quilt responsively

beginning ~ jo


too many? harrumph. pattern passions won over selection slimming.

from where i left off, i did simply stare at the curated fabric for a whole week. hhhh. granted, that pace and space is vital seed energy in creative process.

and i am grateful i can move in synchrony with the stages of the process, rather than having to plow through to meet some external deadline. without an external deadline as a parameter to lean against and push-pull-play with, the space can get overwhelming and disorienting in both good and bad ways.

i thought of adding other fabrics to the pile. nope. i revisited the initial shape/imagery ideas. nope. i thoroughly vacuumed the same floor space i use for quilting twice.  after so many days of pondering and wandering, during a middle-of-the-night pee, i proclaimed to the dark, “i need a limit!”

i wasn’t drawn to any particular score in Sherri Lynn Wood’s book. i flipped through anyway and this phrase landed as territory i could stand on, “Construct the quilt responsively one row at a time.” p. 52

There now:

  1. one row at a time – i fell right for it. okay. this’ll have 5 ish thick horizontal rows. cool.
  2. quilt responsively – a lovely play on a familiar phrase and a pithy turn on my continuing contemplative quilting practice. be in relationship with each breath and step in the process. of course. here we go.


after the first row, i didn’t know how to progress. i spent another whole day with the one row, and finally decided to just go make a row and see where it settles. not sure if that is quilting responsively or avertedly.

middle ~ ha

i’m realizing i’m a little stuck in large scale blocks. and i reach for and use rulers more than i’d like to admit. so, i made two intricate smaller scale patches. and i practiced eyeballing and using edges of pieces as cutting lines.

this process so far has been delightful. that’s not a word or sentiment i am used to.

this one jumped out as the better resting place... though doubt can always creep back in and does

this one jumped out as the better resting place… though doubt can always creep back in and does

example of camera helping me decide which way the triangle on the right should rest...

example of camera view helping me decide which way the large triangle on the right should rest…











i’m nervous to quilt the thing. the visual effect and affect of the completed patchwork top is, for me, a pleasant blend of darkness and lunacy – yeah, she‘s in there. this leads me to undoing two convictions from the previous post:

  1. there are four tiny and two large drunkard’s path patches. this time around i clearly needed to but failed to stretch the inner smaller curving shape. never-mind my oh-so-clear i’ve-got-this note about always stretching the outer, larger curve in the prior post. sheesh. i’ll settle back into my un-knowing about how to sew curves and keep sewing them anyway.
  2. i’d written about quilting itself adding design elements i enjoy. this time, i’m worried whatever i do with quilting lines will compete awkwardly with the patchwork, as it is awkward too.

end – kyu

finished top

finished top – camera fail. vertical quilt lines with gradated thread. sweet rain drop effect. but you can’t tell.

i may need to limit my fabrics or shapes more in the future. or something… i can see that large scaling has helped conjure a simplicity i enjoy. yet, this quilt top is wanting for less randomness, more constraint? i could work with simplicity from other angles, like using three or five fabrics only and more repeating shapes. or something…

crinkling and puckering are welcome by me. working with layered fabrics, wrinkles and evidences of the malleability and softness are desired. a seam that rests flat is more often a wonder, a surprise…

this remained a lovely contented experience of mind and energy. there were times, over these weeks, i was in a downward mood. i allowed space for that and did not quilt until my energy lifted… i can’t always afford to take time-space this way – but it feels so sane when i can (regarding more in life than just quilting, yeah…)

so, thus far in my contemplative quilting practice – my efforts in presence and mindfulness are winning out over the design elements of the quilts themselves. let’s see what i can do about that…

finished back

finished back


One Response to “quilt responsively”

  1. Daintytime Says:

    How delightful, thoughtful, serene!

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