about ’round


all the pieces, in the beginning…

I did not expect to find curves so easy to sew, without ridiculous amounts of puckering as I’ve known thus far. Orienting my mind with the drunkard’s path was a wonderful way for me to get curves in the design, averting bias strip curves that I’m not up to par with yet.

From another facet, I marvel at how useful I find the camera as a sketching tool while I settle on patch and block placements. And how reflecting and composing these blog posts as I go along adds to my sense of space and breath and endless beginning ness, contemplating without dirgefulness. Twenty plus years ago in art school, I roiled and writhed and wrote and troubled over even Andy Goldsworthy’s turning his temporal magic into static moments…


Again, resting into the logic of the drunkard’s path patchwork, I have a much better handle on which layer to stretch or pull on as I feed fabric under the needle: always the bigger/outer curve – got it.

i was able to sustain the gap between the details and tediums and persnickety nesses of the creative quilting process and the observing of that process with disproportionate relaxation. As thread tensions went whack and a patch crept over there where it shouldn’t, I found levity and ease in that I am lucky to afford to spend time and material quilting for any hours. I’m okay with the final result beholding an aspect of struggle and a dance of mind-hand-machine-breath dynamics. For me, this process and product reflect aptly the hum of being life.

Also, I went with less trimming and shoring up edges. I love the irregular final border shaping. Yum.


DSCN4274I settled on a layout for the curvy patches. But, oh sh_t, once I filled it all in with white and grey fabrics, the shape had arrived in a way that was not as well rounded as I intended.

I was not in the mood to rip it all out and re-do… I decided to use quilting lines to pull the eye over to the right space. I quilted circles to try and clean out that intended shape-y-ness and to somehow let the left side push one’s gaze to the right, as happens in our L-to-R oriented western culture. I feel so-so about this effort. (See note about hand quilting below.)

uh, phooey, why'd you smush in like that?

uh, phooey, why’d you smush in like that?

next steps
I still feel the quality of creating for specific people. As my list gets shorter, I start to wander into imagining what I might do with truly no parameters as I begin a quilt… This taste of truer improv keeps wafting through these personal gifts anyway. The next one is the first where I have the fabrics selected only – no design or pattern or score detected yet. (The palette needs to at least meet my projections of what the person could tolerate in their environment, thus it is a sincere consideration in my quilting practice so far.) I’d had imagery involved for weeks, thinking of this next quilt for this person, but that has melted away in doubt. I truly do not know what will happen. All I can imagine doing to start is setting out the fabrics and staring at them for a while…

final top view: ehh, 'round about ish what I intended

final top view: ehh, ’round about ish what I intended

And, there’s a whole other juicy aspect waking up and deepening ever more since visiting Gee’s Bend. It’s the most obvious thing – the quilting itself. I will not be able to arrange the space or finances for an ergonomically sane quilting frame for some time. Nevertheless, the machine is not my preferred method. I can feel and see what I could do by hand, and I want to practice that. I could nudge and influence the relationship between the patchwork design and the quilting design more organically – with more improv ironically it seems. (Though I know that’s not true, the machine only does what I set it up to do…) I love the use of quilting as design, versus quilting by the block. (I understand that can mean different things… creative and useful to me too.)


final back view


3 Responses to “about ’round”

  1. robert turnbull Says:

    Wow and your mind processes are amazing – you are an amazing person and you’re one half mine!!! Love you to (quilt) pieces!!

  2. quilt responsively | embodhiment Says:

    […] where i left off, i did simply stare at the curated fabric for a whole week. hhhh. granted, that pace and space is […]

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