fabric everywhere, underfoot and on every surface. If my studio was in a zero gravity zone scraps would be floating to the ceiling. Imagine that!
I can’t show you the quilts I’m making for my book on improvisational patchwork, but I CAN show you the aftermath!
Once I’ve finished piecing a quilt top, it feels great to get my studio in order again. Wouldn’t it be nice to be the bionic woman –able to condense eighty minutes of scrap sorting into one? Okay now it’s on to the next quilt.
How do you sort your scraps?
I wanted to give a shout out to my friend and fellow blogger Victor Volta of The Mountain Journals. He also writes about hiking local in the San Francisco Bay area for the Examiner.com. Last week I took a much needed day off and hiked with Victor and my friend Bret’s dog, the fabulous Freddy Freckles (Freddy is so cute he has his own Instagram page) in the Marin Headlands — check out Victor’s beautiful photos from our Headlands hike.
Now to the Summer Heirloom Tomato Pizza. Victor grew these delicious heirloom tomatoes and gave them to me. Aren’t they beautiful?
I sliced them up — so juicy and delicious!
I added some fresh basil, mozzarella, parmesan, and fontana cheese.
The pizza pie dough came from Whole Foods.
Thanks Victor, and happy end of summer to all of you. Savor these last days!
I Ching Modern Quilt, 2013, 59″ x 71″, linen, hand-stitched
The random pattern of this all linen quilt was created by chance through the process of throwing three coins six times as prescribed by the I Ching. For each six bar block I consulted the ancient oracle for guidance on questions pertaining to my creative life. The 20 blocks that make up this quilt reflect 20 questions, each of which I documented along with my interpretation of the oracle’s response in a journal.
This snapshot of randomness is tranquil and restorative. It ignites a completely different rhythm of attention in making and in viewing than my improvisational work – which is all about personal choice. This quilt is greater than me. It is a universal pattern that I merely channeled and received. I love it for this reason.
To find out more about the process or to make your own check out the I Ching Modern Quilt-along tutorials.
I echo-quilted the concentric womb/eye pattern by hand. I repeated the shape three times, once for each of the three coins that were thrown into the ocean of synchronicity as a method for receiving the oracle’s resonating response to my questions.
I enjoyed making this quilt. If you’ve been following the I Ching Modern Quilt-along you may remember the last post on QUILTING was back in January. I appreciate your patience, considering I started the quilt-along over a year ago!
It has definitely been a slow but also a rewarding journey. My plan is to make more of these — each with a different color palette and a different theme of questions.
It’s available for sale on Etsy!
My big summer news: I’m writing and creating ten new quilts for my first book about improvisational process and patchwork for the modern quilter!
I will announce the publisher and more details about the book, once the contract is signed (which should be soon), but the project has been in the works since I officially accepted an offer to publish in late April.
Since then I’ve been preparing myself internally and externally for a time of major creative output. I’ve been working almost every free day in my studio. I have nine months to create the quilts, write the book, and take the process shots –thank goodness the publisher is hiring a professional photographer for the “beauty shots.”
I’ve completed the first quilt top and am well on my way to completing the second. So even though I haven’t been blogging as much as usual, I have been working harder than ever.
Since I can’t share to much of the content of the book on my blog, I’ve decided to keep you posted on the process of writing it –the backstory, so to speak.
- I’m thrilled and thankful for the opportunity to be fully absorbed in my creative work.
- I’ve been following the process that I will be asking the readers of my book to engage in. It’s working. I’m teaching myself new things! So that’s good. If I’m learning something from the process I’m presenting then I know it will be fresh for you.
- I’m totally in love with, and surprised by the first two quilts.
- so good!
- to go…
I’m glad to have my secret out, and will reveal more details as they fall into place. Please help me spread the word. Join me on Facebook. Twitter. Instagram.
Scrap Doodling is a playful improvisational patchwork process utilizing fabric scraps without concern over the outcome. It’s like drawing but better!
I do it to cleanse my mind between projects or to lubricate my creative flow before working on a main project. It’s fantastic for relieving performance anxiety and the causes of procrastination.
I make my scrap doodles quickly, while sitting at the sewing machine, with a pile of scraps and a pair of scissors at hand. I focus on finding natural fits of shape, as if piecing a puzzle. There is very little design involved.
I have no agenda for the finished scrap doodles. They may generate ideas or not. I don’t have to like them, and they don’t have to match anything or each other. Someday after I have a pile of them, I may patch them all together for one big crazy scrap doodle quilt… or not.
Try it for yourself. It’s fun!
Posted in Mantras for Creativity, Modern Improv, My Creative Process, Tools, Tips, Tutorials
Tagged doodling, improvisation, improvmonday, patchwork, piecework, procrastination, scraps
I joined a book club and last month we read Geek Love by Katherine Dunn. It’s about a carny family of freaks. Among other things it involves a cult in which converts choose to cut off parts of their bodies one joint at a time –starting with the digits of fingers and toes, moving to arms and legs until they are left helpless on their bellies with nothing but a torso and head.
Yes it’s gross but after all its a tale of envy, jealousy, shame, greed and the desire for normalcy. The author’s metaphor asks us to reflect on the ways we choose to become helpless when we deny the parts of ourselves and our lives that we don’t like or can’t accept. Some of the people in my book club didn’t like this late 80′s novel, but if you have an adventurous imagination you might enjoy the read.
The book is filled with descriptions of green. I was surprised that no one else in the book club noticed this. I’m more of a visual reader than I realized.
Her gums are knobby and a faintly iridescent green.
I get an instant glimpse of her long legs, sometimes flashing bare through the slits in her startling green kimono.
The rotten edge of the sky was moldering into arsenic green when the light of the tent went out.
I nod my head at her pale green face.
They came out of his eyes as a green liquid that dripped to the ground making puddles.
He had a room of his own and three sets of green pajamas.
Eli Leon’s Green Collections
Around the same time I was reading Geek Love I had another visit with Eli Leon. His entire house is bathed in green. He has green curtains in his living room window. He has collections of green rags, vacuums, and vintage trinkets, toys, and tools of all sorts arranged in beautiful, fantastic tableaus throughout his house.
I asked Eli if green was his favorite color and a smile lighted his face when he said yes. I told him that green was my favorite color too.
Green is the color of the heart chakra. It’s the color of growth as well as decay. I suppose there are as many meanings to green as there are shades of the heart.
How about you? What is the emotional range of your favorite colors? Or add your favorite GREEN photo. I just installed a new plugin that allows you to submit a photo with your comment!
Sunny Edwards (1918-2011), 2013, 63″ x 64″ Made in collaboration with Rowan Edwards from his grandfather’s western shirts, hand and machine pieced, hand quilted.
Rowan Edwards visited my studio for weekly work sessions to create this improvised quilt in memory of his grandfather Sunny Edwards from Sunny’s western shirts. Together we devoted 57 collaborative hours (35 of my hours) towards completing this quilt.
I love this picture of Rowan in front of the completed quilt followed by the picture of Sunny. Because Rowan’s hands chose Sunny’s clothes, cut them apart, pieced them back together and participated in the slow process of hand-quilting, the result is not only a memorial to Sunny, but also embodies the living relationship between them that resides in Rowan’s heart.
For more details on the making of this quilt and the bereavement/improvisation process visit the project archive or PassageQuilts.com.