Sunday, June 7, 2015


I'm so excited to finish a wall hanging that I've been working on for the past few months.

When I was cleaning out my studio one day last fall I found some pieces of colorful batik which I had  played with years ago.  I had selected various colors and patterns and used free form curved piecing to create sections of new fabric.  Here's a photo of the sections of strips I found that day put up on the design wall.

I had stamped the surface of some of the pink batik adding more interest to those solid areas.   And then I got distracted or ran out of time or something (it's always something) and put the work aside for several years.  When I ran into it again after moving here the cheerful colors and patterns made me smile!

So I got busy and figured out how to lay out the sections, added a few strips, did some more stamping and sewed up one big piece which I then trimmed up to a size I liked, which turned out to be 24"x28".

I decided that the large green strips needed something to liven then up and having recently discovered the "Stupendous Stitching" work of Carol Ann Waugh decided to add couched yarns of various weights and textures to these areas. 

That was so much fun that I decided to use more of Carol Ann's techniques and added quite a bit of decorative machine stitching and hand stitching to the surface.  The "slow stitching" of the sewing in stitches of hand-dyed Pearle cotton and other heavy colorful threads was so soothing and addicting and fun that I was truly sorry when I decided the piece had enough surface texture. 

But I had to stop since the piece was telling me that it was done and I should move on.  So I trimmed it up one more time, decided which way the piece should hang (I flipped it upside down in the end) and bound the edges with an "artist's facing" (tutorial available here).  

Here's how it looks now, all ready to show at my quilt guild's monthly meeting on Tuesday night. 

I need to take some better photographs since I'm not able capture the colors perfectly with the lights in my studio or shoot it so the edges don't look wavy (they're not!)  Luckily there's a professional photographer just a few doors down the street and I bet I can arrange to use her set up to get some really good shots.

And I have to make a label, but I can't do that until I decide what to call it.  Any ideas?  Luckily I don't need to have the label done for another few months since the guild quilt show isn't until October.  For now I'm considering "Exuberance" or "Happy" since those are feelings I have whenever I've worked with the colors, curves, and texture.  

Somewhere in the middle of this process I finished another quilted piece I started at a workshop offered by Carol Ann Waugh which used her "Stich and Slash" technique.  I didn't enjoy this process very much but I liked what I started enough to finish it up.  The little quilt is glued to a piece of black foam core which is in glued to an 18x20"  stretcher frame so the whole thing can hang like a painting.  

I like creating original designs like these but it does take a lot of energy, thought, and work.  So as a change I'm now making paper pieced stars for a table runner.  Here's the first one.  After all that original design work it's comforting to just sit and follow the "Sew-Press-Fold-Trim" steps involved in paper piecing!


  1. omgosh it's good to see you quilting again!!!! I adore the first piece and in fact liked it at each stage. I liked the purity before you started the stitching. Then I liked the hand stitching best. It's hard to know when to stop but like you, I tend to get to a point where the piece tells me it's done. I love pp for the reasons you said. Relaxing. People tell me it's not, but it is for me. All the decisions are made but the colors, which is the easy part. LeeAnna

  2. All beautiful. I like "Exuberance" as a title.

  3. Mary! Wow! I love this piece, it's so happy! And good to see you quilting've inspired me to get into the studio. Loved watching the process unfold, too! You hit this one out of the park Mary!


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