Little swatches


Usually I think that once the quilt top has been designed and cut out and pieced together, it’s all downhill. Not in a bad way, but a sort of you-did-the-work-and-climbed-the-hill-and-now-you’re-on-top-and-ready-to-sail-down-on-your-sled/bike/snowboard-squealing-weeee kind of downhill. Mostly it’s like that, mostly it’s easy, fun and satisfying. But there are usually a few places that require some tough choices, a bit of nail-biting, and a lot of faith.

For those, I make test swatches to try out new ideas or stitch designs and threads to see how they interact with the patterns and colors of the fabric. But then when it comes to the real deal, it’s still a performance that requires practice, attitude, and spontaneity.

4 thoughts on “Little swatches”

  1. I love the part when after a quilt top is quilted and I unpin it(releasing the tension it’s been under the whole time) from my machine (I’m a longarm quilter) it just comes to life as a whole with it’s own subtle texture of patterns, shadows and overall personality. It’s a real fulfilling moment for me.
    Then I have to give it back to it’s owner 🙁 !!
    Congrats on your accomplishment!!

  2. I love to think of the quilting layer as a kind of wonderful hand scribble that leaves a kind of secret artist language on top of the design. People often ask me why I don’t hire someone to do the quilting part of my work, saving me time, increasing my output. As repetitive as it sometimes seems, I can’t get past the fact that this is my scribble, my pattern, my little lines of rhythm and texture.

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