One of the things that I’m going to share on this blog is my “important quilt” — my legacy quilt — my slow stitching quilt. I won’t reveal the quilt in its entirety until it is complete, which I am guessing will take a year or two of daily work. But you’ll be able to see my work, my process, my additions and subtractions from the design, every step of the way, including my triumphs and struggles.
What I can tell you about the planning of this quilt is that it is HUGE. For those who know me, they know I love giant quilts with lots of pieces, elements, techniques and colors involved. This quilt will be one of those quilts. I can also share, as you will soon witness, that it will not be done by hand, although there will be many hand appliqué, beading, and embellishment elements incorporated in this work.
FINDING THE PERFECT FABRIC TO BEGIN
I won’t be lying to you when I say that it has taken me MONTHS to choose the perfect fabrics for this piece and the time just flew by. I really wanted to begging this quilt at the beginning of the year!
Then, it had finally occurred to me that my long and drawn-out search for the ‘perfect’ and the ‘best’ choices could have been a feet dragging move. Basically, I was scared to death to start something of such a monumental size, not to mention an intimate and revealing project. I also wanted this quilt to inspire others to walk with me, on their own journey, in creating their own intentional fiber art.
When I talk about ‘creative anxiety,’ i.e., ‘not being good enough, creative enough, technically excellent enough, etc.,” that is what I’m talking about. We have all had those kinds of negative conversations in our heads, but we also know on some deep down visceral level, that that’s a bunch of horse poop. It simply isn’t true. The Slow Stitching Movement, if you practice it and follow the principles, is designed to eradicate that kind of negative thinking.
That said, up until just today I was still on the look out for the perfect dirty robin’s egg blue fabric that will eventually represent, I hope, some kind of sky. As a matter of fact, I just picked up several half-yards of blues to audition for my quilt. Here they are:
These are all Kona cotton’s. I have no idea how somebody could actually choose these colors online for a project you’re working on at home. That’s why it is very important that you support your local quilt shops, ask them to order for you, or to at least see their color chart books.From top to bottom:
- Kona Cotton Blue
- Kona Cotton Sky
- Kona Cotton Dusty Blue
- Kona Cotton Robin Egg (in my fantasy, this was the color I wanted and wanted to use. Once I got it into my workspace, I knew it wouldn’t work)
- Kona Cotton Baby Blue (this is not as vibrant as I might have liked, but it is certainly one that coordinates with my other fabrics, and still could work as ‘sky’ in my final piece)
Luckily, I was able to find my fabric locally, but I also was lucky enough that, Sally, my local shop owner, allowed me to take home and play with the Kona color chart.
Before I make my final decision, I want to check out what Cherrywood Fabrics might have. I love the look and hand of Cherrywood.
If your local shop can’t or won’t special order for you, or you do not have a shop within a reasonable distance of your home or workplace, and are forced to shop online for fabric, then shop in an ethical way (a tenet of The Slow Stitching Movement). Order from a place that actually gives it back to the world. equilter.com is an online fabric source that prides itself in their charity work. Basically, I want to support companies and organizations that support others. Robert Kaufman fabrics, for instance, does charitable work for Quilts for Kids. Let’s face it, try as we might to make the best choices, sometimes the stars just do not align and you can’t find exactly what you’re looking for with all the criteria of ethical biting or shopping. There are no hard and fast rules to any of this. Just do your best.
What’s Been Taking So Long . . .
I guess, when push came to shove, I was in no hurry to start and, perhaps, fail. It seems like I finally got my head wrapped around this design and so I was able to finally make my fiber choices. So, after carrying around swatches of various half yards of fabrics for six months, then adding to and subtracting from them, I think I’ve narrowed it down. Actually, I’m sure that I have. Here’s what I have chosen:
- Michael Miller’s Jet Black – which I think is the very best black on the market. Their may be other blacks that some of you prefer, but after very careful and deliberate comparison, Michael Miller’s Jet Black won my heart.
- Michael Miller’s Painters Canvas. I also found and loved (thanks to my Facebook friends and fans who helped me identify the fabric I bought with no selvedge information), Painters Canvas. I chose the Vanilla, rather than the Parchment. What appeals to me about this fabric line is that the textural design element looks like an artist’s brush marked onto canvas. You will come to see how this design will be very important to the message, lessons, and spirit of my particular patchwork project.
I also chose two Moda Grunge fabrics . . .
- Moda Grunge Essence Cream. This image looks dull and dirty
Here’s a pic I took, and not a good one, of the same fabric
- And Moda Grunge White (now you know why my blue choice is so important). This image is SO much more yellow! Sheesh!
Here’s a pic I took, and not a good one, of the same fabric
Finally, and of all things, the India-inspired blender fabric from my very first collection with Troy Fabrics, Katmandu (you remember: the first fabric designed to be embellished…and it will be embellished). I’ll be using the reds, purples, oranges and greens! Here’s an ancient ad promoting my Katmandu line.
Here’s how some of my fabrics look together.
And those are my fabric choices . . . more shall be revealed!
BY THE WAY
The blog and slow stitching website has been getting tons of visitors. I think that I might have struck a nerve!
Take a look at the countries that have been represented:
Once again, I am offering readers of this blog, FROM ALL OVER THE WORLD, to guest blog and to chat about their experiences with intentional slow stitching and the benefits you might have incurred, or hope to benefit from. Please write to me at firstname.lastname@example.org I would love to hear from you! xoxom