Sunday, September 15, 2013

Cycles

Cycles

Let me tell you about Cycles. She is 14" x 21" - about the size of a generous placemat. She is made from Kona cottons and four of the neutral backgrounds are Essex linen. The circles are pieced without pins, you can always learn my method by going here.

Cycles

I planned Cycles to hang horizontally but I like her either way. My brain really wants her vertical so the quilting is vertical, like rain falling I think. But I planned the quilting to be horizontal to create exactly that tension for me. This piece is not intended to be a comfortable as she looks. It is to make me think.

Cycles - detail

I used matchstick quilting, which I mean to be very close together lines. As usual, I made it modern industrial with the lines purposely wobbling a bit, and being different widths apart. Harder than I thought to do with such little space in between. There are 120 quilting lines in the 14" of space.

I have not washed Cycles yet, for once I like the look relatively flat. I'll let you know if I decide to wash her in the end.

Cycles - back

She has a faced binding and I used Elizabeth's tutorial from the FAL, which is here. I need some practice getting the corners of this binding right, but I am pleased with the result none the less.

Cycles

Cycles looks really good on a dark table or surface - it is a palette that I have used before (go here to read about my other little quilt and click this link to see the pictures I took then of the beach by my house on the island) when thinking about the beach. And that brings us to what inspired me to make her.

I have been thinking about making a quilt for the Holiday Memories event -  about my time this year at my little farm on an island in the Pacific Ocean - the Salish Sea is how it was once known. Things out there are sunbleached - the sand, the rocks, the driftwood, the grass and fields in August, the tree trunks - even the leafs, shrubs and flowers seem sunbleached by August.

I chose fabrics from my large pile of solids, just looking for ones that felt right. I looked the colours up long after I started the quilting part and they are Aloe, Pond, Seafoam, Ice Frappe, Sky and Dusty Blue. Perfect names for what I was thinking about.

Cycles

Now the design came from another place. I have been thinking a lot about the cycles of my year, and of the years over time. While I was at the coast, I thought a lot about just being in the moment more, about being still enough that the hummingbirds let you see them. About being, not always doing, more of the time.

For me, these thoughts came, for the large part, from the proximity to the ocean - the world ocean really, they are all connected - and the fact that we had two full moons in August - a blue moon it seems - also helped. It is hard to feel like your little things are that impossible or that important when you are around these powerful forces of nature. And, for more massive forces of nature, I only had to look up at the mountains on the mainland that were usually in view.

Cycles

So my trips to the coast, are in large part, an important part of the cycles that keep me together, make me strong and able to do all the other things I do. Circles, different yet similar, grounded in different places, yet related, you get the idea of where I was going. Well enough of all that deep feeling stuff.

I also wanted to make something modern, fresh, and fun, yet calming for the most part. Just the tension of the quilting not going the way my head wants it too, so that she would always make me think when I looked at her.

I wonder why, on a piece like this, I think of quilting as the rain? That is for another day. I am really in love with this piece. I already want to explore this visual concept further - I have many more variations on this theme already percolating in my imagination..

When the link opens, I will add this to the Holiday Memories event, you still have time to make an entry about your holiday memories too. I made Cycles yesterday, start to finish.

Best,

Leanne

48 comments:

Diary of a Flutter.Kat said...

I LOVE this Leanne!
And oh that quilting. Wonderful!

Lucy @ Charm About You said...

Beautiful and very calming. I like it vertically with the rain although horizontally it makes me think of those circular paper lampshades because of the quilting, which i love!

Flying Blind... said...

It looks stunning, but I wouldn't expect anything less!!
(I am so glad there is a random prize draw in the Holiday Memories comp!!)

Pinkadot Quilts said...

I love the simplicity of this quilt, it is very soothing. Start to finish in one day, hooray!

Little Island Quilting said...

This is just breathtaking...although there are no hummingbirds here!

Sheryl said...

The quilting lines really draw your attention in on this so well. The vertical lines definitely add a fair bit of visual interest and tension when it's horizontal.

Di said...

It is plain beautiful. Di x

Catherine said...

It's beautiful, and you're right about the rain. It 's really got that feeling of movement when it's vertical, but in a calm way!

Katherine said...

Gorgeous! The colours, the design and quilting speak volumes about the sheer beauty of simplicity, Leanne. LOVE it.

Katy Cameron said...

She looks fab, love the dense quilting!

Patchwork and Play said...

Love the mini quilt and the story behind it!

Jenny said...

I love it.

Marjorie's Busy Corner said...

This piece is so relaxing to look at Leanne. I love the colors and the quilting; it does seem like rain.

Claire said...

Wow it looks amazing! All those fine lines of quilting.

Jessica said...

Great post and a beautiful quilt. The idea of rain makes it even more calming!

Gertie Pye said...

Love the colours in this quilt and the super-close lines. It is very calming! Beautiful work as ever Leanne x

Adrianne said...

This is a very visually pleasing little quilt, and I really like all the thinking that went into it too!

Sarah said...

What a treat for us that you share this pretty little mini and its inspiration. You are the undisputed queen of solids quilting in my opinion because you make them so much more than just blocks of colour in a quilt. Your work really intrigues me and I thank you for sharing it and opening up the artistic possibilities for me. I know the interpretation belongs to you, but I see that rain as refreshing and cleansing, also part of the cycles of our lives. Love it.

elle said...

I luv everything about this post. The quilt, the colours and fabric, the concept and the thoughts! Wonderful!!!

Sarah Lou said...

It's a beautiful quilt. Thanks for sharing your inspiration so eloquently too, I love the way that you use quilting to express your creativity.

Camilla said...

This is really beautiful and totally embodies the idea of being calm and fully present. Inspiring-especially since I learned your method for my drunkards path block recently!

Anonymous said...

I love this post and your Cycles is just perfect!

Sharon said...

Love the matchstick quilting. I must do that on a quilt

Debbie said...

Cycles is just lovely. As simple as she is, she speaks of alot. And that matchstick quilting continues to speak to me - used a bit in my most recent project and have some planned for the next. Just something about it ...

Anne said...

I really love his, and the meaning behind it. The ocean always makes me contemplative as well, and I really need to spend more time there. This piece also makes me contemplative, so you definitely captured that! It's simple, but not at all. There's a lot going on in there.

This is a stunning piece, and the faced binding is a perfect choice.

M-R Charbonneau said...

It's fantastic, Leanne! I LOVE it!

Happy Turtle said...

It's so beautiful!
Carol

Judith said...

To me, the horizontal lines seem more "natural". I see them as small ripples on the surface of the ocean on days when it's so still that paddle boarders can venture out safely. It's the definition of serenity. I'd love to see what you do with a storm as inspiration.

MariQuilts said...

I love the simplicity and the calm colours, oh, and of course the quilting!!

Jess @ The Elven Garden said...

Breathtakingly beautiful Leanne. I love how much meaning there is in this little quilt too.

Collette said...

I love everything about this mini quilt! The colours the quilting it the story. It is beautiful and inspiring! xxxxx

Sarah said...

Even in miniature your work is sublime. Love it!!!

Fiona @ Poppy Makes said...

So beautiful Leanne!

Michele said...

This one is so calming yet very interesting in its simplicity. Nicely done.

Judith, Belfast said...

So peaceful and calming! Beautiful quilting too! Jxo

Charlotte said...

I love everything about this, from the palette to the shapes and the quilting. Inspired and inspiring. Thank you.

pennydog said...

Love this, especially the quilting, sometimes the simplest designs are the hardest to sew, and just the best choices. I use that facing tutorial for almost everything now!

Audrey Matlock said...

So lovely!! The colors are perfect and the story inspiring :)

jednoiglec said...

I love your circles! It look like a graphic or a piece of art - great work!

tusen said...

I absolutely love your quilting. And the variegated thread adds movement into the otherwise calm circles.
Great to read about your thoughts and inspirations related to the quilt, too.

Cheryl Arkison said...

What a great piece. And thank you for sharing the story behind it too.

Shevvy said...

I adore this so much. It's so mellow and restful for me, even though you say it's not quite as comfortable for you. It's simplicity and honesty is what makes it such great art.

Blue.Ridge.Girl said...

Leanne I love your Cycles quilt and what you have written about it. I love, too, how going away to the island by the ocean gave you the opportunity to slow down and enjoy the natural world around you. I seem to be craving that myself right now. I have so many project that I have to work on because of commitments I've made and I just want to rebel against them. Looking at your soothing Cycles quilt calms my mind.

DeborahGun said...

amazing Leanne. I love the inspiration behind this quilt and it is so calming and reminds me of the beach and good relaxing holidays too!

OPQuilt said...

Wonderful on all counts: the text, the texture of the quilting, the design and yes, I love that faced binding! (Just did one myself this week.)

Your quilt is really calming--wherever you put it, I hope it brings a sly smile of content to your face.

Elizabeth E.
opquilt.com

Janine said...

This is a beautiful quilt :)

Vera said...

It really is pretty. Simple and effective. Love the quilting.

Anonymous said...

The colors that you used are fabulous! I love the simple elegance of this quilt. And that quilting is amazing.