Sunday, November 4, 2012

Sometimes it just feels good to sew....

Sometimes it just feels good to sew.... There are times as a quilt artist when you want to relax and free oneself of all those artistic decisions - sorting through all those ideas going on in your head, finding the subject matter, deciding on the right techniques to further your vision, making the perfect fabric decisions, etc. Sometimes you want someone else to make the major decisions. Sometimes it just comes down to "give me the pattern and the templates and I'll sew it". It's just me and  my trusty Viking SE and an old movie or the news in the background and I'm happy. I'm one with the machine.....

So this quilt came to be.... It's from a workshop with Judy Sisneros - her "Circle Pizzazz" design.  I had taken the workshop to brush up on some curved piecing techniques (always a vulnerable area in my  technique).It required purchased templates and very few fabric decisions.  

Deciding to make a scrappy version, I already had a pile of blue to green fabrics including prints, hand dyes and batiks pulled from my stash for another quilt - too lazy to put them away in the pull out bins in  my studio - so I just used a selection of those already out on the table that pleased me. I had made a couple of the blocks in the workshop (in which I had decided Judy's curved piecing techniques actually worked) and came home and in a few days more had enough blocks for a smallish lap quilt.
The one conscious decision I made was to change the layout of the blocks (seen at right). I turned them so the consistently dark blue bands ran in the same direction throughout - instead of in circles as Judy's original design decreed.  I liked the way it moved the eye across the quilt diagonally making it, I think, a bit more visually interesting. 

When the top was pieced I layered it with Warm and Natural batting which I will not do again.... I know lots of people use it, but I'm used to wool and this batting gave me lots of problems. It bearded through the darker colors and poked out of the needle holes on the dark blue batik backing. The free motion quilting was done in Superior Rainbows - a polyester thread that variegated from blue to green.

The final and easiest decision was to donate the quilt to Quilts From the Heart a non-profit group here in Southern California of volunteer quilters, both women and men, who share a common goal and make quilts to donate to disadvantaged children and adults.

The group was started in 2004 by Evie Steinberg and has grown in size to over 25 dedicated quilters with varying degrees of skills and talents from beginning to advance. Meetings and workshops are held on the second and fourth Friday of each month from 1:00 p.m. - 5:00 p.m. in the Community Room at the Mar Vista Public Library located at 12006 Venice Blvd, Venice, CA 90066. There is no membership fee or quilt quota required. The group continues to thrive and grow as a result of the generosity of others through the donations of fabric and miscellaneous items.Some of the organizations that they work with are: City of Hope, Children's Hospital, The Shriners, Good Shepherd, Foster Children, Venice Family Clinic, and the Asian American Drug Abuse Program (AADAP). I'm not a member, but I'm happy to know that this little quilt will go out into the world and help someone.... 

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