Friday, December 28, 2018

End of Year Wrap Up

Well, 2018 zipped by like a flash of lightening, and though it's been quiet here on the old blog, I do continue to make. So, while 2018 still has a few days left in it, I thought it'd be nice to do one last blog post for the year. (Hey, that brings me up to a full 5 posts for 2018... no slacking here.) 

Take a look below to see what I've been stitching since I last posted back in June... 

(Note: If you are a supporter of our current administration, you may not like the creative thoughts behind the works below, and that is ok, as we are all free to believe what we choose to believe. If you choose to leave a comment that obviously differs from my own political views, please make it thoughtful, respectful and constructive. Help me to understand your point of view. Hateful and nonconstructive comments will be deleted. Thank you.)

This Land is Your Land, This Land is My Land
36" x 36",
Cotton fabrics, (Moda Grunge)
Machine pieced and machine quilted

I made this quilt while reflecting on the many ways we divide ourselves in this country, while at the same time craving connection more then ever. The work itself explores division and reunion. Using a multitude of colors helps to illustrate and celebrate the importance of diversity in America.
(Thanks to Woody Guthrie for the title inspiration.)

31.5" x 21.25"
Cotton fabrics
Hand cut, (no straight edge used)
Machine pieced and hand quilted

This quilt was made while reflecting again on how divided we are as a country and how quickly our world wide credibility is fading under the current administration. The man in the White House seems hell bent on trying to deconstruct the American values that we have held so dear while trying to refashion them into a wholly different America, and it is very alarming to me the speed at which he seems to be accomplishing this and the lack of response from republican senators and congressmen/women.

26" x 26"
Cotton fabrics, (shot cottons)
Hand cut, (no straight edge used)
Machine pieced and machine quilted

This quilt was made while reflecting on several things: line work, local surroundings, and of course, politics. In regard to line work, that's the term I am calling my ever developing and deeper desire to explore organic line shapes and how they interact with each other and how color influences that interaction. (The piece before this one is the beginning of my intent for a more mindful exploration, and going forward in the new year you will be seeing more of that exploration.) (Until I tire of it and move on to something else.)

This curiosity of line is of course deeply connected to the study of lines in my local rural surroundings... those old barns and outbuildings still fascinate me. (Below I've posted a photo I took just the other day that has wonderful lines and is a good example of the loveliness I see on a regular basis.)

And still, my mind can not help itself from continually thinking about our current state of affairs, (fueled no doubt by news often playing in the background while I sew). I seriously considered calling this piece "Tilting at Windmills" in a playful reference to the delusional Don Quixote and our own delusional Don occupying the White House. However, It was Thanksgiving when I finished it and in a desire for rest, I refrained and simply titled it "Windmill". (I'm saving that other title though for a possible future quilt.)

See? Good lines!

And here's a peak at something currently in the works, which I will share more of once it's finished, (which may be awhile). It's not big, but the stitching is going slow. Except for the smallest circle in each fan, I am basically eyeballing it, with the intention of not perfect quilted lines, but nevertheless, unity and relative consistency throughout. Much harder then I thought it would be. .

For all of what is shown, I was going back and forth... stitch a row, then flip the quilt and stitch the next row, thus saving on cutting, knotting and burying thread every row. However, (and here's a tip if you try this yourself!) I have finally realized that it's easier for me to stitch a row where the previous row is below the row being stitched and much harder for me when flipping the quilt and stitching a row where the previous row is above the row being stitched. Having that previous row below helps me eyeball  the new row much easier. So, more cutting, knotting and burying, but less pulling stitches out and starting over. (And if you are reading this but are not a quilter, my apologies for something that must sound very confusing!)

Happy New Year to Everyone!
See you in 2019!


Bonnie said...

Thank you so much for sharing your thoughts and how they have tied into your wonderful, creative works. I am truly inspired!

Kat Scott said...

Thank you so much for sharing your work and your thoughts.... will love watching your line work shift and develop this next year. I too am fascinated by architectural lines especially.

Sue said...

Thank you...I appreciate your honest heart felt words and how you express them in your creative work. You have inspired me. Thank you!

Karen@littlebirdiequilting said...

Lovely to hear the thoughts behind your quilts, as well as the great shot of another local barn: those lines and texture !

Nifty Quilts said...

All beautiful work, Victoria! I love your continued exploration of line and color. Wishing you a happy and creative new year!

Quiltdivajulie said...

Your photos of barns and other local buildings continue to fascinate and thrill me. PLEASE keep taking and sharing them! And your line work is beautiful (especially with your thought process). Happy New Year!

elenor said...

Your work has been a delight and inspiration since I learned about you. Each piece is fabulous. Thank you for sharing.
Wishing you a happy and creative new year.
elenor from EU

myrtovl said...

Thank you for sharing your beautiful and inspiring work. Happy New Year!

Diane J. Evans said...

Thank you, Victoria, for sharing such beautiful, peaceful, thoughtful works and the inspiration behind them. I, too, am deeply saddened by the direction in which we seem to be going as a country, and I wish I could express myself better through art, because my feelings have nowhere to go right now except to my dear, patient husband. I pray a lot, though, and I'm trying to have faith in our future. Artists such as you are keeping our spirits joyful and positive, and I am grateful for your creativity, your generosity, and your friendship. May you be blessed in 2019.

Love, Diane

Sue McQ said...

Happy New Year, Victoria! May I ask how you mark your quilt for the Baptist Fan stitching?

Victoria said...

Deepest thanks to each of you for your lovely, oh so kind and very supportive comments. xoxo

And to answer your question, Sue... I don't have one standard method of marking for Baptist Fan quilting.... still looking for a favorite. Sometimes I only mark the largest outer circles. Generally I do this when machine quilting one row one way and another row the opposite way, such as in this quilt:
I would have begun machine quilting the outer most circle on the bottom right fan, and used my presser foot to space each smaller row until I got to the bottom, where I would then begin the next outer circle of the second fan. Once I completed all the fans in the bottom row, I would do the same for the next row, but this time I'd go from left to right. Hope that makes sense.

For the "Windmill" quilt shown in this post, I actually marked every rung, (using a template). That was the first time I ever did that. Not my favorite method, as I don't like to mark, but it came out nice. (Also, I use the left over slivers of Dove soap to mark my quilts with, as I know it will wash out!)

And sometimes I just mark the smallest inner circle, as in the hand quilted piece I show at the bottom of this post. Again, always doing it different in hopes of finding a favorite method but as of now, they all seem to have equal pluses and minuses. Thanks for asking!

smerb said...

I am new to hand quilting - do you baste (in any form) when you hand quilt? I don't see any pins or other basting material.

Victoria said...

Hi smerb, please forgive the late reply, just saw your comment. I do baste, usually by thread. With this particular piece shown in the last photograph however, I tried spray basting for the first time, Worked like a charm in the beginning, but overtime the fabric came loose, and I had to redo the basting in areas. Project has been temporarily put on the shelf while I work on other projects, so I will have to see what condition the spray basting is in when I get back to it. Not sure if it wears off over time due to handling, or simply due to the length off time from applied.

kathyhardtwhite said...

Victoria, I love your art, and your inspiration behind each work. I get in such a funk about our current political situation and looking at your work inspires me. Thank you, thank you, thank you! Upon my retirement I got into quilting and have been drawn to improv work. Your wonderful tutorials have been most helpful. Your work makes my heart smile.