Sunday, September 15, 2013



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.


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 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.


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.


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.