art, quilting

Choosing Motifs Part 2.1Serendipity


Serendipty. One of the definitions is “an aptitude for making delightful discoveries by accident”. In other words it just happens, it’s not planned. This little bit of a quilt just happened. The due date was quickly approaching and Mary Kerr emailed me asking if I was submitting something for her book Cutting Edge Art Quilts. As is sometimes my wont I’d seriously considered not doing it. I’d been giving into the whole, “I’m afraid. I’m not good enough. I don’t know what to do.” Just so ya know fear is a part of every quilters life. Shocking! Simply Shocking! *imagine a high-pitched sing-songy voice.
The email kicked me into high gear and I made the quilt in every spare moment I had that week and made the new piece. Taking the high-tech tools of a chalk pencil and a spool of thread I marked a few arcs (just right of center); threaded up the machine with Superior’s Kimono Silk and started stitching straight lines following the curves of the arc. I decided to keep the straight lines going but in a different color and stitched back and forth, back and forth across the width. Then I stopped thinking about it. I just stitched and changed thread; stitched and changed thread until I’d finished. All totaled I probably have about 20 hours into Serendipity.
As I look at “Twilight in the Bronx” and “Moon Over Manhattan” I see clearly leading up to this kind of stitching. The doodling/practicing-on-paper I’d done was clearly leading in this direction with the quilting. Hind sight ya know, hind sight.
I trusted my judgementzen tangle
I went for it.
I just did it.
The quilt was accepted for the book. I am happy.
As you’re thinking about designs for machine quilting think about things like ornate wrought iron; yarn/thread swirling around; tendrils of trumpet plants, the shapes of leaves, daisies and black-eyed susans, think geometric shapes like triangles, circles and mazes. Look at Art Deco architecture and bricks. Bricks are good. think arc and arches think feathery shapes and pearls. think just simply think. draw the shape with your eyes as you imagine it in your head. think with your finger tips. Both of them. No matter if you quilt on a domestic or long arm you use 2 hands to quilt.
after my surgery a couple of years ago I realized that quilting is a full-contact sport. The head, the heart, the hands, the finger tips the abdominal core, the feet and booty. Yes I did say the booty. Full-contact sport means full-contact sport.

Happy Quilting!


Reminder: How to choose a quilting motif 1.

2 thoughts on “Choosing Motifs Part 2.1Serendipity”

  1. I think you’ve said it before……..we just over-think this machine quilting thing!!! Will it ‘fit’ (with the piecing/fabrics), will it appear like a “same old”, will I like it when finished, will “he”/”she”/they think it’s ok, will it be fresh or boring….and on and on. We/I can turn something that is very enjoyable and fun into torture in a very short time. It’s not “rocket science” …. it’s art and has value! (stepping off my little soap box now….sorry…….sigh)…hugs……

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