1.Slow Progress 2. Cleaning Out


I am making slow but steady progress on the Baltimore Album and Spring Sonata quilts.  

Re the Baltimore Album – which, by the way, I am going to call “Imperfect Beauty” – I completed all the cross hatching in the 16 center blocks and have been working on the border.  Currently I am outline quilting all the stems with leaves and quilting a half feather design in the red swags:


Here is the marking in one of the swags so you can better see the design:


To mark on color, I use a Bohin mechanical pencil with a white chalk type marker in it; I find this erases very easily after the quilting is done.  There are 16 leaf stems and swags – 4 per side.  I have 9 on these done.  There are 4 corner swags for which I’ll have to create a variation of the swag design because the swag is shaped differently.  Once the outlining and the swags are done, I will go back and quilt in the background.  Right now I’m thinking I might quilt little fans between the swags and add straight lines – facing to the outside edge of the quilt, not lengthwise along the border – in the background of the rest of the border.  It seems like cross hatching in the border would be too much of that in the quilt.  Am still thinking, though….

As for Spring Sonata, I managed to applique several of the leaves onto the background and get several more cut out and basted to the background:


I plan to embellish the leaves with embroidery stitches but haven’t started that yet.  My idea is to use one strand of embroidery thread to outline the leaves and then to put veins in the leaves as well.  I’m still entertaining the idea of some embroidery embellishment in the palm leaves in the quilt center but am not certain if that would detract from the beauty of the simplicity of the design.  We’ll see….

The other big “quilting project” that is occupying my time is moving my sewing room.  This is forcing me to go through all the “stuff” I’ve accumulated over the years and to make decisions about what should be pitched and what should be saved.  I had a drawer full of ribbons from quilt shows I’ve entered over the years.  I decided to keep only a few of the really special ones like the Vermont QF Best of Show and the AQS Paducah 3rd place ribbon and get rid of the rest.  I also had a drawer full of judges comments on my quilts that were in shows and I pitched all of those as well.  Those comments are in my memory and I don’t need the paper anymore.

Deciding what to do with all my books and magazines is much harder!  I have a huge stack of magazines that I’m going to offer to my fellow quilt guild members.  However, I have a lot of Japanese quilting magazines that are gorgeous and that I’ll keep.  I’ll also keep my Quiltmania magazines.  I finally decided that I need to keep all my Quilter’s Newsletters and all my American Quilter magazines too.  I spent some time going through these and many of these are still interesting and I think I could continue to enjoy re-visiting them over the years.  

For example, in the Spring 1986 issue of American Quilter, there’s a very nice article by Marion Huyck called “Developing My Ideas” in which she elaborates on her creative process.  She says “I can see the influence of particular quilting friends, but can also see the influence of my own background in literature, my travels and observations, my fascination with architecture, folk art, the environment, my emotional response to the joys and heartaches in my life, to the rhythms of nature, to the complexities of modern life and my reactions to them, to symbol and archetype.  I think too many quiltmakers worry too much about the “how” of a quilt and too little about the “why” of it……..To be fully alive, to be fully functioning, is to be creative and to be in touch with one’s innermost passions.  The artist, confronting the chaos of every aspect of life, has the opportunity to exericise control over chaos, the challenge of interpreting it through her own perceptions.  For me this is a lifelong exploration.”

In the spring 1988 issue of American Quilter, Maria McCormick-Snyder says “My life shimmers.  Every quilt I have ever made “lived” inside me until it was realized in fabric.  Each has its beginning in the world around me.  Nature provides constant prompts.  The beautiful colors in nature inspire me to capture the “aura” of the colors for use in a quilt.  An “aura” is like a wisp of smoke rising from an ember; the wisp gives one a choice – the ember can be ignored and allowed to go out, it can be blown out with a violent gust, or life can be breathed into it until it possesses its own vitality.  Inspiration is like the ember: if only one gets started, the resulting fire can be gentle or passionate.”

In the Winter 1989 issue of American Quilter there’s an article by Joen Wolfrom on creativity in which she says, “For all of us, the pursuit of artistic fulfillment is very personal.  It deals with individual expression and interpretation.  There is no one right way to unlock the creative abilities within us.  They can be nurtured by observing art and nature, by reading, by taking chances, or by listening to people’s ideas.  It is important to have patience, to give yourself positive support, and to make realistic goals.  Most importantly you must want to discover your own creativity.  Then, with courage, simply begin – one small step at a time.”

This is only a small sampling of the wonderful articles in some of these magazines – so I’m keeping them!!!!! :):)  Now I just have to find a place in which to store them!

Thanks so much for stopping by!



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