Before I Make Another Resolution . . .
January Word Of the Month

Fortune Cookie Roulette #27

Nothing astonishes men so much as common sense and plain dealing.

After spending a few lovely hours quilting Marina, I realized how much I enjoy stitching through wide open spaces.  It's very relaxing and it goes very quickly.


I've done two whole cloth quilts - a white king-sized wedding quilt and a white-on-white christening quilt for my son.   Quilting a whole cloth quilt is like painting a fresh canvas every day, and that is as close to painting as I will ever get.  There was something about the act of sitting down at my floor frame, facing this huge white expanse of fabric and stitching for hours, that I found both exciting and relaxing.  When you are working a king-sized quilt at a frame, you do get some kind of Jackson Pollock vibe which is very cool.

Unfortunately, I do not have any digital pictures of that king quilt, but I can share with you a duplicate block (12" x 12") that I made as a momento of sorts.  The pattern is based on the grille work of the window boxes of The Plaza Hotel.  I repeated this pattern throughout the quilt because the young groom proposed to his bride over dinner at the hotel. Very romantic.  


As for my son's christening quilt (25" x 33"), I like to go by the English tradition of giving a newborn baby a yard of fabric (as if anyone needs a reason to give a baby a quilt).  That yard is supposed to accompany the little one his or her way through life.  It's a nice thought, but I wrapped up the quilt about twenty minutes after the ceremony and he hasn't touched it since.  Don't worry - he has quite a few others and they will be with him forever.


Back to Marina.  I had very elaborate plans for quilting a marine life scene in each of the solid panels.  I imagined low tide at a tidal marsh with blowing grasses and crabs waddling about, egrets fishing, the sun setting.  


Nice idea, I suppose, but that didn't work because . . . that's just not me.  What did work and what felt right was simple, straightforward, uncomplicated and undemanding stitching. I did a very simple boxy pattern where the egret was supposed to perch, hunting for fiddler crabs.  I couldn't wait to get to the  navy blue section and I knew I wanted waves but nothing too stylized.  I didn't know where to start, so I undid the quilt from its hoop and draped it over my kitchen table.  Nothing.  I picked up my hoop and started twirling it, like a hula hoop.  That's when it dawned on me: the arc of the hoop suggested a nice rolling wave.  I got out my chalk wheel and ended up with this:


Now the waves look like clams and I'm okay with that.  I couldn't help but think of the movie The Perfect Storm, starring George Clooney and a lot of other people.  It's the true and very sad story about a fishing boat lost at sea in the North Atlantic during what was considered the perfect storm.  The movie poster features an enormous wave about to crash over a fishing boat.  That stuck with me for a long time.  Apparently it is still there on some level.  I think I'm going to add a subtitle to this quilt: Safe Harbor.

The more I quilt, the more I realize that I don't like to complicate my quilt process - I like to keep it pretty simple - stitch, stitch, stitch.

In these times, simplicity is astonishing.


Take care,