I made a big push yesterday to finish the piece I started in the workshop by quilter Jacquie Gering which I took back in June. The workshop was called "Lines" and it was about lines in both the design and quilting of a quilt. To teach this she used a pattern for her small work (measuring about 30"x20") called "Rising Sun." Here's Jacquie's piece:
My version didn't turn out to be a sun; it wanted to be a sort of Yucca plant, something from the earth. I loved Jacquie's teaching style and was really struck by one of her quilting principles: " Love what you make; make what you love." So I went with what I love.
Right now Boulder is full of summer perennials at the height of their bloom, and I've been quite struck by things that come from the earth. So I started my "line" piece with earth colors and wasn't too surprised when I saw where it was going.
My bottom border was made by finding some scraps of old piecing which I made probably back in the mid-90's. Back then I used what I think of as canyon fabrics in a table runner which I pieced in an improvisational manner. Jacquie is one of the founders of the Modern Quilt Guild and improvisational piecing, that is, piecing done freeform without a pattern, is one of the hallmarks of the modern quilt movement. However, it has been around for some time as shown by the ad hoc piecing in the quilts made by the quilters of Gee's Bend. So when I ran across these scraps I thought that finishing them up into a border would be an homage to Jacquie's style, which has been my style as well, at least at times.
When it came time to quilt the piece I decided not to copy Jacquie's "sun" quilting. Instead I did a few rays from the center to show how the plant was growing towards the sun, but then used one of the decorative stitches on my wonderful machine to remind me of the curly white plumes that are seen on the narrow stemmed Yucca, as shown in this photo which I found on the Internet.
I liked how my machines' decorative stitch is an abstract version of this part of the plant. Here's a detail of my stitching.
I'm quite pleased with the finished piece. I've named it "Of the Earth." It's a good reminder for me of how much I enjoyed Jacquie's workshop and her slide show lecture. You can learn more about Jacquie here.
As for why I made a big push to finish this up? Well, one of the three local quilting guilds I belong to is having its annual picnic on Thursday at which all the pieces the members have made as a result of a guild sponsored workshop are displayed. I wanted to participate, and that meant I had to get this piece finished! Sometimes its good to have deadline.